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Scarpetta in Toronto

Anyone know of any additional details about a Scarpetta being opened in Toronto? I saw this a few days ago...

http://eater.com/archives/2009/10/12/...

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  1. After having dinner at Marea in New York this past week, I had a chance to speak to Mark Conant's former partners (Alto, L'Impero etc). The word is that the group will definitely set up shop in a new hotel opening in Toronto next year...I would say The Thompson on Wellington. Personally, never been a big fan of Mark's food. Should be interesting to see how Toronto perceives it's first 'New York big chef' transplanted restaurant. Would much rather see something by Batali!

    3 Replies
      1. re: childofthestorm

        Yes...my mistake! I do mean Scott Conant! I got him confused with Marco Canora.

        1. re: The Macallan 18

          I enjoy Canora's work too! But I'm a fan of Scott Conant's cooking, his simple pasta with tomato sauce is something else. And frankly, Toronto could use an influx of out-of-town talent.

    1. Scarpetta in New York was sublime and Alto was actually even better - it will be great for the Toronto dining scene if that happens.

      5 Replies
      1. re: uhockey

        I went to Scarpetta for my birthday in New York and if this is true, I'd be first in line to check it out in Toronto. Would always welcome more new italian restos in T.O.!

        1. re: uhockey

          do you have any suggestions for toronto right now? i am going tomorrow and it is hard to tell what a person's idea of a good meal is. is applebee's their favorite restaurant? so i would like the opinion of someone who has a more sophisticated appetite. thanks.

          1. re: zoni521

            Ha, I don't think there is anyone on this board who would like Applebee's (and thank god there are no franchises in Canada!).

            estufarian has one of the best fine dining palates on this board, and he just reviewed the new incarnation of Splendido, which had traditionally been one of the best fine dining options in the city:

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/659721

            If you want a bit more casual and less pricey, but still excellent, visit Nota Bene, where the former owner and chef of Splendido went.

            1. re: TorontoJo

              thanks for the link. i checked it out and sent a message to estufarian.

              1. re: TorontoJo

                There used to be an Applebee's in Barrie. I'm not sure if there still is, but it was just as terrible as it is in the States.

          2. Update: Scott Conant will be opening his restaurant in the new Thompson Hotel on King West (which will also house a a 24-hour diner)! This is great news for Toronto.
            http://www.nationalpost.com/story.htm...

            9 Replies
            1. re: toveggiegirl

              Looks like mid-to-late April opening. This is good news from the point of view that a high end restaurant (if it's anything like Scarpetta in Manhattan) is actually opening instead of closing as has been the trend lately. Lets hope this is the beginning of a new trend of revitalization in Toronto.

              1. re: syoung

                Latest news from Toronto Star here:

                http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/....

                Looks like opening end of May.

                1. re: syoung

                  as a future resident of the thomspon hotel/condo development this is something I'm looking forward to -

                  - I haven't eaten at his restaurant in new york so can't comment - but I do like what these influx of hotel openings and their restaurants might be able to accomplish in this city - competition is a good thing!

                  1. re: syoung

                    Amy Pataki killed Scarpetta in the Star. Take it with a grain of salt, as it is a little over the top. Here's the link:

                    http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/...

                    1. re: sloweater

                      I went last weekend and I can't say Amy's too far off the mark. We had some really nervous servers who were clearly not comfortable serving us either food or wine. In general, I thought the food was decent, with some hits and misses. Nice to have gone, not sure I'd be back on my own steam. Would rather go to Buca.

                      Maybe it's just new-opening kinks.

                      -----
                      Buca
                      604 King St. West, Toronto, ON M5V 1M6, CA

                      1. re: jlunar

                        adding also: I went late on a Sunday. Maybe not an excuse, given the calibre of resto, but still, something to take into consideration.

                        1. re: jlunar

                          What did you have? I can tolerate nervous servers but I won't tolerate sub-par food.

