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Dinner at Scarpetta 

Unless you live in NYC, there's really no way you can explain how unbelievably difficult it is to make plans with your friends.  Take Bryan, for example, whom I met while dining at The Lion...in August!  Since that night, we've been trying to find a spot in the other's calendar.  Due to work obligations and everything in between, it took us nearly two months since that initial balmy August evening at The Lion to get together.  And since neither one of us had been to Scarpetta, I made a 9pm reservation for a very long-overdue dinner date. 

Bryan and I enjoyed a glass of wine at the bar before being seated at our table.  Between sips and stories, we couldn't help but admire Scarpetta's casual, yet incredibly elegant, space.

*All of my photos from this meal can be found on Flickr

Scarpetta: a look inside (photo: NY Daily News)The good

  • Gorgeous interior space
  • Friendly, attentive, and knowledgeable staff
  • Free bar snack: homemade herbed potato chips
  • Attractive crowd/clientele
  • Sommelier on-site
  • Gratis bread basket + dipping sauce trio: a bountiful array of freshly-baked, assorted breads was accompanied by a trio of dips: ricotta, caponata, olive oil

Dinner at Scarpetta: one of NYC's best bread basketsDinner at Scarpetta: dip trio for accompanying bread basket

  • Spaghetti: think simple - handmade spaghetti noodles, fresh tomato and basil.  That's it.  Sounds boring and uninspired, right?  Wrong.  Believe me when I say that this is one of the best bowls of pasta that you will have the pleasure of eating this side of Italy.  In some cases, mastering the art of simplicity is harder than mastering that of complexity.  And this bowl of noodles, dear readers, is one damn good example.  Don't be deterred by its $24 price tag - this, I promise you, will likely be one of your most memorable pasta experiences, to date.

Dinner at Scarpetta: the infamous spaghettiThe bad: there was no "bad"

The ugly

  • Cauliflower Panna Cotta: if "ugly" had a picture next to it in the dictionary, I'm positive that it may resemble this atrocious appetizer.  "It tastes like the fish department at Kroger!" Bryan squealed.  That was a really bad sign, considering that it was he who chose to try Scarpetta 's newest "starter."  There's just something about chilled, savory panna cotta/pudding/creme brulee that gives me goose bumps - not the good kind, either.  Pair that with an abundance of the "fishiest" fish in the sea - caviar, sea urchin, days-old crab meat - et voila!  You've got a ticking "gag reflex" time-bomb on your hands.  The panna cotta was accompanied by two toast points, which I *thought* would aid in mutilating some of the overwhelming flavor.  To no avail, I could not even get past one bite.  Sigh.  I used this near-vomit experience as an excuse/justification to hold the bread basket hostage, proclaiming its components to be my "appetizer chasers."

Dinner at Scarpetta: Cauliflower Panna Cotta

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