On a fine May evening in Los Angeles, I visited Scarpetta where I was seated amongst a plethora of the good looking Beverly Hills set. The open patio doors welcomed the coming of summer breeze and as we looked out onto the courtyard, it felt as if we had taken a trip to the Riviera. The Riviera of Rodeo Drive, that is. Nestled within avenues of luxury retailers, the opulent Spanish Colonial Revival architecture and Mediterranean styling was welcoming and tranquil. If dining in such relaxing environs that the Montage is modeled after, it’s no wonder Europeans are known to have dinners that last three hours, sometimes longer. I was more interested in the people watching than in the décor.
We were greeted by an ever so friendly server named Jill with refreshing strawberry cocktails and an authentic selection of house made Italian breads. The foodie 101 educational journey had begun. Raw Yellowtail and Tuna Susci were a light and flavorful pairing with a glass of Prosecco, and were very representative of the Rodeo Drive Riviera and not what you could typically find on the menu of your everyday Italian restaurant. If you’re not eating sushi or “Susci” in LA, then you’re not a true Angeleno, I’m sure that’s what all the blondes were ordering.
Jill brought a glass of white that was a little mundane for my taste, and the following glass, which was sweeter and lighter, was a great recovery selection. Our bubbly server highly recommended the Polenta, which was indeed a creamy treat. We also tried the Truffled Beef Crudo, which was by far my favorite starter! The balance of flavors was satisfying almost to the point of calling it comfort food, but since the portion was perfect, there was no way to over-do it as one might with fried chicken and mashed potatoes.
It’s not very often one hears the expression, “There’s something about the spaghetti.” Spaghetti, however, seems to be the hot commodity at Scarpetta, which was a bit hard for me to figure out. Spaghetti is an emblem of all cuisine Italian, and therefore it is fitting that Spaghetti would be the signature dish of a fine Italian restaurant however it did not blow my mind but then again Spaghetti in its purest form rarely ever does. The sauce was tangy and the noodles al dente, but nothing extraordinary, perhaps a bit bland. I found myself reaching for the table salt, which is something I never do.
On the other hand the Duck and Foie Gras Ravioli was spectacular and the Short Rib Angolotti was absolutely fantastic, which I would recommend over noodles and tomato sauce any time. A sampling of the Pink Snapper with fregola, leeks, and saffron brodetto along with the aged sirloin beef with roasted baby potatoes, forest mushrooms, and Barolo reduction were kindly served to us in small portions.
A fine house port, paired with a sweet offering of coconut panna cotta with guava soup and caramelized pineapple was the perfect finish. All in all, bravo Scarpetta -you’re definitely worth more visits!
225 North Canon Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210