                          1. re: Splendid Wine Snob

                            I agree, the nervous server part wasn't the biggest deal. Notable, given the calibre of restaurant we were in though.

                            In short:

                            - Spaghetti (wasn't my thing. sauce too sweet)
                            - Polenta (liked this a lot. mushroom sauce/reduction made this dish. would re-order to share - only b/c it's really rich.)
                            - Beet and Ricotta pasta (interesting. my DC liked it a lot. would re-order to share)
                            - Fritto Misto (well-executed. tasty. reorder)
                            - Waygu tartare (I didn't like the spicing - too strong against the beef imo.)
                            - Lobster pasta (I really liked this one. I'd re-order that one, though my DC disagreed)
                            - The copretta(?) (The young goat dish. wanted it to be more goaty, but that's just my taste. I feel like this was a bit neither here nor there for me. will have to check notes... but that I can't remember seems to back up my tepid opinion).

                            Desserts, I can't remember what they were called, but they were plated really nicely and there were elements that I thought were particularly tasty. Tea was from T in Vancouver. Earl-grey lavender was lovely.

                            Overall - I think the service needs some time to up their game. The food itself isn't bad at all - I just had some high (maybe unrealistic) expectations that went unfulfilled.

                            Unlike AP, I didn't find the tables close-together at all! Thought it was quite well-spaced out.

                            More details later. Need to process photos and whatnot!

                            ---
                            http://www.foodpr0n.com -- food. is. love.

                      2. re: sloweater

                        Wow my experience was nothing like that. I had excellent service when I went a few weeks back.

                2. I think Ms Pataki had a bone to pick w/Mr. Conant, possibly because for some silly reason she got offended by his letter on Huffintonpost...she clearly must have been in an angry mood because her review was so far off its embarrassing.
                  Scarpetta is a top restaurant, not as good as Mario Batali's Bobba in NYC but at least it's in the same league. I'm not even sure we have ANY in that league in TO. Sure, Bucca is good, but the fact the she mentioned Terroni or its smaller cousin in the same breath as Scarpetta means she likely hasn't seen what the top chefs around the world are doing to reinvent "simple" cuisines like Italian. Sure, Italian food can be great simple, but it doesn't HAVE to be simple to be great.....master Batali is evidence of that, and Conant's fine addition to the TO dining scene is at least bringing us in TO closer to having a big leaguer in our backyard. I can't comment on her nailing them on service, as my 2 times there were met with excellent service.
                  Ignore Pataki and give the place a try....it's amazing

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: jmand

                    I usually disagree with Pataki.. and did not find the same things she did when I ate at Scarpetta BUT I was not impressed either.. The Spahgetti was justa silly rip off no flavour and mushy, the goat tasted bitter and burnt, the fish my freind had was OK but again no flavour and the Raw Wagu was just bad.. I was expecting a carpaccio and it was more like a Tartare but with no seasonings.. and the colour was brown not appetzing when you are eating raw beef.

                    The only good thing (great) was the pollenta, but one dish does not make up for $200 of "ok". Everyone I have taked to has said the same thing.. good to try but we will not be going back...

                    Now I am sure they will do fin because right now it is the place to be "seen" but what is going to happen next year when all these other Hotels open? Trump, Shangrala, 4 Seasons, etc all of a sudden I think Bathurst and wellington will feel like a long way to go for "ok" Italian...

                  2. Okay, made my visit recently and here's what I thought (link to photos at the end or: http://bit.ly/cuWo8i).

                    Polenta. Not my favourite thing in the world, but considered one of Scarpetta’s signature dishes and nothing like the fried puck I had been expecting. It was, however, the mushroom sauce that made this dish. A really fragrant and rich broth spooned upon a yellow bowl of creamy cornmeal – a delicious mouthful indeed.

                    The Fritto Misto was executed quite well and included zucchini, eggplant, and calamari. A light hand with the batter was deftly at work here. The fried parsley was an excellent addition.

