Before planning a special meal, especially in NYC, I do so much research I inevitably render myself into a state of analysis paralysis. I Chowhound, I blog, I Yelp and I cross-reference until even the most appetizing of options gets nixed.
Nevertheless, after my hopes for reservations at both Locanda Verde and Marea were squashed I decided to take a gamble on Scarpetta. I'm always reluctant of restaurants with multiple outposts (there's a Scarpetta in every city rappers rap about, or own property), but I was too frustrated to keep clicking.
Fast-forward two weeks.
My travel companion, Mother Plebe (MP), and I hopped in a cab and got dropped off at the corner of West 14th and Hudson St. Pirating the celestial light from the adjacent Apple store, I consulted my phone to get the exact address. The damn map showed it was on the corner! It was cold and my new shoes were pinching.
We finally found the place by sheer miracle. The entrance was so dimly-lit the only thing I could see clearly was the glaring B grade from the Department of Health posted in the window. I know the letter grading scheme is so sensitive that even a paperwork snafu could affect a restaurant's standing, but still. Eek.
We check in, give our coats to the hostess and shimmy over to the bar. It's so friggin' dark that I briefly lose my mother in the crowd. I use my phone to navigate the territory. Surprisingly, MP is less bothered than I am. All of a sudden she makes a spotting: Monica Lewinsky. Her hair totally gave her away. You'd think her layers would've grown out by now.
|Image via camillesdish.com|
(Please excuse the less-than-stellar quality pics. I was too shy to use flash considering I would've likely blinded someone.)
|Seared sea scallops - $19|
|Spaghetti with tomato and basil - $24|
Was I missing something here? If so, enlighten me. PS. Doesn't it totally look like a brain?
|Black taglioni w/ seafood ragout |
and basil bread crumbs - $28
well balanced - not too seafood-y, not too creamy - and nicely complemented by the bread crumbs. I was also pleased to notice the generous chunks of seafood (for $28 they better be!) Although dwarfed by the giant bowls, both pasta dishes were fairly portioned.
|Chocolate cake w/ salted caramel gelato|
and chocolate butterscotch - $11
Overall, our meal was lovely. Nothing awe-inspiring (except for that dessert), but solid, delicious food with super attentive service, to boot.
Price: Mother Plebe paid. Gd bless her.
355 West 14th Street
Reservations are a good idea