Monday, August 4, 2008

Zack's getting tired of eating out

But I'm dragging him to restaurant after restaurant anyways. Last night, it was Scarpetta. I made a reservation at Scarpetta after reading this review from Ed Levine. I've always trusted Ed Levine (Ruth Reichl wrote about him in Garlic and Sapphires), so that seemed like a good sign. Then, the Wednesday before our trip there, the NYTimes gave it three stars. Crazy! I was really excited.

Before any of the food we ordered even came to the table, the most amazing breadbasket I'd ever seen appeared before us. It had whole wheat focaccia, filone and ciabatta, and to top it all off - house-made stromboli with smoked mozzarella and salami. Zack almost had a heart attack at that. It came with olive oil, mascarpone cheese mixed with butter and eggplant caponata. It all was incredible. And the meal hadn't really even started.

Zack and I started off with two recommended appetizers - Raw Yellowtail and Creamy Polenta. They were both superb. The yellowtail was fresh and was studded with salt crystals that exploded in my mouth. The polenta started off like any regular polenta, but after a second, it melted in your mouth like the creamiest butter you've ever tasted. Plus, it was topped with truffles. Truffles! Did I mention the truffles? Take a look at them. They're so beautiful.

I stole these pictures from Ed Levine. I hope he doesn't mind.

We followed it up with Spaghetti with Tomato and Basil. You're probably thinking, "why would you order something so simple that you could make at home?" Usually, that's what I would have thought as well, but since every review has sung its praises. So we ordered it.

It lived up to the hype. Fresh tomatoes, stewed with a teeny bit of heat (spicy heat, not literal heat), ribbons of basil, Parmesan cheese and homemade pasta... I died a little bit just thinking about it.

We moved on to Moist-Roasted Capretto with peas & fingerling potatoes. Capretto, for those who are curious, is goat meat. I figured I may as well order something that's more adventurous than spaghetti with tomatoes. It was the one false note of the evening. The meat was dry and stringy in spots and the overall flavor lacked depth. Some of the peas were overcooked. Next time, I'll try something else. Or just order more pasta.

We finished with a cheese plate because Zack wanted it and I like to humor him sometimes. We had Ricotta di bufala with truffle honey, Caciotta, 'Dancing Ewe' with green tomato mostarda, and Robiola Bussina with stewed figs, chamomile & honey. The caciotta was our favorite. It was a hard cheese with a great bite. Zack didn't care of the Robiola Bussina, but I liked it and it's my blog.

Overall, I loved it. Don't order the Capretto, get the tomato basil spaghetti and you'll be fine.


Meredith said...

Yum yum yum. That all sounds amazing. I've got to get there.

gina k said...

I teared up a little at the picture and description of the pasta. Everyone says to get the spaghetti and tomatoes at Delfina here in SF, and I'd normally want to order that anywhere, but the particular night that Chris and I went, I was feeling adventurous. So I got the spaghetti with squid ink sauce and was really disappointed, and looked longingly around me at all the other people getting the pasta with tomatoes. Chris got the steak, which turned out to be more like steak tartare and was really chewy. And this is supposed to be one of the best restaurants in SF--we just ordered wrong I guess. It's two blocks from my house and I still haven't made it back for the spaghetti with tomatoes.