                    A very different twist on the standard, the Waygu beef tartare had peanuts, truffle oil, cumin, sumac, coriander, and fennel. I felt it was too aggressively spiced and it drowned out the flavour of the beef.

                    Moist-roasted capretto with rapini, pancetta, and potatoes. I wanted this to have a stronger goat flavour, which is likely the unpopular opinion. I also didn’t find this as moist as I’d thought it would be.

                    The highly touted spaghetti is done simply with tomato and basil. While decent, I can’t say that this was the best I’d ever had. I have a different profile of this dish in my mind and felt the sauce was too sweet, and the pasta just a little too soft, for me.

                    The Red beet and smoked ricotta casonsei came in a poppy-seed sauce. An interesting pasta with a little hit of sweetness.

                    Black tagliolini with Nova Scotia lobster, tomatoes, and basil bread crumbs. Very tasty and visually appealing. I liked the flavours melding and clinging to the delicate bands of black pasta. I would order this again.

                    Originally paired with another dish, I requested a separate order of the burnt-orange caramel gelato to try. Lighter in flavour than I was expecting it to be – I think I wanted something with a darker sugar taste that bordered on bitter.

                    On a whim, I ordered the goat cheese cheesecake sided with mango granita and pistachio brittle. The cheesecake was nice and not as “goaty” as I feared it might be. But the brittle, by far, was the best thing on that plate. I could have eaten more of that.

                    The Amaretto Flan was sided with a rosemary roasted apricot and marsala zabaglione gelato. Somehow, I was picturing a light-coloured flan, so this almost chocolate-looking cube surprised me. I do not recall any specific tasting notes on this dessert.

                    Service on the night we went seemed a little nervous – one server in particular seemed like they had had too much caffeine. Not a huge deal in the whole scheme of things, but notable in such an upscale environment. Still, they were just newly opened and it was a Sunday night – all things to factor in.

                    While I was sad the spaghetti didn’t live up to my expectations, I did find the polenta surprisingly delicious. I enjoyed my meal in good company and the food was certainly of good quality. Still, I feel there are many other places to explore and revisit before I would make a return to Scarpetta.

                    Photos, menu, and intro: http://www.foodpr0n.com/2010/09/10/sc...

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: jlunar

                      Wait wait. Before I blow a gasket.. I need to clarify -

                      Is that tiny portion of spaghetti actually going for $23?

                      1. re: radiopolitic

                        A-yep, $23!. Note - if this pasta had been something that showed me something I had been missing, it would have been well-worth the price tag. However, it was distinctly underwhelming, or my notion if spaghetti is a far different one from Connat's.

                    2. Globe and Mail has chimed in with their review.

                      Summary from Joanne Kates:

                      New York superstar chef Scott Conant delivers as promised with Italian food that Toronto has never seen

                      Link :
                      http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/f...

                      20 Replies
                      1. re: ylsf

                        This is Hound SOP. Read Pataki, do the opposite, enjoy. Why does this surprise anyone?

                        Here's what I don't get:
                        Pataki: After a long time sitting at your too-close-for-comfort tables...
                        Kates: ...the big tables are widely spaced apart

                        Which is it?

                        1. re: Googs

                          Maybe they sat in different parts of the restaurant?

                          1. re: Googs

                            The tables are not set close together, and from what I could tell no part of the restaurant appears "crowded". I have no idea what Pataki is talking about. Perhaps she suffers from Agoraphobia.

                            1. re: Splendid Wine Snob

                              To me, that statement invalidates the entire Star review.

                              1. re: Googs

                                Is it possible that the restaurant changed the seating format between Pataki's and Kates' review?? I don't know, but I'm trying to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. I admit though that Pataki's review read in such a manner that seemed too personal and less objectively critical.

