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Scarpetta

355 W 14th St
New York, NY 10014

Pasta as good as it gets. Don't ignore the spaghetti or you'll miss out on a meal that deserves the highest praise, for any price, but luckily, Scarpetta falls within an indulgently comfortable zone.
I would literally marry Scott Conant for his spaghetti. Never has any chef so deftly coaxed flavor out of simple Roma tomatoes, and I doubt any pasta dish henceforth will be able to live up to this. While the menu just describes the dish as "Spaghetti, tomato and basil," the signature sauce also hits notes of red pepper, Parmesan, and salt that contribute to an elegant complexity that complements the rustic bite of the pasta itself.
Scarpetta also impresses, though, because the other dishes manage to hold their own in the midst of expertly crafted pasta. The Raw Yellowtail is a favorite appetizer to share, with ginger oil, pickled red onion, and black lava salt that adds a fresh bite to the overall meal, while the Roasted Capretto with brocoli rabe, pancetta, and tomatoes also attests to Scott Conant's expert impulses in crafting nuanced, yet simply rustic dishes.
The space itself is full of natural light casting in from the skylight-filled ceiling, and the service is as impeccable as much more expensive tasting menus across the city. While any restaurant that will synchronize the presentation of the meal by removing the lids of the dishes at the same time tends to automatically win my heart, Scarpetta's elegance, friendliness, and creatively thoughtful menu wins me over again and again.
355 W 14th St
New York, NY 10014
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