That was how Chef, Scott Conant of Scarpetta signed my NY Cooks – 100 Recipes from they City’s Best Chefs cookbook which I received at the book’s panel discussion over the weekend as part of New York City’s Wine and Food Festival. Somehow the pasta gods joined forces and a reservation opened up for early Sunday evening (the best time for Italian Sunday Dinner).
One of the topics on the panel discussion was how has the economy effected your business. Many chef’s including Scott replied that the ego has gone out the window and really making the guest feel welcome and taken care of has prioritized in economic turmoil.
Walking into the magnificent dining room of Scarpetta the feeling of being welcomed could not have rung more true. At least 4 different people welcomed our family and hoped that we enjoyed our dinner.
One of the inspirations for Scarpetta, which in Italian means ‘little boot’ also happens to be the shape taken on by bread when you dip it into olive oil. Scarpetta encourages the bread bowl throughout the entire meal so you can gather up the last bits of the incredible sauces on the plate. And indeed I did!!
Also encouraging was the ability to share plates to ensure maxium tasting abilities. A nice touch was the division of the dish onto two sharing plates as seen below with our pasta course.
We of course had to try the signature spaghetti dish with a portion of the proceeds of the dish going to City-Meals-On-Wheels. That accompanied by the seasonal flavors of Pumpkin Tortellini! Second course was split between the Imported Turbot served with root vegetables and pumpkin seeds, and the Sicilian Orange Spiced Duck. For dessert, Pear and Almond Tart with Ginger Gelato accompanied by some Limoncello and Fragoli Strawberry Liquor.
Some of my favorite “Nice Touch” moments were the simultaneous unveiling of our dishes from under the ceramic food lids, folding of the napkins if you got up from your seat, constant flow of water, a visit from General Manager, Jeffery Tascarella, the restaurant support for farm-fresh ingredients, and I noticed that the bartender brings your drinks from bar to table upon your tabling being ready. Ultimate “Nice Touch” was of course Scott Conant visiting our table at my request to the waiter.