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Sep 10, 2009 11:59 AM

Scarpetta or Market Table?

For a romantic meal, early on a Monday, which would you recommend, and why?
we have appetizer and dessert arranged elsewhere, - looking for main dish and wine, for $150 total. Is that "legal" and realistic at either of these places? thank you!

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  1. While I haven't eaten at Market Table, our meal at Scarpetta was unbelieveable -- I would absolutely recommend it to anyone, and it might be tight, I think depending on the wine you might get out for your $150 and change.

    2 Replies
    1. re: a213b

      thank you - how loud wasScarpetta's ? How crowded togetther are the tables? And when did you go - weekend- or ?

      1. re: angelaangel

        I can't remember exactly when we went, but we walked in around 9 and were treated so well, both in terms of service and in terms of food. It was certainly not too loud, and I don't recall the tables being any closer together than any other NYC restaurants ... I remember feeling like we had plenty of room.

    2. i have not been to scarpetta but from my impressions and reviews, they are polar opposites. market table isnt really a destination sort of restaurant. ive been there maybe 5x. i like it more for the location and crowd rather than the food to be perfectly honest. most of my meals have come in around $120-140 depending on wine.

      3 Replies
      1. re: sam1

        Was the $120-140 for one person, or for two?
        One source (there are no prices shown on the MT online menu) is advising that each dinner entree is $50 or over - is that right?
        And what is the crowd like at Market Table?
        It seems that you like MT ok - but do you find the MT food somehwat ordinary - or over priced or - ?
        In a weird kind of way I sometimes think a destination restaurant esp a new one (to us) on a special occasion, can be a bit nerve-racking -(admittedly, I lead a sheltered life!), b/c it may never live up to (hyped) expectation.(there's alot riding on the silkiness of that polenta etc...) . One of the best meals I had recently (meaning how much I enjoyed it) was in Boston at Eastern Standard (the pork porterhouse). It's by no means the "finest" cooking in town, the most innovative or the artfully presented, and not a hot new place in town either, it was not life-changing, or a revelation - but - and this is important - I liked it. Homey style cooking; nice suroundings, pleasant service, no need to remortgage. Thats the kind of thing I was hoping Market Table is like (at least early on a Monday)..
        Thank you.

        1. re: sam1

          I've been to Market Table twice, and have been moderately disappointed both times. Pleasant enough location, great space, but there's something just slightly off in the food... Given this thread, I'm now looking forward to trying Scarpetta!

          1. re: Harlan

            I've been to Market Table once before and didn't find a reason to hurry back.

        2. The prices are in the same range but as far as I am concerned, there is no comparison and I would definitely choose Scarpetta. The tables are not too crowded nor is it exceptionally loud, whereas MT suffers from both these problems.

          4 Replies
          1. re: rrems

            Thank you - I've got to say - your comments (I think it was you) on Aldea are convincing me that-away. New American and Portuguese - both appealing - and the price points look appealing too!
            RE: Aldea:
            Is Aldea a pleasant fairly quiet place for a romantic dinner for two? (early on Monday night)
            Are the servings teeny-tiny toy food or "real food"?
            We like goat; and duck; also pork and clam combo - any particular menu recommendtions?

            1. re: angelaangel

              Just went to Aldea last night. It's real food, affordable, i wouldn't say romantic exactly but still somewhat conducive for good conversation. Food was good, but didn't blow me away. The favorite on the menu was the duck and chorizo dish which came abit like a paella. I had the scallops which came with a risotto - scallops were excellent, risotto was not. I liked the mackarel as an appetizer.

              1. re: dayzzd

                Thank you - I saw a photo, it does looks a streamlined and modern rather than romantic exactly.

              2. re: angelaangel

                I would put Aldea and Scarpetta on the same level, though just comparing the goat I strongly prefer Aldea's version. The pork and clams are great, and the duck is a winner too. Servings are fairly generous. If you go to Aldea, see if you can get one of the booths for 2, or a table for 2 upstairs, rather than a table along the banquette downstairs.

            2. I haven't been to Market Table, but Scarpetta is amazing!!! they have a great italian menu that isn't soooooooo Italian, the food is delish. Great place!

              5 Replies
              1. re: erikam

                thank you - what did you have, and how much was it? (no prices on the online menu) . How was the service? Romantic kind of place?

                1. re: angelaangel

                  I'll be the voice of dissent on Scarpetta -- we went for our first wedding anniversary and didn't find it to be intimate or romantic. It's on a busy corner in the Meatpacking district, and I feel like that carries on inside. I could be alone on this. However, we went at primetime on a Friday night, whereas you are going early on a Monday, so you may have better luck. In any case -- please report back!

                  1. re: chompchomp

                    Thank you for this - good to have all opinions! I did click on Yelp - not as uniquely dedicated a foodie site as CH, but a few posters there bring up just the kind of things you do here. Also the hype-hype hurt.
                    Early on a Monday works (I hope) towards relative quietness wherever we go. Somebody must like Market,location, ambiance

                      1. re: angelaangel

                        Oh, I wish I could say I did. I know I am outnumbered in this regard on Chowhound, but I found it mostly pretty good, but definitely not amazing.

                2. Sorry I can't help you with Market Table. We've been to Scarpetta twice, and the food is delicious! However, while I like the ambiance, I don't think it's romantic. I also agree that Aldea's food is wonderful. But, again, though I think the designers have done a marvelous job with what is a rather difficult space, I'd hesitate to call it romantic.

                  Since it appears you are willing to consider alternatives to Scarpetta and Market Table, and keeping in mind that you need a restaurant which serves an a la carte menu since you are having appetizers and dessert elsewhere, two places you might want to consider are Tocqueville and Adour Alain Ducasse. Both have very elegant decor and, imo, romantic ambiance. In the case of Adour, there are two "insets" in the main dining area, each of which has a table for two, which I think adds a feeling of coziness. Both, of course, have excellent cuisine. Staying within your bugdet will depend on exactly which dishes you order and on what you drink.


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: RGR

                    Thank you - Tocqueville especially looks appealing.