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Apr 20, 2009 01:48 PM

Scarpetta - Ultra Quick Review

Third visit, third excellent meal.

Scott Conant was supposed to have been there, but wasn't by the time we left.

Third time I've missed him.

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  1. I liked the dishes we had at Scarpetta, but not the meal

    Maybe it's our ordering, but amongst us we ordered and shared tastes, and everything we had tasted pretty much the same: everything was based on or finished with a meat stock reduction. I love that rich meaty consomme taste.... but on everything? We walked away muttering "one trick pony"

    9 Replies
    1. re: acidity

      I didn't notice that at all. I thought everything was delicious and had a distinct flavor. Maybe my palate isn't all that refined though.

      1. re: acidity

        "one trick pony"??...hardly...

        there is nothing one-note about a meal that starts w/ caponata/marscapone-butter/dense-green-olive-oil and assorted yummy breads...then maybe proceeds to, say, an asparagus soup w/ mussels and spring veggies or a yellowtail crudo...is followed by a pasta w/ rabbit and mint or a squid ink pasta w/ sea urchin...and concludes it's savory courses w/ something like slow-cooked goat or perfectly prepared black cod w/ carmelized fennel...

        if you go back, i'd recommend chatting w/ the server (or bartender, it's a great place to eat at the bar) and telling them that you found your previous meal a bit too repetitive in terms of meat stocky taste, and i'm sure they'll recommend some more varied options/sequences...the servers and bartenders tend to be very knowledgable about the food and will always consult a manager or the kitchen if a second opinion is needed...

        thinking about the menu, i can sort of understand how you might have had that impression if you'd ordered, say: beef short ribs, the creamy polenta, and the goat...and since those are popular dishes, i can see how others might have had the same experience...

        if you feel like it, i'd say give them a second chance sometime and mix it up a bit...especially at the bar, because stopping in and sharing a dish or two and couple glasses of wine is a good way to sample their menu (thus, my somewhat bizarre familiarity with the menu -- hehe)

        1. re: Simon

          it's a good bar. hard to lay off the chips.

          1. re: steve h.

            yeah, i usually ask them to move the chips away: with all the great breads, caponata, and multiple courses, i don't want to be thrown off course...

          2. re: Simon

            OK, fair enough. I don't tend to enjoy mixing meat and fish so perhaps I'll try an all fish meal there. (and I gotta say, when you said rabbit, I salivated meat stock! heheh)

            1. re: acidity

              pastas are pretty good, too. try the agnoletti.

              1. re: steve h.

                Yes, the pastas we ordered were good! and all good and smothered in meat stock reductios!

              2. re: acidity

                cool...if you go, report back -- i'd be interested to hear your second impression...

                even though when i go there i usually eat more seafood, vegetables, and/or dishes w/ just a touch of meat (i.e. a soup w/ a small amt of fresh sausage in it), i can sort of understand your issue w/ the stock similarity...while i've enjoyed both the goat and duck, neither are among my favorites...

                i went to Scarpetta a lot this fall and early winter, but i hadn't been in a while, mainly because i'd gone there so often that i'd eaten all my fav things too many times (and also because my absolute fav item, the ceci soup, had been seasonally rotated off the menu)...but i went back recently and the food was great (esp the asparagus soup and the black cod)...that meal was an all-seafood/veggies meal...

                sidenote on the rabbit: i did notice that rabbit/mint pasta has been changed from a pasta course to an appetizer course and that spaetzle is now filling in for the pasta they used before (i forget which kind it was)...

          3. We were there last May. We were immensely underwhelmed.

            1. Really glad you enjoyed it--I have had unforgettable experiences there recently.

              1. Those chips with the herbs are darn good. If you aren't at the bar, and you want a bowl and ask, they'll bring you some.

                My two guests (from Providence, R.I. ) loved how different the food at Scarpetta was from what they have up their way.

                My only complaint - would like more entree selections.