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Scarpetta...intimate dining?

c
cbean Apr 14, 2009 12:48 PM

Is anyone aware if Scarpetta has any sections or booths that are good for smaller parties for a more intimate dining experience?

Or does the entire restaurant lend to that atmosphere?

  1. steve h. Apr 14, 2009 01:33 PM

    funny you should mention that.
    there's a killer little right angle booth on the left in the dining room proper as you enter. it's my favorite table. couples only.

    2 Replies
    1. re: steve h.
      p
      planetjess Apr 14, 2009 02:49 PM

      That's the very table I had for my perfect birthday dinner there last month--I agree, request it if they let you if you're a couple. The room is rimmed with booth seating, so your chances are good to great for a booth in any case, particularly if you're a party of four. Not sure once you get up around eight--those parties were seated at the tables in the middle when I was there, but I think you could probably request the tables along the back wall if you don't want to be in the center of the room.

      If it's a larger party or the restaurant won't let you request that table, fret not--the lighting is either natural/soft (before sundown, I'd call it sun-dappled) or hazily dim after dark, the noise level is what I'd call cozy (not uncomfortably hushed) and I think the dining room is a great balance of airy and intimate. Love this place.

      1. re: planetjess
        steve h. Apr 14, 2009 03:11 PM

        "love this place."

        me too.

    2. Slob Apr 14, 2009 02:38 PM

      We went a couple weeks ago, and the whole place had an intimate vibe. There was good separation between the tables and some nice high booths. There was no feeling of being cramped or having strangers on top of you as you eat. Dimly lit. Very nice vibe there.

      1. r
        rrems Apr 14, 2009 04:03 PM

        I love Scarpetta, but I don't think of it as intimate. I don't know what the others are talking about regarding spacing and booths. There are no "booths". There is a banquette running around 3 sides of the room, with a few high dividers along its length. The only table that approximates a booth is the one steve h. refers to, as it is at the end of the banquette and there is a divider on the other side of it . it is definitely the table to get if you are just 2. There are also 2 2-tops that are not on a banquette but are against a wall and feel a bit more private There is not a great deal of separation between tables, and if you get a noisy group next to you (and the restaurant does get noisy at times), you will feel their presence.

        4 Replies
        1. re: rrems
          p
          planetjess Apr 14, 2009 04:35 PM

          rrems--I think that what we're "talking about" is a difference in terminology re: what constitutes a "booth"--you're absolutely right that the booths along the walls are, with the exception of the above-specified table, probably more properly referred to as "banquettes"--that is, cushiony seats along the wall and chairs away from the wall--and even that table is two seats at a right angle to each other with no "wall" separating the next table down. These are not diner style booths, where both sides are on cushiony benches--but then again, that type of booth seating pretty much doesn't exist at Manhattan restaurants except for, well, diners and a few restaurants like Ouest that have circular booths that seat four to six (and are hard to reserve unless you have a party of four to six--judging from another thread started by the OP, I think what we're talking about here is a party of two for the OP's anniversary). I stick by my characterization of Scarpetta as intimate--compared to many other restaurants in the city, I don't feel crammed in at the banquette seating (I think the tables are generously sized), and I think that if you get a noisy group next to you at just about any restaurant, you're unfortunately going to feel their presence whether there's one or six feet between tables and dividers less than six feet high. YMMV. I've been there a few times now on both weekday and weekend evenings, both times in the presence of quite large groups (about 18 in the middle of the room last time), and at no point did the noise level climb above a mellow din that did not interfere with my normal volume conversation in the least, but it sounds like you've had a different experience--sorry for that.

          For comparison's sake--from the other thread, it appears as though the OP was also, at least at one point, considering Babbo. Compared to Babbo, the sound levels I have experienced at Scarpetta have been monastery-like and the seating for two-tops more than generous. I love Babbo too, but even on the off-chance that neither the kitchen nor the FOH have elected to set the music to "blast", it can get frenetic in there and it's perma-packed. I'm not trying to say that the choice is between Babbo-crazy or nothing, but more that some restaurants are more conducive than others for diners to create intimacy at their tables--I definitely feel like Scarpetta falls in this category.

          1. re: planetjess
            Slob Apr 14, 2009 07:51 PM

            Excellent description, planetjess.

            1. re: planetjess
              r
              rrems Apr 14, 2009 08:06 PM

              I don't disagree. I think Scarpetta is a fine place for a special occasion, but wanted to give the OP a clearer picture of the ambience. Frankly, I think Babbo is quieter, at least from my experiences (always in the upstairs room) and has more widely spaced tables, but I like the food at Scarpetta more.

              1. re: rrems
                p
                planetjess Apr 15, 2009 05:55 AM

                Fair point--I agree that the upstairs room at Babbo is somewhat quieter than the downstairs (though beware that music!). I do still think it's louder than Scarpetta, and note that there is only table seating (no banquettes or otherwise) in the upstairs room at Babbo, plus I think you'd have a harder time with a special request for a particular table at Babbo.

          2. c
            cbean Apr 14, 2009 08:08 PM

            Thank you all very much. They will take a request like that, for a certain table? Do I have a shot?

            1 Reply
            1. re: cbean
              r
              rrems Apr 14, 2009 08:20 PM

              Call them and see. I've found them to be pretty accommodating and would think if you tell them it's a special occasion and this is important to you they will attempt to satisfy.

            2. c
              cbean Apr 16, 2009 08:12 AM

              10pm res. at Scarpetta for that Saturday...no promise for the requested table though. But I am very ok with that. I cannot wait!

              1 Reply
              1. re: cbean
                Slob Apr 16, 2009 09:42 AM

                cbean, You will have an excellent meal. And if you are lucky enough to have the same server that we did you will have an incredible overall experience.

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