I have never done this before, and I am not half the epicure that Louise is (my friend who put me up to this, who I understand is a regular on this site) but here goes.
My now-fiance and I went to Scopello, near the corner of Lafayette and Fulton Sts in Ft. Greene, last weekend and found it to be reasonably priced, with very good food and pleasant service. It's Sicilian cuisine, and Scopello is apparently a small Sicilian village. There were only a few other couples in there at 6:30 on Saturday night.
I had only two gripes, one of which is the ram's-head theme- a bit Donatella Versace, IMHO. There's a giant gilded ram's head in the 2nd-floor picture window spotlighted in red, and another on the wall on the first floor. My feeling is, if you MUST have a giant gilded ram's head, one is plenty. Other than that, the decor is a little Miami, but it's inviting and mellow.
According to my sweetie, the 100% Italian wine list is pricey (I didn't look at it). There were a number of appetizers that looked yummy, but we got the mixed sauteed mushrooms. They certainly were nothing special to look at on the plate, and I'm not even sure there were very many kinds of mushrooms, but they were addictively good, sauteed in garlic and butter with a little rosemary.
I had a green-pear and cheese salad (cheese featured cracked peppercorns) with the razor-thin sliced pears on top and the sliced cheese tucked under the greens, and it was lovely- very delicate flavor. The white plate and dim lights meant I didn't know the cheese was down there for a few minutes, but finding it was a pleasant surprise. He had a blood-orange and smoked herring salad, which had a very interesting flavor (even I liked it, and I don't care for herring) but there was almost too much herring. Both salads were very good-sized, and the appetizer was enough for for 4 people. I think the salads and apps were around $7-8.
There were pasta courses and main courses, anywhere from $10-15 on the pasta and a bit more for entrees. Vegetarians will have no problems with the pasta, but only one main course didn't involve meat (it was tuna).
We both had specials, and I don't know how much they were. He had a seafood risotto which was incredible, and I had pumkin gnocchi, which were at least as incredible, a HUGE plate of them in a creamy, cheesy sauce. These portions were ENORMOUS. Good thing we didn't go for the full 4 courses, and we managed to finish because both dishes were really delicious.
We didn't order coffee, but I did order tiramisu, and sad to say, it was a huge disappointment (gripe #2). I am partial to Carmine's confection, which is like several flavors/viscosities of whipped cream, it is so light and delicious. This was soggy ladyfingers sprinkled with too much cocoa powder.
But there were plenty of other items on the dessert menu and next time, I plan to try the chocolate torte.
The best part of the entire evening was the bill: $55. My sweetie is pretty sure it was an error of addition, but we weren't about to complain.
And since he proposed to me on the walk home, Scopello will always be a special place. Those pumpkin gnocci put me in the mood to say yes!
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