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Oct 3, 2008 11:52 AM

Scarpetta or Convivio

Anyone been to both? Which one would you recommend for a Hound who only has one night in NYC later this month? Thanks!

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  1. When I was scouting for an Italian restaurant for a special meal, I read the online menues for both places. Convivio was more gourmet-sounding to me than Scarpetta so it didn't appeal to me. I really liked the food at Scarpetta. Since both are getting good reviews, what menu do you like better?

    1 Reply
    1. re: TrishUntrapped

      Frank Bruni's review of Convivio, released a few days ago. It's very positive.

    2. They are both wonderful, but very different from one another. Convivio is quieter, the 4-course prix fixe is a great deal, the menu is more extensive and varied. Scarpetta is loud, trendy, the food is great but if you order the same amount of food will be more expensive.

      2 Replies
      1. re: rrems

        Went to Convivio on Friday. Maybe it was because the times review had just come out (incidentally we had made our reservation before it came out), but the place was packed and was actually very loud. I thought the food was great but the service was rather mediocre. I would guess that it would be better at less peak times. Have not been to Scarpetta yet.

        1. re: di82

          Went to Convivio on a week night recently and it was crowded and lively. A bit noisy for me. Our server was excellent. I was not wowed by the food, it was good. I remember the fried cauliflower app. If I go back I'd try the prix fixe they suggest. I have not been to Scarpetta.

      2. I've been to and enjoyed both VERY much, Scarpetta a bit more, but consider this:
        If you're planning to go out before or after dinner, you'd probably much rather be in Scarpetta's neighborhood than Convivio's for your one night.

        1. My GF and I went to Scarpetta last night after reading the strong reviews in both NY mag and the NY times; we were very disappointed...

          The service and decor was fine ( wasn't thrilled about the bathrooms). Against my wishes she chose to have the tasting menu (app, pasta, entree, and dessert). My risotto and braised short ribs were good and her MOZZARELLA IN CAROZZA was phenominal. For the pasta we both tried the AGNOLOTTI DAL PLIN which she did not finish, I felt it was ok, but both agreed it had a very dry mouth feel.
          For the entree she had the CAPRETTO and i had some Mediterranean fish lacked much flavor. Dessert was very good, a carrot buddino and a key lime "cheesecake".

          Both reviews raved about items that sadly are no longer on the menu, if i ever go back i would probably sit at the bar and have an app and the spaghetti with tomato and basil and fritto misto that many were ordering.

          1 Reply
          1. re: lalengua23

            Went to Convivio last Sunday and enjoyed it quite a bit. It is loud and I didn't like the decor, but the food overall is excellent. Three of us did the four-course prix-fixe and had 12 different dishes. We all sampled each other's food and there wasn't a bad course among them. No issues at all with the service. The least interesting course was dessert. Their wine list is pricey, but since only two of us were drinking we did a half-bottle. The total for three was just under $300.

            It's out of the way unless you're staying on the East Side, though we had never been to Tudor City before and it was nice to see it.

          2. I've only been to Convivio (and before it, L'Impero). I had an excellent meal there a few nights ago. Yes, it is fairly loud, and service is a bit slow. But the food is excellent. If there is better pasta right now in NYC, I have not yet discovered it. The fusilli with pork shoulder ragu was divine! I also loved the short rib brassato and my friends were very pleased with their lamb chops.

            Among the sfizi, offered before the appetizers, the mushrooms cooked, if I am remembering right, in vin cotto were superb. In fact the only thing we did not like--out of many dishes we sampled--were the stewed calamari offered as

            The quail appetizer was a standout, as was the budino for dessert.

            They have an interesting wine list with unusual selections by the glass and in bottle.

            Be aware that you can forego the dessert and have two sfizi included in the prix fixe if you prefer savory to sweet.

            2 Replies
            1. re: erica

              Erica, how would you compare Convivio to Scarpetta.
              And are you the same person as emarcus?

              1. re: Nancy191

                No, not the same. I have not been to Scarpetta yet..