                                1. re: Splendid Wine Snob

                                  Every reviewer has their own foibles. Ms. Pataki seems to dislike formal restaurant dining and prefer small ethnic counters; while Ms. Kates seems to have settled into a frame where her personal comfort sets the pace for her tastebuds. I would tend to discount Ms. Pataki if the main costs more than $15; and same for Ms. Kates if there's an ageist intro. Here, I'm assuming a full Pataki write-off, and a partial on Kates as it's one of her first after a summer of her being on the other end of the serving equation.

                                  1. re: Splendid Wine Snob

                                    SWS, while that's kind of you I think it impossible. They would have had to change seating format before Kates dined there AND before the Star photographer shot the room.

                                  2. re: Googs

                                    A friend of mine went with Amy Pataki, and agreed with her review. That's enough for me.

                                    1. re: Googs

                                      I agree with you Googs. And her needing to mention "2 anonymous visits" , well naturally they should be. Her whole style is bad, the letter format was a terrible idea. when i read her over the top bad reviews that reek of personal issues I usually form my own opinion, sight unseen.. A review that bad has no street cred. IMHO

                                    2. re: Splendid Wine Snob

                                      I'm with SWS on this. Tables are set pretty far apart in my opinion - it's one of the first things I noticed walking into the room.

                                      1. re: jlunar

                                        There are a few deuces along the wall to the left when you walk in that are actually very close together. Otherwise, the tables are ridiculously far apart.

                                        1. re: Cat123

                                          This is correct. When I went I was placed at one of these tables to the left and there was barely any room for the waiter to slide in between the tables.

                                      2. re: Splendid Wine Snob

                                        She is talking about the long banquet along the north wall just as you walk in, the ones covered floor to ceiling in ugly vinyl . They have a whole row of tables for two there and they are spaced VERY close together. Every time the table beside us was served foor teh waitresses bum was almost touching our table. The could take out a couple of tables to make it more comfortable. Yet we commented that the rest of the restaurant looked very well (almost too) spread out.

                                        Other issue with teh space is that as cars are exiting the parking lot across the street the headlights shine right into the restaurant. feel sorry for the people who asked for window seats as we were along the back wall and it was distracting to us (there was a fundction that night and is seemed like many parked at that lot and all left at the same time)

                                        1. re: chowspotting

                                          Good to know. I'm glad that some of you could clear up the discrepancy.

                                          1. re: chowspotting

                                            I sat at one of these so called closely spaced deuces and never saw any servers having difficulty navigating the space in between nor did I feel crowded or hear my neighbours conversations. My dining companion agrees.

                                            Perhaps they already removed a table(s)??

                                            Odd.

                                            In any case, I don't usually care where I sit if the food and service are good.

                                            1. re: Splendid Wine Snob

                                              Many restaurants remove tables when they do not have full bookings to make the dining room seem fuller. Susur was a master of this the condo behind would see his staff bringing table to the roof each day at the start of service and then back down at night.

                                              At Scarpetta that side is a lttle tight but not that long just removing one table would have made the difference between cramped and ok..

                                              -----
                                              Susur
                                              601 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V1M5, CA

                                        2. re: Googs

                                          Agreed 100%, to me Pataki's reviews are generally terrible as she always seems to have an axe to grind with any 'fine dining' type place. From personal experience we had a fantastic meal at Scarpetta a few weeks back and was wondering based on her review if Pataki went to the right place. The Globe's review is much closer to our experience if that counts for anything.

                                        3. re: ylsf

                                          and Toronto Life just chimed in as well, although it doesn't appear that the review is available yet for free ... in short, Nutall-Smith invokes the spirit of George Grant in decrying Scarpetta's "branch plant blunders"

                                          1. re: caviartothegeneral

                                            Sorry caviartothegeneral, can you interpret into plain English?

                                            1. re: caviartothegeneral

                                              Toronto Life's review of Scarpetta is online for free now:

                                              http://www.torontolife.com/daily/dail...

                                              They gave it 1 1/2 stars. Ouch.

                                          2. I've now heard my second report from credible sources of walk ups being told they can't even look at the menu or wine list.

