355 W 14th St, New York, NY | Directions 1001440.740885 -74.004893
Neighborhoods: Downtown, West Village
The cool thing about Scarpetta is that it seems hipper than it is. I mean by that that there are a lot of meatpacking types there, and it's very big and buzz-y, but the food is really very refined and elevated. It's closer in spirit to the old San Domenico than to the other club-like restaurants in that area.
Good food, poor judgment – i have now been to both the NYC and Miami outposts of this operation more than once, and I can assertively recommend the food, especially if you are looking for some hearty but refined artisan pasta dishes.
however, on each of my visits, there was something noticeably wrong with how these places operate.
on one visit, after waiting at the bar for 30 minutes past our reservation time, the four of us were escorted by the hostess to a table for two (not a tight 4-top, an actual table for 2), only for the hostess to realize that she had made a mistake and asking us to wait at the bar some more. Another 15 minutes at the bar and no apologies from a manager, no complimentary offers, only an apparent entitlement to wasting your time.
on another visit, my wife ordered as her main course what i had had as an appetizer. nevertheless, my placesettings were set up for the same course twice, naturally throwing off my wife's placesettings off completely.
on yet another visit, when the waiter informed me that the wine had selected was not available, recommending me an entirely different varietal and price point than what i had originally ordered, and not showing up with the wine until about the same time as our appetizers arrived.
i will say that the food compensates for a portion of this missteps in service and attitude, however, you go here expecting a remarkable experience on all fronts, but the ultimate result always finds a way to fall noticeably short of it.
Italian with a twist – Italian classics with a twist. Very creative menu and great taste. Could munch on that bread all night!
UNBELIEVABLE ATTITUDE - STAY AWAY – We stopped in for a post-dinner drink at around 11:30pm on a saturday night. Our drinks arrived, and because mine had been mixed very sweetly (with one of the three ingredients clearly dominating the drink), my wife politely asked the bartender to remix it a bit more evenly. The bartender gave a surreal, unintentionally hilarious response about how she "works at a top restaurant and knows how to make drinks." We expect to encounter this sort of clownishness when we eat out in another city, but we've rarely experienced it in NYC, and despite having had a decent (B-) meal at Scarpetta last fall, we won't bother with it again. I'm willing to grant that anyone can be having a bad night, or a bad moment, at their job, but snapping at the customer is a loser move and is completely unacceptable regardless of the circumstances.
Great Place – Scarpetta became one of my favorite restaurants to go to. I love Itlalian food but this is italian food with a modern twist. Its such a nice place to go to in the summer as they have an outside area. The staff is very polite and attentive. We, once got drinks on the house cause we had to wait for the appetizers for longer than usual, even though we did not complain. They have the best, best bread.. Bread with proscuito and mozarella cheese baked in, brought hot.. AMAZING!!!! Their famous spaghetti with tomato sause and bazil is something special....Anything we tried was way above average. I rave about this place to all my friends.
Couldn't have been better! – I had dinner at the bar last week, AMAZING. I've always been a fan of the Chef, & this visit did not disappoint! the 'crudo' dishes are always at the top of my list, but the pasta, just unbelievable. A particular fave was some type of pasta, not sure, with rabbit & mint...just delightful. Service at the bar was great too, our bartender was knowledgeable & friendly. Can't wait to go bak!
Sorely Disappointed – I was a great fan of L'Impero so was eager to try this place. Sorry to say, I haven't been so disappointed in a restaurant in years. Part of it was truth in advertising: a "roasted beet and La Tur" salad should have been called a "Frisee and roasted beet salad" there was probably no more than 1/2 a teaspoon of cheese on the plate. One of my favorites at L'Impero was black pasta frutti di mare which was chock full of tiny sea urchins so when I saw "black pasta with sea urchin" on the menu I thought "even better." But the dish was 90% mussels; I could find only 2 tiny sea urchins on the plate. This might be understandable for a place trying to keep prices down during these hard times. But if I'm paying pre-recession prices I expect pre-recession ingredients. The baby goat was even more of a disaster. It was delivered to the table inedibly salty and cold. Also, the waiters seemed obsessed with clearing the table even when we clearly hadn't finished our dishes I wish I could recommend this place but the only recommendation I can make is "stay away."
Another disappointment – Yet another time, I fell from Frank Bruni's enthusiastic review in the NYTimes and walked out of there feeling disappointed. The space is nice, and it is definitely a good first date spot if you are after impressing your date and willing to leave half hungry. The food was unremarkable at its best and simply ill executed at its worst. I tried the foie gras ravioli and the scallops. The ravioli was a bit heavy for a primi plate but decent. The scallops were undercooked to the point of qualifying for sashimi and practically burned on the side that the chefs has ingeniously tucked into the bottom of the plate. It was served over some mixture of vegetables that looked (and tasted) like it had been eaten once before already. The desert was so bad that i could not get past the first spoon. My husband's hand-made pasta was so doughy that it would have satisfied anyone with a predilection of eating raw dough. The waiter brought us, by mistake, a bottle of wine that was about 600 dollars more expensive than the one we had ordered, which we did not realize at the time. We spoke to the manager, who took some of the price off after much negotiating, and then walked away with our bill and did not return until we finally flagged him down about 45 minutes later. His response? Oh, I forgot, sorry. I understand it is a hot place to go, but if you are interested in good food, I strongly suggest you pick another restaurant in the area.
great place – we were seated promptly in the dining room...loved the retractable open ceiling...everything we ordered was exceptional...the polenta with mushrooms and the burrata was perfect...all the pastas were divine...my favorite was the simple and classic spaghettini with tomato sauce and basil...in a word, perfect...i also loved the pannacotta for dolce...overall excellent...
Highly Recommend – I loved this restaurant and have highly recommended it to friends! The food at Scarpetta was fantastic, some of the best I have had in New York to date. I found the drinks at the bar to be excellent with the fresh mixers in addition to great wines by the glass. My experience started with the short ribs, which melt in your mouth, and the creamy polenta?delicious. For my entre I had the Turbot, prepared with great flavors that truly complemented the fish. And to end the meal the desserts were unbelievable (I had three). Enough about the food, the atmosphere alone is worth its own review. The dining room is intimate without feeling pretentious. The large wood beams across the ceiling form a pergola under the retractable skylight. All of this combined made for a great dining experience. Well done Scott, I?ll be back.
Eat before you go – They must have changed the portion sizes after the Frank Bruni review. I was there on 8/15/08, and quite disappointed. The short rib appetizer should have been served with a tweezer. At those prices the least they could do is feed you. The flavors were very good as well as the service(the ex Fiamma people were great) but we were 2 people who had appetizers, a shared pasta course and 2 main courses and walked out hungry. I won't be back.
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