Tag Archives: Scarpetta

Scott Conant’s Faustina Menu Revealed!

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!

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Great Food, Good Hearts

City Harvest has posted their 2010 Edition of Great Food, Good Hearts, a guide to New York’s most generous restaurants.  One of the great things about food culture in New York is that sucessful chef’s and restauronteours are so generous to those in need.

Download the full list here: http://www.cityharvest.org/restaurant-guide/Picture 1

Some of my personal favorites on the list:

Hearth – 403 East 12th St.  Great ambiance and focus on season, and locally sourced ingredients.

Scarpetta– 355 West 14th St.  Based on previous posts one can gather my slight obsession with this place.  A portion of the famous spaghetti dish goes to charity!

The Stanton Social– 99 Stanton St.  Creative menu with a great ambiance.  Awesome for sharing and big groups.

Rickshaw Dumpling Bar– 61 West 23rd St.  A neighborhood favorite, Anita Lo took a great product and adapted it to modern face-paced living.  And the truck is fun to follow on Twitter!

Tabla – 11 Madison Ave.  Solid Indian food (even my plane jane mother loves this place!) with awesome service and ambiance.

Dawat Haute Cusine of India – 201 East 58th St.  Another Indian classic.  Some Indian friends took me here and I was widly impressed!

Hudson Cafeteria – 356 West 58th St. I also feel so NY posh when I go into the Hudson Hotel.  And this restaurant has great food and the open kitchen pit makes for great entertainment.

Honorable Mentions that are on my hit-list:

Aldea – 31 West 17th St.  Has been getting great reviews and Mediterranean flavors sound great!

Annisa– Anita Lo is an awesome chef and contributor to the community.  Would love to patron her place!

Blue Hill– 75 Washington Place.  One day when the gods of reservations work in my favor!

Dirt Candy – 430 East 9th St.  Such an interesting concept on modern vegetarian, and always on the food blogs

The Little Owl – 90 Bedford St.  Joey Campanaro is another great contributor to the community.  Would love to stop in for the famous meatball sliders!

Locanda Verde – 377 Greenwhich St.  Right up there with Blue Hill and the gods of reservations.

Market Table – 54 Carmine St.  I met Mikey Price at the New York Wine and Food Festival Chef’s panel.  I real believer in educating kids about healthy eating.  My kinda guy!

Any of the Momofuku’s

Spice Market – 403 West 13th St.  I can’t believe I haven’t made it there yet!

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Peace Love and Pasta!

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.

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