                                            Conant seemed a bit of a dick when we ate at the NY location (on the plus side he was actually in the house) visiting a table of poorly behaved VIPs (loud and constant cursing) then not even slowing down to acknowledge other diners as he went back to the kitchen but the stories I have heard about the outright rudeness coming out of the Toronto location has pretty much put me off.

                                            No place is so good it justifies the arrogance this place has been emitting,

                                            6 Replies
                                            1. re: bytepusher

                                              Really?
                                              That is bad form for a chef! Can't stand that arrogant attitude! And I was thinking of going there for a friend's birthday later this month....
                                              Hmm!

                                                1. re: Herb

                                                  For NY, not Toronto, there are differences

                                                  1. re: bytepusher

                                                    When you click on the "menu" button on this page on the right side, is that not it?

                                                    http://www.thompsonhotels.com/hotels/...

                                                    1. re: abigllama

                                                      And if you want a printed menu, I took shots of them here:
                                                      http://www.flickr.com/photos/jlunar/4...

                                                      I haven't compared if they match online or if there are changes.

                                                      1. re: abigllama

                                                        Corrected, thanks. Either that is a recent change or I was confusing the food menu with the wine list which is not online for Toronto.

                                                2. dinner at Scarpetta about 10 days ago (just got back home to computer...) so hopefully I remember everything properly.

                                                  Venue: tables weren't close together. We were seated at a two-top along the wall, the end one so only had a table on one side of us. It wasn't too close, maybe 3 feet away, enough room that a server could easily get in, far enough away that though you could hear neighbour's talking it wasn't obtrusive. Biggest issues were lighting -- way too dark, could barely read menu - and place mats on table were so small that servers had a hard time placing plates on them. They would have to put an edge on the cutlery, then adjust everything. They joked about it, said they have complained to management, etc... not a huge issue, and they handled it well, but kind of a silly mistake on someone's part.

                                                  Food: great to very good. Started with polenta and raw waygu. Both were spectacular, and I'm not a huge polenta fan but this dish might convert me. For pasta course I had beet casonsei which was very flavourful but oddly textured. It might have something to do with how it has to be prepared, maybe it is stuffed and baked, I don't know, but it had a bit of a crust almost. Minor complaint though. Wife had pheasant tortelli that was just OK. Kind of bland, though the capon broth was yummy but not enough to make it a complete success. For mains, wife had veal which was also extremely good. I had the ash-roasted venison. It was perfectly executed, rare to the point of just being warm (which is how I like it) but flavour was strange. Not a mistake, that's just the way burnt cinammon and juniper taste...but it is an acquired taste and not one I will probably acquire! Came with savoy cabbage and spaetzle, which took it out of the realm of Italian food... Desserts were the goat cheese cake with mango granita (mango was a bit overpowering) and an apple tart (really good). Overall, an extremely good meal. Portion sizes were perfect - some might seem a bit small for price (pastas) but not bad - so you could actually do the full four courses and not be too stuffed. Well fed, but able to still walk...

                                                  Service: not flawless but only very very minor glitches (such as the issue mentioned above with placing the plates). And any little misstep - and when I say little, I mean little, such as with the pasta course the server had dishes in wrong hands so put mine down first - came with a very sincere apology. In that case, which we barely noticed, he apologized for serving the male before the female! Not at all stuffy though - it was a fun evening. And when asked for a wine recommendation that might work with all courses, rec was a very inexpensive ($65) bottle that was quite good (I had been thinking I was willing to spend up to about $150 so was very happy!)

                                                  So, overall, a great experience all around and would defintely go back or recommend. I couldn't help comparing to Mistura, where I had been a few nights earlier and this beat it by a couple of notches (especially in the service area).

                                                  -----
                                                  Mistura
                                                  265 Davenport Rd, Toronto, ON M5R1J9, CA

                                                  11 Replies
                                                  1. re: Dan G

                                                    but how did the final price compare to Mistura?

