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May 14, 2008 08:14 AM

Scott Conant's Scarpetta

I'm going tonight. Did anyone get there last night for the opening?

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  1. The original comment has been removed
    1. I did. It's a pretty room, nicely lit, warm woods and natural elements. The menu looks lovely, heavy with seasonal ingredients and a lot of fish. I sat at the bar (comfy bar stools) and had a nice rose, the fritto misto and the burrata. The fritto misto was tasty - calamari, shrimp, eggplant, artichokes and lemons, topped with fried sage and fried parsley. The burrata wasn't very interesting. Super goaty and served with pickled eggplant and some toasts - to me, the components just didn't go together. The 1/2 order of pasta that I ordered never showed, but after a couple of glasses of wine, that didn't matter much!

      I didn't realize it was their opening night, and had chosen to go there on a whim. Having helped open a couple of restaurants myself, it was fun to watch the action, but if you can't deal with this sort of thing, then definitely give it a month before you visit. I heard the chef saying that a lot of his former staff came with him. There certainly were a lot of people working but service was very bumpy and awkward. I can say that everyone seemed very invested and caring and that always feels good.

      I met some lovely people, too, which was a bonus. The chef has nice fans...

      8 Replies
      1. re: MB fka MB

        Scarpetta's website isn't funtioning yet, but I looked at the menu on Menupages, and I noticed that Chef Scott Conant is including at least two signature dishes from his days at L'Impero: the capretto and the polenta with mushrooms. While I thought the capretto was o.k., the polenta with mushrooms was so over-the-top sensational that I'm really excited about being able to once again indulge in that dish. Lots of other items on the menu read "delicious" as well. I'm guessing Scarpetta will be a winner.

        1. re: RGR

          I agree-deja vu all over again from L'Impero which is OK with me.

        2. re: MB fka MB

          Sorry, but I gotta ask what exactly do you mean by "goaty" when you describe burrata?

          1. re: farang

            I was wondering about that too, as burrata is a cow's milk cheese.

            1. re: rrems

              I can confirm that the capretto was wonderfully "goaty".

              1. re: rrems

                yeah, I know it's cow's milk, which is why it was strange to me. I'm used to that lovely creamy, young cheese and this was not at all what I had expected. plus the texture was not what I'm accustomed to, either.

                1. re: MB fka MB

                  thats strange sc pretty picky about burrata, what was wrong with the texture?

                  1. re: farang

                    it reminded me more of a fresh goat cheese in texture - still creamy but almost a little bit granular, not the smooth texture that I expected.

          2. Went last night, and I was not so impressed. I think the kitchen and the service staff need a few more weeks to get things together. Service was uneven (sat 25 minutes after reservation with no explanation; asked no fewer than 8 times by the sommelier, manager, and 2 servers if we had decided on a wine selection in a 15 minute span, etc). But, all of that can be worked out. The food is, indeed, a greatest hits of L'Impero and that is not a bad thing. The tomato and mozarella salad to start was great (the mozz. is fried and layered between the slices of tomato). Frito misto was good, but came with no sauce or lemon on the side which I think would have elevated the dish. The two bean soups (one with sausage and one with bacon) were delectable...the puree itself is poured tableside, and the melding of the flavors is really great. For mains, the spaghetti with tomato and basil is simple and delicious as it was at l'impero. The scallops (4 large scallops grilled with mushroom and sunchokes) were well cooked, but poorly seasoned..very, very salty. The Agnolotti with mushrooms and parmesan were very good. At the start of the meal, the chef sent over a complimentary tasting of raw hamachi, tuna and scallop....none of which were seemingly seasoned at all. We skipped dessert.

            All in all, as I said, good, but could be better. My confusion, at the end of the meal, was this: the decor is practically the same as the old gin lane (the bar is exactly the same), and the menu is basically l'imperos. the whole thing seemed rushed, and i wonder why Conant (who had been out of restaurants for a bit of time) would want to open this one, in this location, with this menu?

            1 Reply
            1. re: food10011

              went last night, room nice, bar nice, outdoor tables nice. apps : polenta very good, burrata good, anchovies not good, ricotta ravioli good, mains: scallop very good, osso buco very good, bass fair. service was alsmost too fast, dishes came very very quickly, but that's not so bad...all in alll a good meal.. i will return..btw chef owner very friendly nice chap..a plus for me...i remeber going to ming tsai's place in massachuesettes a long time ago..he was a total jerk..a real turn off

            2. The original comment has been removed
              1. I had a great dinner at Scarpetta last night. They must have worked out any service issues as everything went very smoothly, and the pacing of the courses was just fine. My octopus appetizer was a wow, and I (who am not a bean fan) tasted my partner's bean soup with sausage and thought it was delicious. Main courses of chicken and capretto were both excellent. My only peeve was that the capretto somehow managed to taste more like pork than goat, but it was delicious nonetheless. The chocolate cake we shared for dessert was good but not exceptional. The fairly extensive wine list tends toward the very high priced, but I found an excellent Lagrein 2003 for just over $50. The maitre'd was very welcoming, and I really liked the ambience. Overall, I felt it was very good value and will definitely be going back.