Hold down Control (PC) or Command (Mac) key + mouseclick to select more than one option
Midtown South / Chelsea >
Posted by amnerees on 07/16/2008
I've been here a couple of times, once as a guest and once with a guest. The food measures up - for the most part - to the very high expectations that all foodies had for Scott Conant' s new venture. There are no off nights here to stroll in and be seated at a table. This is the hottest restaurant in town at the moment. When we left on a Tuesday night at 9:00 PM, we had to fight our way through the jam-packed bar full of people waiting for their reserved tables or trying to get a table. The now-famous capretto entree is even better here than it was at L'Impero. It comes garnished with a couple of tiny rib chops just to make the closet vegetarian feel guilty about eating a poor baby goat, sacrificed at the beginning of life. It's delicious. Other winners: the polenta, enriched with all kinds of dairy to some sort of unknown dish (divine), the frito misto (how do they make it so crispy and tasty with so little residual fat?}, the beef ribs with risotto (a tiny portion but great), the black cod (just about perfect).,the cheese selections (limited but first-rate). The wine list is expensive, but most of it is ready to drink and the wine service is expert and knowledgeable. Order with confidence, as they say. And now to the down side. The turbot ($31) is from South America (?) and bears no resemblance to the huge European flatfish with its silky, meaty texture. Scarpetta's little fish are rubbery and somewhat disagreeable in flavor and served with an acidic sauce verte. The bar is inept. They serve cocktails that would lead you to think the bartenders are trying to save money on liquor. A gin and tonic with no gin. A dry martini mixed in a shaker with residual orange flavoring. Waiters and bartenders don't know what a daiquiri is and serve up an undrinkable potion of lime juice with no rum or decent triple sec. Have bar manuals gone by the wayside? Don't these people have a computer to check cocktail recipes? Order sparkling water or wine. For a restaurant with these prices and pretensions, one should not have to eat off skimpy orange placemats on bare, greasy tables (which the busboys cannot clean). One is reminded of Howard Johnson's. Call in the Chinese! Let's have some tablecloths and decent napkins. The decor seems to be an interpretation of a local leather bar specified by Louis Vuittonmirrors held to the wall with British tan strap belts. It's OK though. The important thing here is the food, but be prepared for the crowds and the prices and lousy bar.
Posted by dindinding on 07/04/2008
The spaghetti was the reason I'll be back but overall all the food we had was pretty great. I'm a big fan of the dining room as well which has a very comfortable feel to it. The prices are not super cheap but in that area it's my new favorite spot.
Posted by EatingMachine on 06/10/2008
I went to eat at l'impero a few months ago...Scott Conant's gone. What? I heard about his new place and got there as soon as I could. I had to go for the polenta (which is still delicious) and the pastas seem better than I remember. My girl had the scallop entree which was very good, but I just had a bunch of pastas (all really good. Foie Gras ravioli wins! Flawless victory!) Service was casual-fun but informative and efficent. The wine list is fun to explore...lots of interesting things I had never heard of. The sommelier picked out a bottle for us around $50 that was great. Unfortunately, it was too hot when I went for them to open up the roof, but I look forward to coming back when they do. The best part of the meal was that I felt good after I paid the check, too. Rock on Mr. Conant!
Posted by b.nyc on 05/24/2008
After receiving a number of emails reviewing this new Chelsea addition, I had to check out Scarpetta for myself. It's perfectly unintimidating and I felt I would have been comfortable in jeans or dressed up. The staff was friendly, welcoming and ready to knowledgeably talk me thru the wine list and menu. There were enough lower cost wine bottles on the menu which is always nice. My friends and I shared some apps, pastas & desserts ... some standouts in my opinion were the polenta (probably the best polenta I've ever had), the spaghetti (a must have), this raw sashimi kind of sampler (I could have had 3 plates it was so good), & this plum pie dessert (I forget the name but oh my god!). Another perk was the roof/ceiling is retractable! It was so gorgeous out it made us feel less guilty about eating inside. We had a really nice time and I definitely plan on coming back to have wine and apps and people watch from the front outdoor sidewalk seating!
Posted by diner on 05/24/2008
Our expectations were high with our love for Conant's previous restaurants. The location a bit out of the direction we usually head but worth it. This space is warm with an open and breezy atmosphere. First thing we noticed was the expansive bar with white marble top and what looked like an original vintage bar back that showcases all the high end booze. The dining room was buzzing, a little noisy but appropriately so. It has the feel of a brasserie where people wine, dine, come together for conversation and to peruse the eye candy around them. Our server was at our side almost immediately, His confidence and warmth set the tone for our dining experience. The bread selection was nice, a compliment to our glass of champagne. We chose to go with the server's suggestions starting with the Polenta with mushrooms (amazing) and short ribs. Flavor combination was perfect and the wine suggestion exactly what we wanted. The wine steward went beyond merely selling us an expensive wine with a demonstration of ego (refreshing given our experience), he was a charmer. We shared a spaghetti with tomato for our mid course which was satisfying but filling. Although delicious the entrees lagged but our server made up for it with apologies and an extra dessert on the house. The experience overall was great and the warm staff made us feel at home, we will definitely return.
Posted by MJP on 05/21/2008
Service was great, atmosphere terrific. Food was such a disappointment very salty and expensive. A real let down, hope it was just an off night.
Posted by RavioliMan on 05/18/2008
I've been waiting for Scott Conant's new restaurant and grabbed a table in the cafe here last night...food was awesome, service was friendly, and I liked that the wine list had a lot of good bottles on it. The front of the restaurant has windows that pop out, and we sat near the sidewalk, and when it started raining, they accomodated us in the dining room. Good place. Will be back.