Scarpetta Last Night
So, hubby really wanted pasta last night. Say what you want about Babbo, but the pasta is always perfect. But, did not want to wait until 10:45 or fight for a seat at the bar. I have been wanting to try Scarpetta so made our way over there at 9:00 or so. Waited about 20 min for a seat in the bar. Not too bad. The atmosphere is very nice and the hosts/hostesses were friendly. Many reasonable wine choices which I always appreciate. I ordered the scallop carpaccio and it was fabulous. The hamachi DH ordered was good. I had black bass and it was really good. Now, where it fell down and I am still mad about it, is the pasta. Dh wanted pasta and usually does not eat much meant, so ordered the spaghetti with tomato and basil. For $27!!!!!! It was very bland, way too small and because we felt ripped off, ruined an otherwise wonderful meal. You could say, why order something that sounds so plain, yes. But, why would a top chef put something like that on the menu? Maybe $17 but $27?????? Or, add some hot pepper to it and put on some fresh cheese. At least.
Thanks for listening!
That's too bad, The spaghetti with Tomato and basil is the highlight of our meal whenever we go to Scarpetta. In my view it's exactly what pasta was meant to be (and by that I don't mean bland). It's simple, but the times we've been there they were able to devine every ounce of flavor out of the five ingredients used.
In my view, adding hot pepper or cheese starts bringing the dish down a bit. You begin to lose the true flavor of the ingredients. At that point you might as well go to any red-sauce place in the city.
That's not to say I'm right and you're wrong... I didn't eat there last night, and every place can have a bad night.. I'm just really sorry to hear that you found the spaghetti tomato basil to be bland... as I think it could be their best dish.
Then again, I dislike Babbo for many different reasons... too various to get into here.
What a boring world it would be if we all agreed on everything (I think I'm stealing that line from another CH post somewhere).
Glad you enjoyed most of the dishes...i'm not a big pasta eater so i'll stay out of the spaghetti discussion...but i have really enjoyed the raw scallops and yellowtail starters there in the past...
i haven't been there in a little while and i heard they were changing their menu a bit...what was the preparation on the black bass like?...
I know there are many individual differences in taste and thank goodness for that! Bland is probably a bad word for it. And, to be honest, my husband can eat a whole pound of pasta at one sitting (and he is thin!) so it may have clouded it a bit and he was hungry. You are probably right on the red sauce thing and that was not what we were looking for.
The bass was sauteed with nice, crispy skin on top. It was a very nice, thick portion. Very tender and flavorful. The sauce was excellent and had lobster chunks and mussels in it. A light seafood flavor but not overpowering. A really delicious dish. I gave half of it to DH to
keep him happy!
I simply wouldn't order pasta with tomato/basil sauce for $27, though at any price point, it should never be bland. It doesn't necessarily need hot pepper, though; really great tomatoes and basil, plus garlic sauteed in extra-virgin olive oil and a little salt and pepper (when I've made it at home, I don't even add salt, usually) are all that's necessary. Wine or/and mushrooms are excellent additions, but inessential.