Scarpetta

I’ve read in a number of places that NYC’s Scarpetta has been mediocre since its expansion to other cities and the departure of its celebrity chef Scott Conant. That may be, but the famous Tomato & Basil Spaghetti is still delicious and the service at a recent visit during Restaurant Week was top-notch, so LDV Hospitality is at least doing something right.

We took advantage of Scarpetta’s $35 corkage fee (note that a second bottle would be $50) and ordered from the Restaurant Week menu. There were only three choices for each course, but the menu included all the hits, so it didn’t actually feel limited. You’re ordering the Tomato & Basil Spaghetti for your entree, so it’s a matter of deciding if you want to start with a lighter dish (go with the Raw Yellowtail) or a heavier dish (go with the Creamy Polenta). The polenta is quite rich, though, and is probably a bit much to combine with the spaghetti unless you want to split appetizers with someone else at the table, which was our approach. Dessert was solid but not spectacular; I preferred my Coconut Panna Cotta to the bite of Chocolate Cake I tasted.

I can’t entirely refute claims that the restaurant has declined, but if you order the right dishes at Scarpetta you can have a fine meal. Plus, if you like celebrity sightings, you might see Joakim Noah as we did when we visited.

Summary:

Rating System Guidelines:
4 Stars: outstanding, cannot wait to return
3 Stars: great, would be happy to return
2 Stars: good, though not necessary to seek out
1 Star: forgettable, ought to dine elsewhere

My rating is meant to account for not just the quality of the meal and experience, but also the value, without favoring the ultra expensive. In other words, a high-end restaurant (e.g. Del Posto) and a casual eatery (e.g. BaoHaus) can both receive 4/4 stars, even though they are extremely different atmospheres and the former is clearly “nicer.”

 

 

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