Last night for our 5-year dating anniversary, we celebrated with a meal at Scarpetta. Despite trying to get a reservation right when this night became available, the earliest they could seat us was 9:30. Lesson: this place has some serious buzz about it & you better be on top of getting a Saturday night reservation. Sitting on the edge of the Meatpacking District, Scarpetta feels much classier & cozier than the B&T restaurants just a block west.
We had heard so much about Scarpetta prior to dining here that we didn't even need a menu. They bring you a fully-loaded bread basket (pick up the pinwheel & thank me later) paired with olive oil, mascarpone butter, and a tomato-eggplant tapenade. When you're eating at 9:30, you respect a good bread basket.
We started off with the famed creamy polenta appetizer, which was finished table-side and already split in half for us (why don't more restaurants do this for you?!?). We were given a bowl of creamy polenta & the waiter spooned truffled mushrooms on top. It's at this point that you know you're in for a treat... the sweet smell of truffles hits your senses. Each & every bite of this dish should be savored. It's creamy beyond your wildest dreams and loaded with truffled mushroom flavor.
We each got the spaghetti entree - an odd move for us since we usually like to sample the menu, but every review we read said this was the best dish, so we each wanted it for our own. It was a good move. It's as simple as spaghetti can be... coated in marinara sauce & mixed with shredded basil. You don't think you're in for a treat when you first twirl your fork around the plate of pasta, but you're wrong. There's something about that sauce that just causes a taste bud party to erupt in your mouth. The sauce is a bit sweet and I think that's what it is. The pasta is perfectly cooked and a bit thicker than normal spaghetti. By the time the meal was over, both our plates were completely empty. The reviews weren't lying.. this dish is phenomenal.
For dessert, we got the chocolate cake and it was sublime. The perfect capper to a delicious meal, served with a salted caramel gelato, this dish does a great job of combining sweet & salty.
The biggest takeaway from Scarpetta is that everything brought out seems simple & slightly underwhelming: polenta, spaghetti, & chocolate cake...nothing too crazy right there from a culinary perspective. However, when each dish is cooked to perfection, you realize its full potential. Scarpetta was an absolute treat and we're lucky to have celebrated such a wondrous occasion with an equally wondrous meal.