                                                    1. re: chowspotting

                                                      Scarpetta was a bit cheaper. I think the bills were very close to the same $ figure, but at Scarpetta we had 4 courses and I had a dessert wine, both of us had coffee/tea. At Mistura we started with martinis, but only had 3 courses (portions were larger, so no room for dessert) and a more expensive bottle of wine, no dessert wine or coffee. So comparable. Overall, I think Scarpetta was better value - Mistura portions larger but to the point of not being able to eat it all so why bother.

                                                      -----
                                                      Mistura
                                                      265 Davenport Rd, Toronto, ON M5R1J9, CA

                                                      1. re: Dan G

                                                        A question to those who have gone to Scarpetta:

                                                        I have to go this Friday. I don't want to overdose on carbs, and would otherwise go for the polenta and spaghetti, based on reviews here. Any suggestions on which is better and why, and what non-starch primi is best are really appreciated!

                                                        1. re: Yum2MyTum

                                                          The fritto misto was good (though is covered in yummy, fried, starch) and definitely get the polenta. Creamy and mushroomy. Very tasty.

                                                          I would pass on the pasta - I find it really mushy or over-cooked or something. Overall, disappointing on that front.

                                                          1. re: Yum2MyTum

                                                            The polenta is really, really rich and quite a large portion. Very filling. You'll want to have a nap afterwards!

                                                            I liked the short rib starter, too, but that comes with faro (a grain) but lots of veggies.

                                                            1. re: Yum2MyTum

                                                              The polenta and fritto misto were the only two dishes I would go back for. The spaghetti was ok but over all a letdown.

                                                              1. re: Yum2MyTum

                                                                Thanks jlunar, Herb and JennaBean. Looks like I'll get the polenta and... maybe that's it. Or perhaps just the short rib starter then. I wonder if I will get weird looks... thanks again for your replies! I'll report back.

                                                                1. re: Yum2MyTum

                                                                  Better than not being able to finish. Not really a doggy-bag kinda place. Order dessert!

                                                                  1. re: Herb

                                                                    yes, desserts were pretty good! I liked the pistachio brittle ring on the goat cheesecake best. Also, cheesecake was not as goaty as you'd think. Looking back at my notes/post, I also liked the black tagliolini of all the pastas.

                                                                    http://www.foodpr0n.com -- food. is. love.

                                                                    1. re: jlunar

                                                                      Hi all, we collectively ordered polenta and short ribs to start, scallops (a starter) and the seabream as mains, and shared the coconut panna cotta as dessert.

                                                                      The polenta was luscious. Creamy and tasty on its own, it served as a great foil for the (heavily) truffle-scented mushrooms. Very rich dish. Glad I ordered a starter - scallops (okay) - instead of a main. The fish and the ribs were salted with a heavy hand. Aside from this, they were solid enough.

                                                                      The panna cotta was the surprise of the night. Delicious! great texture, subtle coconut flavouring and perfectly complemented with a fruit / passion fruit? "soup" and some fresh coconut ice cream. We both loved this.

                                                                      Overall I'd say it was a decent dinner but moderately to very overpriced for what you get.

                                                                      1. re: Yum2MyTum

                                                                        I hope this incarnation of scarpetta will not set the bar for the rest of the restaurants that are slated to open in new fancy hotels: OK-end food for High-end prices. that would be so sad

                                                        2. Just to reiterate what others have said, the spaghetti is awful. Duck & foie ravioli were pretty good. Branzino was overcooked, sicilian duck was quite nice (though the duck was not as nice as French grocery store duck, and we only got it properly cooked on the second attempt). The polenta and fritti misto were both quite nice as starters, though the polenta was quite heavy (it went back unfinished, not because it wasn't tasty, but because the serving was simply too much given what was to follow). The fritti misto wasn't really remarkable, given that there are plenty of restaurants where you can get a similar dish cooked just as well, but it was tasty nonetheless.

