[Shanghai] Scarpetta (2)
Scarpetta | Dianping
Address: 蒙自路33号近徐家汇路 – 33 Mengzi Rd, where Madang Rd becomes Mengzi Rd at Xujiahui Rd (黄浦区 Huangpu District)
Date visited: 2013.12
Total bill: RMB¥3,800 for ten people
Will return: Definitely
What to get:
– Appetizer: affettati platter, calamari fritti, wagyu beef carpaccio
– Pasta & rice: flower crab egg tortellini, house-made orecchiette bolognese, Boston lobster and saffron risotto
– Pizza: Vongole pizza
– Meat: slow roast pork sparerib
– Dessert: tiramisu
– Also see previous post
I ate half the Scarpetta menu in one sitting. True story. If you are going with a party of 10 or above, don’t even bother reading this. Just go. Give them a price range per person (don’t be cheap) and the restaurant will handle your dishes; they will all be good and you will all be very full. Readers, you are welcome. Scarpetta, I demand commission for every table I sell.
Without further ado, I present to you: the Scarpetta menu in pictoral form.
Affettati platter (RMB¥258; two orders) with house-made pate de campagne, prosciutto di san daniele, coppa, salami, chicken liver mousse
This thing feeds a lot of people. I ate this with two other people once and we stuffed ourselves silly and couldn’t finish it. This time I ate this with four other people (sitting on my side of the table) and we struggled very hard finish it. It’s big.
My favorite on this platter is the chicken liver mousse, which I usually slather onto the complimentary bread generously.
Kale, Fuji apple and fennel salad (RMB¥78; two orders) with pomegranate, pumpkin seed, parmiggiano lemon mustard vinaigrette
Parmiggiano reggiano recurs in a few Scarpetta dishes and I quite like this cheese. I normally don’t have a penchant for most salads I meet but I like the salads at Scarpetta because they have a good balance of citrus elements contrasting the cheese so we may be able to continue this relationship. I also like the caprese salad (RMB¥128), which has a really tasty burrata with an assortment of tomatoes.
Uni lardo crostini (RMB¥138 for two pieces; five orders) with radishes, caramelized shallots
As I said in my previous post, I like this but it comes at a hefty price tag of RMB¥69 per piece, which is fine if you’re not an uni fanatic like me and want like ten pieces. I love uni so much.
Calamari fritti (RMB¥98; two orders) with squid ink garlic aioli, lemon, mentaiko, fried herbs
Perfectly crispy calamari with a distinct aoli for dipping. The calamari is served on top of paper to soak up the oil but it wasn’t overly greasy enough to leave much residue. Very nice.
My friends sitting at my end of the table are really hating me at this point because they have to wait for me to finish taking all my photos while the other half the table can immediately dive into the same dish on their end. They are all plotting to sit away from me next time.
Wagyu beef carpaccio (RMB¥188; two orders) with black truffle mustard aioli, white button mushrooms, pickled honshimeji, parmigiano reggiano
I really hate it when a dish description says it contains truffle but I can’t smell or taste it in the actual dish. This is not one of those dishes. I could smell it from my seat and there was so much of it in the aioli I was mopping it all up with the beef. One of my favorite appetizers here.
Shrimp & chorizo pizza (RMB¥138; one order) with basil pesto, corn, chili
I actually don’t eat pizza very often unless we are in New York eating artichoke pizza so I can do without this especially since there are so many good things on the menu. Slightly spicy.
Vongole pizza (RMB¥138) with razor and Manila clams, mozzarella, pancetta, garlic white wine sauce
This is a bold move because they put a clam chowder on a pizza. Like I said, I don’t eat pizza very often but this would be a reason to eat it more. Slightly spicy and tastes like the ocean, said one friend. Next time if someone makes us get a pizza here, I will only take this for an answer.
House-made pasta verde and clams (RMB¥158; one order) with garlic, white wine, spinach, cauliflower, pancetta
This is the love-it-or-hate-it pasta according to our favorite manager and we agree. Slightly spicy and very heavy on the garlic. In fact, there is so much garlic in this, I would strongly advise to not order this on a date but if you are with a group of friends then who cares. It’s not my favorite but multiple others liked it.
Flower crab egg tortellini (RMB¥238; one order) with uni cream sauce, Baerri caviar, chervil
There is uni and caviar in this. Do I need to go on? Okay, I will. Chunks of uni floating in its own cream sauce. This is an inherently heavy pasta due to the cream sauce but it is actually not super artery-clogging because the stuffing in the tortellini is not too heavy. It is one of the more expensive pastas but the price can be mitigated by sharing.
House-made orecchiette bolognese (RMB¥168; two orders) with beef and pork ragu, roasted bone marrow
I am self-proclaiming this Scarpetta’s signature bone marrow pasta because you can’t come here and not eat this (same with the pork sparerib). Can you imagine a sloppy joe made with this because it would be the best sloppy joe of all time. I commented that this was slightly too al dente for me compared to last time but two female friends who shall remain anonymous said–and I quote–they “like it hard.” Our side of the table was obviously where the grown-ups sat.
As always, the bone is consistently huge and full of marrow. God save my arteries.
If you have extra bread, you can use it to soak up the pasta sauces with it (the uni cream sauce and bone marrow ragu sauce are good for this). Although I did have to tell one of the girls to stop gorging on bread because we were about to move onto the meats.
At this point, the manager knows me so well that he has instructed the servers to bring all the food that has only one order in front of me first before distributing the dishes throughout the table. Now my friends are really rethinking where they should sit in relation to me next time. Good luck, everyone.
Slow roasted pork sparerib (RMB¥288; one order) with roasted garlic, mustard seed, brocollini, potato gratin
Part super soft meat and part wobbly fat, this dish is consistently glorious every time I have it. The meat cuts and slides off the bone so easily. Eat a bit of everything on the plate together at once. Instant food coma. Zzzzzzzzzz.
Orange and rosemary scented whole chicken (RMB¥228; one order) with prepared alla mattone, cauliflower, squash, polenta
I am usually not too into chicken dishes so I probably wouldn’t have ordered this on my own. But it turned out to be the most moist/juicy/succulent/insert more relevant adjectives chicken meat covered by perfectly crispy skin. I could eat this with a bowl of rice at home.
Dessert time. I hardly consider grappa dessert but a few of the guy at the table wanted to reaffirm their manliness (“are we lighting this on fire?” & “this is our pregame right?”) so they ordered some Nonino Chardonnay Grappa (RMB¥98 each). Grappa is brandy made from grape pomace leftover from winemaking. It is really strong and I would compare this to a shot of hard liquor. Why would I want to sip a shot for dessert. Where’s my chocolate?!
Here is my chocolate. I have had this twice at Scarpetta. The first time–not so good; the second time–exactly how a tiramisu should taste. The good news is that it got better (and not worse) so whatever changes they made in the kitchen with the desserts must have stablized. I really like the contrast between the crispy chocolate beads and the soft tiramisu cream.
Our designated money counter. You would think more of us would be good at this but no.
Well, that concludes one meal. While we are at it, I also recommend the grilled half Boston lobster and saffron risotto (RMB¥288) with brussel sprouts, carrot, lemon preserve, brown butter, and hazelnuts which I ate on a different visit.
Okay, tackle the rest of the menu next time.