355 West 14th Street, New York (Near 9th Ave)

Phone: 212-691-0555

Gan and I didn't get a chance to try L'impero before it closed (and reopened as Convivio), so we were really excited about our dinner at Scott Conant's new restaurant, Scarpetta at the glamorous meat packing district. We wanted to see for ourselves, whether Michael White or Scott Conant cooks better Italian dishes. It's obvious that we are big fans of Convivio, but we've heard that Scott Conant's Scarpetta is equally impressive as well.

It's hard not to be charmed by the restaurant's sexy interior. The loft like dining area with retractable skylight, leather strapped rectangular mirrors and gorgeous flower arrangements all contributed to the ambiance and created a space that is elegant yet not overly stuffy. But the star of this place is still Scott Conant's dishes, and we thought the food certainly lived up to our expectation.

The creamy polenta with truffle mushroom was absolutely to die for; the smooth buttery texture and flavor will get you hooked as soon as you tasted it. The crispy fritto misto (with fried calamari, zucchini and baby artichoke) is delicate and not too oily. The pasta dishes were all amazing, and I would go back to Scarpetta just for its Black Maccheroni with seafood and Spaghetti with tomato and basil --- especially the spaghetti with tomato and basil. It's the chef's signature dish, and it could easily be the best spaghetti with tomato and basil we have ever eaten! The moist-roasted capretto (milk fed baby goat) was also one of the highlights. The meat was so succulent and tender that all the guilt we felt about eating baby goat was instantly vanished! The desserts were also incredible - two thumbs up for the coconut panna cotta with guava soup!

Now that we have eaten at both restaurants, do we like Convivio or Scarpetta better? The answer is, we like both. Trust me, we are not trying to be diplomatic or anything here, but we felt that both chefs are equally superior in making amazing Italian dishes, and we thought it all comes down to the price. Convivio (and not Alto or Marea) definitely offers more attractive deals with its prix fixe menu that you just can't say no to, while Scarpetta is slightly more pricey. But we can definitely see why Scarpette was listed as one of the best new US restaurants by Travel and Leisure magazine -- the food is quite awesome and the dining room is just gorgeous.

Creamy Polenta with fricassee of truffled mushrooms

Crispy Fritto Misto

Braised short ribs of beef with vegetable and farro risotto

Mushroom Mezzalune in Brodo with porcini mushrooms, capon broth and horseradish

Black Maccheroni with mixed seafood, sea urchin and bread crumbs

Tagliatelle with early spring vegetables, guanciale and truffle zabaglione

Spaghetti with tomato and basil

Moist-roasted Capretto with rapini and fingerling potatoes

Pancetta-wrapped veal loin glazed sweetbreads, turnips & butternut squash puree

Coconut Panna Cotta with guava soup, caramelized pineapple

Scarpetta on Urbanspoon


Sherry F said...

Did you try the Fresh spring soup and the olive cake as well? I thought those were pretty amazing. So light but rich with freshness at the same time. Too bad I didn't get to try the Spaghetti with tomato and basil.

Sarah and Gan said...

no don't think they had that when we went. but it sounds delicious though!

Post a Comment