                                                          1. I've been to Scarpetta 4 or 5 times since it opened. While I disliked the style in which Pataki's review was presented, I found it far more accurate than Joanne Kate's article. We were always a group of 4 to 6, so had a booth or table - tables where we were seated were all in seperate postal codes they were so far apart.

                                                            I would say, overall the wait service was good, the food was mediocre (some highlight, many low lights) and overall, not worth paying for. This topped off by the ever haughty, look down your nose attitude provided by the hostess (front desk at the restaurant) staff who seemed to believe their control over the reservation book was in some way directly related to running the world.

                                                            The overwhelming flavour that my dining companions and I found on every visit and with most dishes was salt. It's as if someone had played a cruel high school prank in the diner and loosened the salt shaker tops and the poor unsuspecting soul who wanted a little bit of flavour got the whole shakerful on his meal.

                                                            I agree with others about the lovely creaminess of the polenta. I agree about it being a signature dish. The polenta itself was not over cooked, it had a melt in your mouth buttery-ness and very flavourful. Then the mushroom sauce was added. On it's own, the mushroom sauce had very nice sized pieces of mushrooms in it, it was a lovely golden brown colour, it smelled heavenly. Then it was lovingly spooned onto the polenta by the very attentive wait staff. The first loving spoonful - salt! Salt, salt, salt. That was the only thing I could taste. I have ordered this dish every time I've been to Scarpetta; after the second time, I began requesting the mushroom sauce not be spooned onto the polenta; I enjoyed the dish much more this way.

                                                            The short ribs - short on any flavour other than salt. Also, I realize it is an appetizer portion, but 2oz of short rib on 6oz of farro (that is what the proportions looked like to me) for $14 is over the top. Sever of my dining companions over the visits had the beef short ribs and concurred with my assessment.

                                                            The scallops were quite good - not over cooked which is easy to do. The fritto misto, also very good - not at all greasy, not too salty and if anything, too big a portion.

                                                            The duck foie gras ravioli - ease up on the salt *just a little bit* just a little! and it would be divine perfection, The pasta was perfectly cooked, the duck flavourful, a fabulous dish over all, just short of a 10+ because of the salt. Despite it's $23 price tag, I did not feel like I overpaid for the 4 (I am 98% sure it was 4) lovely pillows of ravioli, unlike the short rib experience.

                                                            I have not had either the spaghetti or the taglioni with lobster, but on 3 of my visits, at least one person from the table ordered each of these. The taglioni consensus was that the lobster was cooked well, but otherwise a very bland dish. The spaghetti was universally reviled. According to the guests who ordered it, the pasta did not taste freshly made, the sauce had a tinny taste to it and it was salty. A vegetarian friend of mine who eats a lot of pasta at business dinners described this dish as "one level above Chef Boyardee straight out of the can"

                                                            The beef sirloin - very well done; tender - I'd order this dish again.
                                                            The capretto (goat) - gawdawful. Hands down one of the worst dishes I have ever had (and I love a good roast goat). This was some sort of stew looking thing. The sauce on it looked like some sort of orange hunan glaze from the take out Chinese place in any neighborhood, but it tasted like salt. I have no idea what it was supposed to taste like; it just tasted like salt. And it was so overcooked/tough. I have never had a tougher piece of meat (actually is was a plateful of bitesize pieces, but still); I believe the phrase "tastes like shoe leather" was specifically coined for this dish.

                                                            On the other hand, the branzino (sea bass) was *perfectly* executed - perfectly cooked, good portion size, not at all salty (YAY!!). If I am forced to eat at Scarpetta again, this is the main I would go to. Fortunately, the Scarpetta novelty seems to have worn off amongst associates and friends. Hopefully I will not have to return any time soon

                                                            Desserts - I amm not a big dessert person, so I can offer no reasonable commentary except to say the table would typically share a few. Everyone seemed to be reasonably satisfied.

                                                            Enjoy!