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Aug 7, 2012 09:24 PM

Scarpetta anyone?

I recently saw a segment of The Best Thing I Ever Ate that featured Scott Conants restaurant
Scarpetta in New York. It featured "Tim" from the Chopped show. His best meal was spaghetti
with a marinara type sauce. They showed the preparation and it did look very enticing. Since it
would be a long heavy traffic laden drive to get to the Beverly Hills location of this restaurant from the San Gabriel valley, I'm just wondering if there are any comments out there either pro or con for making this trip and for paying $24 for a meatless spaghetti dish . And if you have been to this
restaurant, what else might you recommend.

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    1. re: ipsedixit

      Thank you for that. I think the brunch is the perfect answer.

      1. re: SoozyQ

        If you are going for the Sunday buffet then you might as well save a good sized pile of money by clicking here:

        1. re: Servorg

          Thanks for this. I've been wanting to try Scarpetta. Got an anniversary coming up... That brunch looks amazing!

          1. re: Servorg

            Thank you so much for that. Great savings and looks like it will be well worth it.

            1. re: Servorg

              It is a great deal unless you have kids in your party. It's $35 for kids ages 4 through 12. I guess we'll have to ditch ours somewhere.

              That is a great brunch deal that everybody should take full advantage of.

              1. re: Servorg

                We have Scarpetta here in Las Vegas, but this Sunday Brunch deal has me intrigued. Can you buy multiple TravelZoo vouchers and use them on the same visit (i.e., can both my wife and I receive the discount)?

                1. re: TravelScholar

                  You have to buy a discount voucher for each person...(but I like the way you think).

                2. re: Servorg

                  Thanks Servorg! I've been meaning to go, but with the hefty almost $70 price tag, put it off. Got the voucher and will go soon!

                  1. re: Servorg

                    Thank you for the info. We got the deal from travelzoo and went to Scarpetta for the buffet yesterday. I am so glad we did not pay full price. We were totally disappointed. The food was very disappointing all except the deserts which were a little better. The spaghetti that started my whole quest in the first place was good but i think the Marcella Hazan recipe that I prepare often is better. The oysters were the size of a dime and the minionette sauce was just vinegar and chopped shallots nothing special. The porchetta was nothing more than long cooked pork (no crispy skin) that when carved just fell apart on the plate. Just soso with not much taste. My serving of roast beef was 50% fat and the meat appeared to have been standing for a while. The roasted cauliflower and fingerlings were undercooked, hence no carmelization that makes the roasting of cauliflower so wonderful. The potatoes were sliced and not seasoned judging by the taste. They had frozen french fries. The shrimp which I happened to catch a fresh serving of were plump and well cooked. They were served with a plain chile sauce that seemed to have been poured right out of the bottle. When my husband went to get a pancake, there were only 2 in the chafing dish and they were both stuck to the bottom of the dish. The mac and cheese was good, not terrific. We had arrived a little early so we went to the bar to wait for our table. I ordered a bloody mary. It was $14
                    which would have been okay had it been a good bloody mary. It was awful. Some watered down tomato juice, I assume there was some vodka in there but couldn't taste it and then some horseradish that hardly had a bite. It was served with a slice of lime and a big stick of celery. The drink had no other seasonings not even salt. My husband belongs to a veterans organization and on Sundays they serve a $2 bloody mary all day. It is so so much better, tastier, well seasoned than the one I had at Scarpetta.
                    I'm glad I went and satisfied my craving but I am even more glad that Servorg turned us on to the discount. Had I paid full price I would have really felt ripped off.
                    Just had to get this out there. Sorry for the rant.

                    1. re: SoozyQ

                      Wow, thanks for the report SoozyQ. The brunch looked so good on paper and had been so talked up on this board (and this thread). I'm sorry it was disappointing. Did it seem at all like it was just an off-day? I know going there only once it'd be hard to judge, but sometimes one can tell based on the staff or the atmosphere or other tangible or intangible signs that one's not getting the best that the restaurant has to offer...

