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Oct 22, 2008 07:19 AM

Scarpetta or Del Posto

Hubby and I thinking of doing Del Posto Enoteca (we have been there before and always enjoyed it, although last time was a year ago) or Scarpetta. Which do you recommend? Thanks in advance.

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  1. I have never eaten at Scarpetta but Del Posto to me was a rip off. Don't get me wrong- the food that you get is very good, however the portions are miniscule and the prices outrageous. The atmosphere is beautiful though and I think that factors into the reasoning for such astronomical pricing.

    1. if you have done del posto before, i would suggest checking out scarpetta for sure.

      1. Yum. I love Scarpetta. Their agnolotti and spaghetti pomodoro is to die for.

        1 Reply
        1. Well, here is my two cents.

          I am visiting New York and, based on recommendations on this Board, headed down to Scarpetta intending to eat at the bar.

          I ordered a glass of Sancerre for $16. It was ice cold and tasted like lemon water. I should have said something, but I didn't (and it is not like anyone noticed that I took two sips and left the rest). I would guess it was a $10 bottle of wine that they were selling for $16 a glass (and I don't mind paying restaurant markups for decent wine, but this was just "let's fleece people who know nothing about wine"). I then ordered the yellowtail appetizer - some raw pieces of fish with salt and herbs on top. Poor quality fish - left a bad taste. (And the person sitting next to me at the bar, who seemed connected with the restaurant, said it was one of the best appetizers). At that point, I decided to head out the door. Total damage with tax and tip for a glass of wine I didn't drink and poor quality fish - $40.

          I decided to head to Del Posto. They don't serve food in the bar (only a few snacks), so they seated me in the Enoteca, which is the dining area off the bar. I had a seat with a view of the main dining room, which is quite grand, with lovely lighting fixtures and huge windows with gorgeous window treatments (as opposed to Scarpetta, which was not visually interesting).

          One nice thing about Del Posto wines by the glass is that you can get a tasting for less money than a glass, which allows you to try more wines. I started with a white (forget which one). It was generously poured and, miracle of miracles, served at the right temperature. It was fruity and nice. Then they brought out a huge assortment of rolls (which were delicious - I decided to sample a piece of each), with a small plate of butter and a small plate of lard (I didn't sample the lard).

          Next I had the orecchiette with lamb. It was perfectly cooked, but there was user error on my part in ordering it. You see I don't really like the taste of meat and rarely eat meat. And well, the pasta tasted "meaty" in light of the lamb. But I hardly cared because the next serving of wine was a red blend from the Bastianich vineyard called "Vespa Rosso." This was a seriously good wine with a lovely bouquet and a wonderful finish.

          For dessert, I had the ricotta cheesecake with strawberries. I wasn't going to order it because I am not really a ricotta kind of dessert person (I tend to prefer more "bombastic" desserts), but my very nice, very attentive Italian waiter was so enthusiastic about it, I decided to give it a try. It turns out that it was one of the best desserts I have ever had - truly, I would return to New York just to eat this dessert at Del Posto. It was so simple (and again I usually prefer bombastic desserts that scream, "look at me"), but so perfect. Just some light ricotta with a few pine nuts and some strawberries on the side sprinkled with strawberry sauce and a few cookie crumbs. Must have been the quality of the ingredients that made it so delectable.

          My waiter kept coming over to make sure everything was good. The wine director came over to make sure the wine was good. Someone in chef's clothing came over to make sure I was happy with the food. And as I was leaving, the hostess ran after me to give me a box of chocolate.

          I felt happy. I felt coddled. Total damage for pasta, two glasses of wine (one of which was good and one of which was great and both of which were served at the correct temperature) and an exquisite dessert - $66 with tax and tip (as opposed to $40 for a glass of cold lemon water masquerading as wine at Scarpetta and a plate of mediocre quality yellowtail).

          Scarpetta seemed to me to be a trendy Meatpacking District restaurant. True, I only had one (mediocre) appetizer at Scarpetta and you can't judge a place by one appetizer, but I just can't get past a restaurant that serves cr-ppy ice cold wine for $16 a glass. Del Posto, by contrast, seems like a real restaurant.

          5 Replies
          1. re: omotosando

            i had that same Sancerre three nights buddy and i both thought it was tasty...if it's not to your taste that's fine of course, but to suggest it's a "10 dollar bottle of wine" or a fleece is just silly...

            Scarpetta is particularly good about letting you try generous tastes of their wines...had you told them your displeasure, they would have given you something else immediately...their wine list is extremely well-chosen and has been always temperature-appropriate when i've been say point-blank that they serve "cr-ppy" wine says more about your own wine preferences than it does about the restaurant...

            i've also had the yellowtail crudo many times and it's always been stellar...i'm not saying that yours wasn't good, but at the very least that's an aberration...

            1. re: Simon

              I was curious about the Sancerre, so checked it out on It retails for $20, which means the restaurant probably got it wholesale for about $13.50 from its distributor - close enough to $10 a bottle.

              1. re: omotosando

                I had a tremendously delicious meal at Scarpetta but I did a lot of research before deciding what to order. And in most of my research, i did not come across the yellowtail as a dish to try. I'm sorry you had a bad experience, but if you are ever willing to give Scarpetta another try, I would highly suggest the polenta with mushrooms and the spaghetti pomodoro. Those dishes are just heavenly.

                1. re: kelea

                  Seconding the polenta and spaghetti pomodoro, and also flagging the capretto--it's delicious (though salty, so if you're not a salt person, it may not be for you).

            2. re: omotosando

              Sorry to hear of your experience, but couldn't disagree more (about Scarpetta at least--I like Del Posto just fine, though tend to go when someone else is paying). I couldn't care less about its being trendy--I find it to be an extremely good value, with a fair number of reasonably priced bottles of wine on the menu, delicious food and attentive service. On my own dime, I'll take Scarpetta pretty much every time.

            3. Scarpetta hands down... agreed w/the rest of the comments. The spend is way less too.