Scarpetta DineLA 2013 - Fantastic Experience!
Last night my girl and I headed out to Beverly Hills to give Scarpetta a try for their Dine LA menu.
I don’t think the meal could have gone any better. The service, the food, and atmosphere were spot on.
We arrived @ 9pm for our reservation, but had to wait for about 10-15 minutes for our table to be ready. So, we went over to the bar area to hang out for a bit until ready.
We were approached by a waitress and asked if we cared to order some drinks. I was actually the designated driver and explained that we were just hanging out a few minutes until our table was ready for us. She smiled and said, “No problem.” Then she immediately returned to us with tall glasses of ice water and lemon, a big bowl of spiced nuts, and a bowl of hot, freshly made salted potato chips dusted with sage and rosemary to munch on while we waited. Wow. Very pleasant, accommodating, and incredibly tasty to boot! I almost felt bad for not ordering drinks! LOL. I left her a small tip anyways.
After being seated, we were handed the normal menu and the DineLA menu, which the waitress genuinely seemed interested in telling us about. That was definitely a plus!
We went ahead and ordered six dishes off the DineLA menu and some beverages. My girl got the Modena, and I a Sprite. I tasted the Modena and boy did it pack a wallop! Tasty and fresh, but strong.
With our drinks they also brought out a beautiful basket full of a variety breads and 3 small bowls with mascarpone butter, citrus olive oil, and an eggplant caponata for dipping/spreading. There was a crusty Italian bread, some herbed focaccia, ciabattas, and some delicious Stromboli (salume and cheese filled). All of it was amazingly good.
Then our food came out. We ordered:
DiStephano’s Burrata w/ roasted fall veg, apples, and toasted pumpkin seeds – Fresh, vibrant, and very clean tasting. Wonderful contrasts in textures and flavors (sweet, salty, creamy, crunchy). The broccoli and carrots were outstanding!
Creamy polenta w/ fricassee of truffled mushrooms – Holy crap. Rich and creamy as all get out with some wonderfully cooked mushrooms in a luscious savory sauce. Way more chopped black truffle than I expected to get (they weren’t the fresh variety, but they surely made their presence known)! It hit all my buttons.
Short Rib Agnolotti w/ mushroom, brown butter, hazelnuts and horseradish – This was very, very good. Short rib braised in red wine, then blended with bone marrow before being encapsulated in pasta. The brown butter was expertly made and flavorful, and the lightly pungent horseradish helped cut right through the richness of the rich meat/marrow/brown butter flavor, while the hazel nuts added a nice nutty crunch.
Roasted Jidori Chicken w/ parsnip puree, farro, currants and chestnuts – WOW! Crisp, succulent, beautifully cooked chicken with some interesting spice rub, that wasn’t too different from a hearty bbq sauce. The parsnip puree added a creamy floral note, and the farro added a nice firm al dente texture.
Chocolate cake w/ burnt orange-caramel gelato and espresso sauce – Gooey chocolaty goodness! It was pretty much a molten cake. Once cut open it spilled out it’s rich chocolate lava. Scooped up with the slightly bitter espresso sauce, and some cool burnt orange gelato , which was very bright and clean tasting with a little tinge of smoke flavor, it was an exceptional contrast in flavors and temperatures.
Vanilla Caramel Budino w/ gianduja chocolate sable cookies – Thick and hearty budino with whipped cream, sweet with caramel, and just a perfect kick of salt in the cookies. Gotta find the recipe for these cookies. They were that good!
After each course, our plates and silverware were quickly removed and immediately replenished. Our water glasses never went below half. We even received a warm visit from the GM to ensure everything was to our liking.
Now, I had read previous postings of ‘iffy’ service at some places during DineLA. I was a bit worried we’d get a snooty waiter, uninterested in the DineLA menu, trying to flip the table as fast as they could to get “real paying customers” in the seats, but at Scarpetta I was made to feel remarkably comfortable, very relaxed, and truly welcomed. I really felt like we were given just as much attention and service as anyone else in the place, regardless of spending habit.
The service was totally professional, approachable, and very considerate. Probably some of the best service I’ve ever experienced in a restaurant. It was absolutely above and beyond my expectations.
Unfortunately, no pictures, although everything was beautiful and appetizing. It was a fairly intimate setting with low lighting, and I refuse to use any sort of flash, for fear of ruining someone else’s experience.
DineLA or no DineLA, this place has definitely impressed me, and will see much of my business in the future. I would have absolutely no qualms with recommending this experience to someone else in search of excellent food and service.