Scott Conant Wants You To Leave Happier Than When You Came In. Yup – Mission Accomplished!
I finally got around to trying out Scott Conant’s Scarpetta Restaurant at The Montage Beverly Hills the other day. Luckily, the Dine LA promotion was still there so we took advantage of it, having a 3-course dinner for $44. That’s crazy!!
I wasn’t going in with the intention of Tweeting, Facebooking or blogging … I just wanted to go to see how his buzzed about spaghetti was. However, upon being served their bread (“Stromboli” made with mozzarella and bologne), that all changed. In fact, I’d now say that Chef Conant had me at the bread. I was just saying that his bread was so good that you could put fertilizer on it and it’d still be good, when the Chef himself materialized (his ears must have been burning). We told him what I said – to which he said “That’s a tweet!” Thus began my documenting what turned out to be a magnificent dining experience.
Chef told us that “Scarpetta” is an Italian expression that means using bread to soak up the remnants of a dish and savoring a meal down to its very last taste. Beyond the restaurant’s name, his overarching philosophy is simply to have diners leave happier than when they arrived. As you’ll see below, he knows how to execute on his mission.
First Course: Creamy Polenta with Truffled Mushrooms
Now there’s polenta and then there’s POLENTA. This was the latter. Of course, they had me at “truff” on this dish.
Second Course (a surprise from the Chef!): Short Rib Agnolotti Pasta
THIS is a DeathbedFood pasta for me now. Made with garlic chips (how do they do that?!), horseradish and bone marrow. Wow, I think the bone marrow put it over the top. Simply stunning.
Course #3: Spaghetti and Branzino
I have to say that Chef Conant’s Spaghetti lived up to its incredible reputation for me. Real, authentic, like homemade from Italy. It should be a required dining dish for all chefs intent on specializing in Italian cuisine.
The Grilled Mediterranean Branzino with calamari and tomato marmalade was also divine.
And for dessert? Sorry, no photos but let me assure you they were both mind blowing:
- Vanilla Caramel Budino with gianduja chocolate cookies (I wasn’t sure what “Budino” was so I looked it up – it’s Italian for pudding … no wonder I loved this dessert as I’m a Pudding Monster!)
- Chocolate Cake with burnt orange-caramel gelato and espresso sauce (this is without question among the best chocolate cakes I’ve ever had … and espresso always seems to enhance any chocolate dessert)
So, Chef Conant, I’d say you know how to deliver on your brand promise. That dining experience was like a shot of transformational happiness. And, while I had had a good day going into the meal, I definitely left happier. Thank you so much!