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ABC Kitchen vs Scarpetta

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I know these are *totally* different, but they are two places I can get into off the top recommendations of my friends. We'll be there four days. Dinner first night at Craft. Brunch Sunday at Perla. Deciding between ABC Kitchen and Scarpetta for Saturday night. Will wander and wing it for the rest of our meals. I'm a reservations girl, husband is fly by the seat, this is a compromise. So thoughts on ABC Kitchen versus Scarpetta?

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  1. Have never been to ABC Kitchen, but did go to Scarpetta back in February for dinner on a Saturday night. It was very good.
    Also went to Perla for brunch a few Sundays ago and loved it. Here's my review:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9691...

    1 Reply
    1. re: ttoommyy

      Thanks. A friend of mine ate brunch at Perla last Sunday and raved about it.

    2. Why two farm to table and two Italian? Is one of you a picky eater? No seafood, Spanish, French, Thai, Japanese, etc.?

      It's not that your choices are bad per se, but there's a lot more NYC has to offer....

      7 Replies
      1. re: kathryn

        The fact that ABC Kitchen is farm to table is why it is lower on my list. We have more than enough farm to table options in Nashville (where we live). We aren't super picky though I'm not a big fan of Thai or Japanese. Looked at some French places but nothing was making me sing. Glad to hear your favorites for that or seafood. Le Bernadin would be one of the tops on my list, but my husband and I have different restaurant needs. He isn't into lengthy, expensive, tasting menus.

        1. re: Keepcalmandcarryon

          What French places were you considering and what are you looking for? Is Minetta Tavern too expensive? What about Balthazar or Lafayette?

          For seafood, are you into something as casual as Luke's Lobster or Pearl Oyster Bar, or something more like Aquagrill? Or Oceana?

          How strong is the preference for reservations?

          1. re: kathryn

            Minetta Tavern is not too expensive. Was just looking at their menu. Prefer majority of entrees < $40. Have been on the fence about Cafe Boulud. Thoughts on it?

            Keeping a list of all the seafood places as potentials.

            I would prefer 100% reservations, husband would prefer 100% not. Compromise plan is to have reservations for dinner 2 of 3 nights and one brunch. One dinner and three lunches on the fly. It does seem that many restaurants don't reserve out all of their tables. That is less common here, hence my preference for reservations.

            1. re: Keepcalmandcarryon

              Another question - how does he feel about a "business casual" dress code if he's more of a seat-of-the-pants guy?

              1. re: kathryn

                Not sure what the current definition of business casual is, but we are professionals in our 40s (me) and 50s (him) so don't dress super casual. He would always have on a button down shirt, usually with khakis, occasionally with jeans. I think that meets most business casual requirements these days.

                1. re: Keepcalmandcarryon

                  OK - Cafe Boulud is more on the "elegant" side of things so I wasn't sure if you were going to try to just drop in, and find yourselves underdressed.

                  Some of my favorites around town that don't require reservations (or take) are Momofuku Ssam Bar & Tertulia, they might fit your needs. The seafood dishes at Tertulia are usually excellent (esp. the clams), especially if cooked on their custom wood fired grill.

                  Pearl Oyster Bar is also a good weekday "drop in" lunch since it's typically much more crowded for dinner. Closed Sundays. Lunch service only on weekdays.

                  1. re: kathryn

                    Both Momofuku Ssam and Tertulia were recommended by a friend who frequents NYC, good to know you like them as well.

                    Thanks for the tip on attire. I'll put on a dress if we go to Café Boulud. We are also considering Boulud Sud per other recommendations.

      2. Had the pleasure of visiting both recently, and definitely vote ABC. Scarpetta was certainly very good, but the pastas didn't quite live up the hype, whereas ABC was flawless (had crudo, pasta and a glorious mushroom pizza).

        1. If you want great Italian, I wouldn't go to Scarpetta.
          Plus, you are already going to Perla…

          ABC is definitely a better choice that Scarpetta in absolute terms, but if you don't want farm-to-table, then there are other interesting places to go:
          - Boulud Sud - mod med
          - ACME - mod nordic
          - The Musket Room
          - Estella

          1. Scarpetta.

            That said, it depends where you're coming from. It's solid Italian, and you can't go wrong with it, but for a visitor seeking something earth shattering, it could be underwhelming.

            ABC Kitchen is an obnoxious attempt at satire, in my opinion. Food is poorly executed, and you have a superior choice for farm to table already. It might be fine for a brunch (I'm guessing) though.