I was surprised to see a full restaurant on a Thursday night, given the rising costs of everything (ie food and gas)...you'd think people would skip luxuries like dining out in expensive restaurants but not the case at Scampo tonight!
First of all, cost of valet parking has gone from $10 for 3 hours, to $15 until 3 AM....but the valets are right on it and very nice...and this is comparable to other restaurant valets in town.
We were seated right away and given homemade breadsticks and a fava bean puree with pine nuts in it as a little starter. There were three of us and we ordered some bread to start, the Elephant Ear and the Ciccio bread. Both yummy. The Elephant Ear is like a large cracker that comes in a very unique "wave" shape with tomato sauce and cheese on it....very good but eat it fast as the longer it sits, the sauce soaks into the cracker and it gets soggy. The Ciccio bread was sort of like a cheese quesadilla with truffle oil in it...very tasty and pillowy and cheesy.
For starters, we had the housemade mozzarella with heirloom tomatoes (clearly not local tomatoes but good none the less) and one of our dinner companions had the arugla salad which looked delicious. All salads were very lightly dressed and fresh.
For our main courses, we all ordered pasta - I had the spaghetti carbonara which was surprisingly not heavy considering carbonara can be..the pasta was homemade and very good. Another in our party had the spahetti and clams (vongole on the menu) and it was made with teensy, tiny clams they are fond of at this restaurant that they refer to on the menu as cockles. The third in our party had the Spaghetti Scampo, which is like shrimp scampi made with rock shrimp, a bit of tomato sauce, etc.
For dessert, we ordered the lemon ice which was really like lemon gelato with a dash of limoncello in it, very yummy...and we had the homemade cookie plate which was the only disappointment of the evening...it consisted of two meringue cookies, and 6 biscotti which were extremely hard and crumbly and not that tasty.
All in all, a nice meal in a great atmosphere and if you order as we did, it really doesn't break the bank...shocking considering this is the restaurant of the moment in Boston right now!
Ooo, the elephant ear is very tasty, I got that last time I was at Scampo. I agree that it can be a moderately priced meal if you order carefully, especially since they have so many great appetizers.
One question: when they brought your breadsticks did they come on a rectangular white plate? Last time I went we were in a big group (9 or so) and so the waitstaff brought two separate plates, one for each table. Our waiter dumped the breadsticks on the table and spread them out into a fan shape, but the other waiter left them in the dish, so we were confused as to what exactly was going on...
Three of us went to Scampo last night and had a great time. We had an 8:00pm reservation and were seated right away. At the last minute we asked if we could sit on the patio but were told it would be a 30 minute wait so we decided to stick with the dining room. We were happy with our choice once we sat down - the chairs were really comfortable! A strange thing to comment on, I know, but much more comfortable than any other restaurant I can remember visiting recently.
Two of us ordered a bottle of Chianti and the other ordered a bourbon and ginger. I thought the cocktail list had some interesting offerings, but was more in the mood for wine. The waiter came back a few minutes later to tell us that they didn't have the bottle we had ordered but that he recommended a different bottle. He did note that it was more expensive, and even offered to let us choose a different bottle if we didn't care for it. That wasn't a problem - the wine (Contratto Panta Rei Barbera d'Asti) was great. At $55 it was a bit pricier than we were looking for, but well worth it.
We started with the aforementioned elephant ear and the fresh mozzarella with peaches and pistachio pesto. The elephant ear was great - salty, cheesy, and crispy. The tomato sauce was especially good. The mozzarella was also very good, and paired very nicely with the peach and pesto. It's not a combination I would have dreamed up on my own, but one I plan to try at home. As with the other posters, our breadsticks were dumped on the table. I was expecting it, but my BF remarked that at first he thought the server delivering them had just slipped. They were tasty - but the chickpea puree with pinenuts and garlic that they were served with was more memorable.
For entrees we had threeof the homemade pasta dishes: the Ricotta Parsley Tortelloni, the Lobster Ravioli, and the Beet and Short Rib Tagliatelle. The Lobster Ravioli was by far my favorite. Another poster commented that she disliked the sauce, but I loved it. It was lemongrass based and had somewhat of a south-east asian influence. It also had a bit of chili oil (I think?) drizzed over it, giving it just a little kick. The ravioli were stuffed with big chunks of lobster and were served with tiny, roasted cherry tomatoes. I will say that the portion was small - 3 large raviolis - but the sauce was rich, making it a filling dish. I actually didn't care much for the Beet Tagliatelle, despite the fact that I love beets. The short ribs were good - moist and flaky - but the whole dish had a flavor that I couldn't quite place but that I didn't think fit with the beets. The Tortelloni were very good - I liked the rich ricotta filling.
For dessert we tried the ricotta cheesecake and the tiramisu. The cheesecake was just okay - I didn't think it had much flavor, but it was a nice light ending to the meal. It was served with very fresh berries and some sorbet, which helped somewhat. The Tiramisu was great - very moist and served with crunchy bits of something delicious.
All in all we really enjoyed ourselves. Next time I'd like to sit at the bar sourrounding the brick oven. I think I would really enjoy watching the breads and pizzas being prepared.