Have been debating whether or not to post this, but decided I should and get people's opinions on whether I should give Scarpetta another shot.
Took the gf there for her birthday, which was Sat July 4. In short, liked but did not love one dish and left thinking that the experience we had couldn't have led to the raves Scarpetta gets from so many. So, my question is: do you think we got the B-team in the kitchen on Sat July 4? Do you think we would see what all the accolades are for if we try it on another night? I will say, the service was excellent - friendly and attentive; the bartender even brought over a bowl of chips from the bar when he saw me eyeing them as I went back to my table from the restroom.
My review in brief -
Bread basket - excellent as has been reported. Maybe the best single 'dish' of the meal
Apps - Polenta was very, very good. I wish I would have had that and the shortribs, but the gf is vegetarian, so no go. I do feel that the truffle oil is what makes the dish and that it is so much easier to make a tasty grain when truffle oil is introduced. But, still, a success. Her mozzarella in carozza was nice, but not great - the stewed tomatoes were very good and the cheese well prepared, but largely devoid of flavor.
Pasta - where it started to go downhill. I had the agnolotti and was very disappointed. The flavors were so muddled - it was so one note. Nothing bad about it, but I couldn't taste meat, not cheese nor pasta. The gf got the spaghetti, which was better, and the pasta was very well cooked, but I got very little acidity or herbage from the tomato sauce at all. An ok dish, but I prefer the version I get at Bianca to the preparation we tasted on this occasion.
Mains - I had the Capretto (goat) which was flavorful, but not refined. I found the braising liquid overpowering (the menu says roasted, but it tasted at least partially braised to me) and the accompaniments (pea shoots, etc) completely washed out.
Nothing was bad in the least - this is not a complaint - but, with the exception of the breadbasket and maybe the polenta, nothing amazed me. So, do I need to give it one more shot?