                      1. re: PeterCC

                        I believe in comparing like to like. So, if I'm reviewing a buffet then I will likely compare against another one that I feel is similar in scope and quality. I think that the buffet at the Doheny 4 Seasons is one of the best buffets I've ever had, and that's comparing it against the one at the Sierra Cafe in in the Universal Hilton and the one at the Loews Beach Hotel in Santa Monica and the Queen Mary Buffet. We will be going again, since I too bought two discount coupons, and will post my thoughts afterward.

                        1. re: PeterCC

                          I really don't know if being an off day had anything to do with the food. The service was good but at one time, I went to get a plate and had to wait about 5 mins for them to bring out clean plates. I had to mention to one of the employees as he rushed by that there were no clean plates. They were very busy. But I can't imagine the food being any different from one Sunday to the next. We don't frequent buffets often so I don't have much to compare this one to. But, overall, I think for what they charge, they should surely offer better than frozen french fries at least. I am glad we went and it was a nice experience in spite of my disappointment. They had a good jazz trio that we enjoyed and I loved the fresh squeezed orange juice which them managed to refill often.

                          1. re: SoozyQ

                            What time were you there? Did you see an Asian guy waiting for plates at the same time? Might have been me. :)

                            I thought the brunch was quite good and worth the price of the voucher. Not sure I would've been quite as happy paying full price. However, I ate mostly seafood, leg of lamb, spaghetti, seafood, dessert, cheese, the made to order items from the menu, and seafood. So...

                              1. re: TravelScholar

                                Yes I did see someone fitting your description waiting for plates. Our reservations were for 1:00. The cheese station seemed to be the most popular but we didn't opt for that. We also didn't order any special items which might have been an error on our part. I don't know if it was because of the time of day but they didn't seem to keep up on the buffet items and things seemed to have been sitting for some time. I did luck out when the girl brought out the fresh shrimp. But, as I said before, the oysters were a joke. They were the size of a dime if even that. There were no crab legs as advertised. I agree that I wasn't as disappointed because we had purchased the voucher as opposed to paying full price. Then I would have been really upset. In addition, the service was less than spot on and we were still charged 20% tip. My husband had to wait 5 minutes for a coffee refill and then had to motion to another server to bring the refill. I drank my water and the glass was never refilled. When I got up for another plate, the dirty plate was still on the table when I returned and that was after the 5 min wait for clean plates. I would expect a little more in the way of service being that we were automatically charged the 20%.

                                1. re: SoozyQ

                                  Ha! Yup, that was probably me, then. Our booking was at 12:30.

                                  The made-to-order items were fantastic...probably the best french toast rendition I've ever had. The eggs benedict was brilliant with the truffle. And the creamy polenta egg made me like polenta, which I normally do not.

                                  1. re: TravelScholar

                                    Normally I don't enjoy polenta either but I love it at Scarpetta....

                                  2. re: SoozyQ

                                    I've been twice (both on special holiday weekends and the price was $88/pp! - ouch!). The shining stars of the buffet, IMO, are the made-to-order items.

                            1. re: SoozyQ

                              How awful!!!

                              I really cannot stand a "gussied up" brunch at a fancy hotel where they make absolutely no effort to do things right. Your post captures that experience in spades.

                              I loved Scarpetta 2 years ago in NYC - enough to go twice on a relativley short trip. My one experience in Beverly Hills was fair-to-poor. I doubt Scott Conant and his team spend anytime at all in BH.

                              1. re: SoozyQ

                                THANK YOU.
                                you just saved me a ton of money.
                                was ready to bring a party of 8 there, will now pivot to another location.
                                THANKYOU THANK YOU THANK YOU

                            2. re: SoozyQ

                              Had the brunch at Scarpetta last weekend and it was wonderful. The Beverly Hills Cheese Store alone makes it worth it. They will custom make cheese plates for each table based on your likes and dislikes. Their poached egg and polenta dish is one of the best egg dishes I've ever had (and it's made to order). Their signature pasta is made fresh every few minutes. Leg of lamb, Porchetta, Oysters, shrimps and raw bar! Best brunch in the city.

                              1. re: wienermobile

                                I've been impressed with just about everything on their made to order menu! The poached egg/polenta is my absolute favorite with the waffle being another 'must order'.

                                I wasn't that impressed with the pasta at the buffet, surprisingly.

