The description on the menu was spaghetti, tomato, basil. Very basic and simple. When it came - it was like a big reveal as it came on a white plate covered and when the cover was lifted, basil and tomoto spices wafted up and the dish was fantastic, amazing. People claim it's the best they have ever had. Period. Fantastic, amazing are adjectives that describe the restaurant we were at.
The restaurant was Scarpetta - a trendy and chic place in the meat packing district on a suggestion of my good friend Dave. From the outside, there's a big patio to enjoy people watching and the building is unassuming but upon walking in, it was intimate, sophisticated and alive with activity. However my group wanted to take advantage of one of the last days we could make use of the patio so we took our seats outside.
Even before our dishes came, our bread basket was a huge winner in my eyes! We could select from 3 varieties! There was a rosemary whole wheat bun, a white puffy bread and the one that made me happy was the one wrapped with prosciutto and smoked mozzarella. So to accompanies the bread were an eggplant tapanade, gourmet olive oil and a whipped marscapone butter - Wow, we hadn't even got our appetizers or mains and I was loving the place!
Our appetizers included the braised short ribs of beef on top of a bed of vegetable & farro risotto- the ribs were so tender that the meat fell off the bone; the raw yellow tail olio di zenzero - which was an homage to sashimi with olive oil lightly drizzle on top - very refreshing dish and the crispy frutto misto crudo which were deep fried tempura battered squid vegetables that came stacked in a tower- which reminded me of french fries and were very good!
Aside from the spaghetti, we all ordered different pasta dishes and were very satisfied with them. Someone ordered the farfalle with sweetbreads which was so good! We also had the pasta with corn and asparagus and it was so simple, light dish and the texture from the corn was very nice- pure deliciousness. We also had the cavaletti with braised rabbit, parsnips & mint which we gulped up and savoured!
I ordered the decadent duck foie gras ravioli - and it was so good! The little pillows of delight in a thin cream sauce melted in my mouth and gave me an after taste of my favourites mixed together. It was very rich and I should've shared more ravioli as my stomach was not loving me at the end of the evening!
We made room for our desserts which included a coconut panacotta in orangy red guava soup and caramelized pineapple which was a good option as it was very light and fresh. We also opted for the chocolate & vanilla parfait w/ hazelnut milkshake which I adored. The milkshake was frothy but smooth and went down perfectly to compliment the parfait. I ordered the olive oil sponge cake - which was fruitier than I expected and came with a tangerine sorbet which tasted like cremescile - it was so yummy! We were very full bellied by the time we walked out but I would always come back again and try more good italian food.
Scarpetta- 355 W 14th Street (near 9th Avenue)