Stopped in to sit at the bar area of Scarpetta for dinner. Although we're pretty much all tomatoed-out, how often do you get to pay $24 for spaghetti with tomato and basil? Based on the dishes that I usually order, I tend to refer to Scott Conant's food here at Scarpetta as French-Italian. You'll see why below.
To start with the bread, which includes a delicious stromboli, are mascarpone, eggplant caponata, and olive oil.
Our first course was the creamy polenta with fricassee of truffled mushrooms. The aroma of the truffle comes out immediately while the polenta is ridiculously creamy and buttery. The portions here are pretty large in general, though they might not appear so at first. The picture above is of a half portion of the appetizer. I've also wondered whether you get more food here by ordering something and asking them to split it for two.
Next was the duck and foie gras ravioli with marsala reduction. This pic is also of a shared portion. You can definitely get good bites of foie gras and it is a pretty heavy dish.
This is the signature spaghetti with tomato and basil. Luscious and buttery and oily, this is consistently good and always lives up to the hype. The picture here is of a full portion, but it's actually pretty dense inside and very filling with the butter and oil.
I call it French-Italian because of the use of the foie gras and the heavier hand of butter and oil. It's Italian but feels like there's French technique in the background. Or, you can just call it rustic Italian if you prefer. Either way the food is delicious and hearty and the bar area has a really nice buzz to it.