Chef Scott Conant left L'Impero and Alto to open Scarpetta, a critical darling since day one, adjacent to the glitz of the Meatpacking District. Walk past the bar into the polished dining room, where orange belts loop around mirrors and a retractable roof ushers in natural light. For a rousing start, try the braised octopus paired with chickpeas and a tangy paprika viniagrette before enjoying one of the house-made pastas, like the al dente tagliatelle laced with strands
of tender lamb ragout or his signature spaghetti with tomato sauce. Save room for dessert: the Amadei chcocolate cake with burnt-caramel gelato brings à la mode to a whole new level.
Dec 19, 2014
My spouse and I dined at Scarpetta for dinner on a Saturday evening in late November 2015. We made our reservation online using the Open Table reservation system. The restaurant called us the morning of our dinner to reconfirm our booking. Scarpetta is open for dinner from Monday through Saturday (closed Sunday); however, the restaurant begins serving at 2:00 pm on Friday and Saturday, times that could be suitable for a late lunch. The name Scarpetta
means “little shoe”, which refers to the shape that bread takes on when it soaks up a sauce. Besides the location in New York City, Scarpetta has additional properties in Miami, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas. The NYC location opened in 2007, was nominated Best New Restaurant in 2009, and has been awarded three stars by the New York Times. Scott Conant is the chef/owner of this Scarpetta, which is part of the LDV Restaurant Group that operates 20 properties in the United States. Scarpetta is located in the Chelsea/Meatpacking neighborhood of Manhattan on West 14th Street between 9th and 8th Avenues. The restaurant space consists of a large front room that contains a long wooden bar with two high-top tables, and several regular-height tables positioned near the front windows. The rear dining room is more cozy and intimate than the front dining room. Because we did not realize the design of the restaurant, we did not initially request to be seated in the rear (more formal) dining room, and therefore, the hostess sat us in the bar dining area. We asked if it was possible to move to the back dining room, but it would have required an additional 15-minute wait. (We had already waited at the bar for 15 minutes, despite arriving on time for our reservation.) Patio dining is available during the summer months. As we perused the menu, our server delivered a delicious bread basket filled with two types of bread, and two kinds of Stromboli bread. The restaurant serves the breads accompanied by a trio of accompaniments: mascarpone butter, chunky tomato spread, and olive oil. We ordered two appetizers: short rib risotto and truffled mushroom polenta. It is difficult to decide which appetizer was tastier! We expected the short rib to be shredded and mixed throughout the rice, but instead, a hearty chunk of beef was plated atop the rice – a pleasant surprise for the presentation! For entrees, we ordered short rib and bone marrow agnolotti and duck and foie gras ravioli. Again, it was a heated competition on which dish was more delicious! For dessert, we shared an order of coconut panna cotta covered with a guava “soup” – another enjoyably unanticipated plating! Portions were plentiful, and every dish was mouthwateringly delectable. Service was excellent. The quality of the food and the standard of the service makes us wonder why this restaurant does not have a Michelin star. We enjoyed our dinner at Scarpetta. We have seen Chef Conant on television many times (particularly on the show “Chopped”), and we have wanted to dine at his restaurant for some time. Our meal at Scarpetta was worth the wait!