                            3. re: ipsedixit

                              Has anyone used the travelzoo deal? The fine print said you can't make reservation through open table. Does that mean we have to call and let them know we are using the coupon before hand?

                              1. re: endyyy

                                I think you just need to show them the coupon when your wait person comes up to the table to take your drink order.

                                1. re: endyyy

                                  I'm guessing they want to know how many vouchers they will be redeeming that day beforehand. I'd say, play it safe and call - since it expressly says OpenTable reservations will not be honored.

                                2. re: ipsedixit

                                  Finally checked out the Sunday Brunch with the Travelzoo voucher. Without the travelzoo discount, I probably would have never checked out the brunch, but had I paid full price, I would have been very upset.

                                  I'm not sure if it's because they are getting a lot of travelzoo customers, but many of the food choices that were part of the Sunday brunch weren't available. Most notably, the fresh oysters, the snow crab legs, whole roasted branzino, the leg of lamb, and the epoisses cheese. I get that some of these items may be seasonal (ie. the crab legs), but if you aren't going to serve a specific item, you should substitute it with something else that's comparable. It is unacceptable to not have 4-5 of your main food items that people come for and still charge the same price, because I'm sure there were people eating there that were paying the full price. Or better yet, don't offer discounted deals if you are going to be cheap about it and not carry the more expensive items that you normally do.

                                  The service was also lackluster. We had to wait over 10 minutes for our coffee and even had to ask twice because our waiter probably forgot. The waiter rarely checked in with us w/o us having to waive him down. And to top it off, they add a 20% auto gratuity on every check, no matter the size of your party.

                                  Having said that, most of the a la carte items from the menu were very good, especially the polenta.

                                  1. re: TailbackU

                                    Ditto, their Travelzoo attempts to attract more customers failed miserably for me.

                                    Food in general was disappointing. The famous spaghetti was a watery mess, porchetta had no crispy skin to speak of, steak was tasteless. Worst slicing job on the cured salmon I've seen in a long time. Could not find the cheese platter or oysters mentioned on previous posts.

                                    I kept glancing across the square at Bouchon longingly.

                                    Amateur hour... It was very obvious they geared the food and service in anticipation of a high travelzoo turnout. I would have been upset if I had to pay full price, felt sorry for those who did not have a coupon. Management should be fired for attempting to service the clientele as they did and their thoughtless participation in travel zoo promotions.

                                    No desire of dining there in the future.

                                3. The original comment has been removed
                                  1. Just purchased two brunch vouchers from Travel Zoo and booked for next weekend for my wife, myself, and our 1-year old daughter. Sounds like a good deal. Looking forward to it!! :)

                                    On a side note, I wonder why Open Table reservations are not valid with this offer. It took me a few calls to get through to them, and booking on OT would've been a lot easier.

                                    Oh, well...if the food as as good as I've heard it is, then it should be well worth it. :)

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: TravelScholar

                                      Did you indicate that you had the vouchers when booking your table? I just bought 9 vouchers and plan on getting 2 more for a family brunch. I hope you'll enjoy your brunch!!

                                      1. re: endyyy

                                        Yes, I did. The voucher, itself, says to mention it when booking.

                                      2. re: TravelScholar

                                        I'd imagine it's because they are already selling the brunch for a discount and having to pay travel zoo their cut on top of that, so if they had to pay opentable too they might lose money on your reservation. I think it's fairly common for restaurants to say no open table reservations for discount voucher deals.

                                        I've never had the brunch but had dinner there during dineLA week and loved it.

                                        1. re: TravelScholar

                                          It's because the restaurant will only set aside so many spaces for voucher tables each day.

                                          oops, just realized this is an old thread.

                                        2. P.S. Can anyone who has been here before enlighten me as to the parking situation? We Las Vegans don't like to pay for parking. :-P

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: TravelScholar

                                            Plenty of street parking on Sundays, or you can valet at the hotel (not free) or the city of Beverly Hills has the first two hours free in most city lots including the one on Beverly Drive right under the Montage hotel (lot # 7 on link below).

                                          2. Scarpettas is a wonderful restaurant. We have eaten there many times including twice at chef's table. Well worth a visit.