I am a self-proclaimed Scott Conant groupie. After meeting him at the New York Wine and Food Festival and my three-minute personal greeting at Scarpetta I’m smitten. His success with Scarpetta has really rocked the NY dining scene and there are high expectations for his new place Faustina set to open this weekend. Eater NY has gotten their hands on a copy of the menu and I have to say I was taken off guard by it’s diversity. It seems he is adding a modern American infusion to his well established traditional Italian base. I find it interesting how he has hand-selected certain words to be written in Italian and some in English. From a grammar stand-point it doesn’t really sit well, but hey let’s be creative! Who says you can’t combine languages on a menu! It might also be a technique to make words like fish roe sound more appetizing. Also happy to see the breads have carried over as they are definitely a Scarpetta high-lite and point of differentiation. I like a man who is not afraid of carbohydrates!
I like how he has replaced a traditional ‘apetizer’ section with some small plates mimicking a tapas-like menu; olives, chutney’s, aged cheese and bread! Really excited for the La Tur- spiced pineapple chutney and the Parmigiano-Reggiano balsamico.
A raw bar is a nice touch but sadly I have been cursed with an allergy to shellfish so I cannot indulge. The Tuna avocado salad is a safe standby, and there has been much talk about the Olive-Oil Poached Sardines artichokes and preserved lemon.
The ‘hot’ section seems to have the most American influence. I really thought we were over Fried Chicken but I guess the porcini mushrooms are suppose to sex it up. Really interested in the Pork Belly (mostly because I LOVE grain mustard) and the Balsamic-Glazed Pork Spare Ribs with tomato chutney.
In the Pasta & Risotto section he’s splurged a little on the black Truffle. The Cannelloni sounds like it will end up being the simple staple similar to the spaghetti dish at Scarpetta. Burrata (a creamy mozzarella) appears twice on the menu, and seems right for a Cannelloni dish. I love how he has disguised sea urchins in the Tajarin dish by using the Italian translation, however, Conant describes this dish as ‘sex in a bowl’.
Another American influence is large plates of meat. Talk about the Veal ‘Porterhouse’ has been popping up on the blogosphere.
I love it when restaurants do side dishes. I’m the type of eater that likes a little of this and a little of that. And some sides on his menu sound amazing! Stewed Eggplant and pork shoulder, I might bypass cauliflower, capers bottarga but if you can handle fish roe that sounds good too!
Let’s see how long it takes to get a reservation!
Good luck Scott!