Saturday

225 North Canon Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 860-7970

Beverly Hills exudes glamour, style and a sense of place, and now there’s a restaurant that also embodies all of those characteristics. Scarpetta is definitely the reason to come to Beverly Hills to dine for civilized Italian food.

In a sea of restaurant-mediocrity, (forget about E Baldi, unless your wish is to be treated rudely, and then get overcharged for it), this is such a welcome addition at the Montage that it almost makes us forget about the sad, untimely demise of the beyond fabulous Muse at Montage.
Going to the Montage is in and of itself an elegant experience. The moment you arrive, the hotel doormen greet you with genuine amity, the folks in the lobby continue to make you feel at home and the aroma of refinement wafts through the common areas with grace and elegance. When the hotel management realized they needed a restaurant to match its style, they moved beyond typical hotel fare and enticed Scarpetta to reappear in its predecessor, Le Parq.
The weather is starting to be perfect for the outside tables, our personal favorites. Sitting on the park-like promenade with sprinkling fountains and unusual flaming heat lamps, we always feel as though we’re in Italy, or the South of France, enjoying a bite to eat at a trendy haunt on the Croisette. The booths are comfy and the atmosphere is casual. Inside, the gorgeous wood paneling and coffered ceilings from the old Muse upstairs are visible, and the environment affords generous amounts of space between tables for dining without neighbors right on top of you (like other Italian eateries up the Canon block). The feel of the restaurant matches that of the other public areas of the hotel, with the ability to choose tables or comfortable booths.
For a different and unique experience, you can book ahead for the one “chef’s table” directly in the kitchen. “Table” may be a misnomer since it’s the beautiful granite counter in front of the orchestra of cooks and helpers who silently make the resulting experience outside the kitchen flawless.

Just beyond the kitchen and tucked away from the restaurant is a private room that holds up to 12 diners, also with a view of the kitchen, but with glass doors that close that world out, and glass windows that brings the world of Beverly Drive into it. We would love a kitchen like this in our home and it is a treat to chat with the sous chefs as our food is prepared by the legions.

Keep an eye open for the extremely knowledgeable sommelier, Mark Hefter, who will be by your side pouring just the right wines to match each of your courses, or your palette.
We could be happy eating just the Scarpetta’s Spaghetti with tomato and basil ($24) and it’s difficult for us to venture beyond this superb and unequalled preparation.
Unlike any Spaghetti we have ever tasted, it seems like it has been infused with Parmigiana and the homemade noodles practically melt in your mouth. Chef Scott Conant, based in New York, took the dining world by storm after a nomination for “Best New Chef” and “Best New Restaurant” by James Beard and GQ. Teamed with General Manager Dean Tsaknikas (so handsome, and extremely well qualified for his young years, with handsome being the Dining Duo’s most important criteria), the proof is in the pasta, and yet much more.
We suggest jumping in full force and partaking in the 12-course chef’s tasting menu, served in the kitchen, and at $200 per person, this is a true bargain for what you receive.
We actually had to stop after ten courses because we were truly satiated; but had we paced ourselves, we would have done all 12 for sure. The highlights of our chef’s menu included our Piemontese Tajarin ( tagliatelle) with black truffles, which was smothered with enough truffles to flavor the dish, but not overpower it. The Straciatella Buratta, utilizes the creamy inside of the buratta, which has always been one of our favorite dishes, resulting in a velvety, smooth and fresh preparation.

The duck & foie gras ravioli (also on the regular menu at $16), is a must taste, and although it is politically incorrect to love foie gras, we are still suckers for the delectable dish, especially the unique way Scarpetta’s presented it. The John Dory with artichoke puree was also a stand out and as we watched it being plated for us, there was no question it would be spectacular. Another “don’t miss” is the Black Cod with caramelized fennel, which was served so delicate, and flakey, the flavorful fish nearly melted on our tongues.
There are so many great choices, so much food, and so many fabulous wines, yet we always find a way to finish the perfect Italian meal, and at Scarpetta’s it was with a Panna Cotta ($11). Serving up a delicious take on this traditional desert, it was plated with coconut soup and caramelized pineapple. Creamy, and beyond fattening, we loved it, but please don’t tell our trainers.

Go for the terrific bread basket, spaghetti and wine and call it a night; or experience the three-hour chef’s tasting menu (or anything in between) but where else can you walk away feeling like you got true value for your dining experience, from atmosphere, to food, to well-trained service?
The only thing missing was for us to fall into a gorgeous suite in the hotel (more of that in the future), have Triple Dog delivered to our room, and spend the night sleeping in a food and wine induced slumber.  And what a nice place to wake up and smell the coffee.
Scarpetta Brunch debuts April 17th from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 pm; we can't wait!

Posted by The Dining Duo | 6:53 PM | , , , , , , | 3 comments »

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3 comments

  1. Monika // April 3, 2011 at 11:52 AM  

    Thank you Guys for the recommendation. We were there just last night and loved every bit of it. Sophisticated food, friendly and unpretentious service, good wine and just overall great dining experience.

  2. ruth.amir // April 3, 2011 at 2:15 PM  

    Couldn't agree more. As for the secret to the spaghetti? It's that lovely knob of unsalted butter...makes all the difference.

  3. Whitney // April 3, 2011 at 2:59 PM  

    Seriously, I'm SO jealous!!! I thought I was past cravings but just the thought of Panna Cotta is driving me crazy. Not to mention sitting outdoors to dine this time of year. Keep teasing me like this and I may just have to come visit! xo

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