Scarpetta means running a piece of bread through the last piece of sauce at the end of the meal to clean the plate. What a strange name I thought of for a place that is not so “Scarpetta”. You may very well be judging a book by its cover.
Scott Conant, formerly of L’Impero and Alto, is in command of Scarpetta, Fontainebleau Miami Beach. This is definitely not your neighborhood’s traditional Italian restaurant. There are no red and white checkerboard vinyl tablecloths here, no raffia-wrapped jugs of Chianti placed in the center of the table, no cans of tomato sauce, olive oil, and family photos on the walls for a homely atmosphere. This elegant and modern Italian restaurant offers splendid views of the sea with a wraparound terrace that delights the romantic soul. The decor is ultra stylish and modern. This is where beautiful food is made. This is where the beautiful food is presented. This is where the beautiful ones go to eat. Was the beautiful really “scarpetta”?
The stromboli type of bread is packed with exciting meats and cheeses and causing any carb-loving fool to rack up the contents of the bread basket. I thought what an interesting collection of breads it must be for those who “scarpetta”. Although unlikely, even the bread is beautiful. Why would you do that to bread?
Signature Conant gastronomic wonders such as Agnolotti Dal Plin (ravioli) filled with mixed meat and fonduta, mushrooms and Parmigiano, and duck and foie gras ravioli grace the menu and palate, challenging you to excite a wanderlust culinary. . The spaghetti with tomato and basil, in short, perfect. Homemade, handcrafted, and the most fabulous carb-inducing item you’ll ever put in your mouth. Period. I think it would “scarpetta”.
Creamy Polenta with truffled mushroom fricassee will bring you to your knees completely. The smooth and ultra rich mouthfeel of polenta leaves one breathless; inviting you to enjoy another magnificent taste of what could only be heaven. It is right now that I am looking for “Scarpetta” my fricassee. I think one of my dining companions has taken over the bread basket.
Spiced Roast Chicken served with Polenta, Porcini Mushrooms, and Almond Liver Sauce is definitely not your mother’s Roast Chicken. The secret to this incredibly delicious and moist poultry dish is that it simmers. Anything worthwhile, so to speak, takes time. Slowly roasted, perfectly seasoned and soaked with just the right amount of marinade / brine it offers its captors a truly exquisite culinary experience of succulent tender meat that leaves you craving just one more taste. The liver and almond sauce is definitely scarpetta worthy. Where is that bread basket?
And now for dessert, the Coconut Panna Cotta is a refined version of lust on a plate. Sweet, sticky and silky. This caramelized pineapple and guava ‘soup’ is a velvety cream that delights and seduces your palate; exciting them to want sweeter, silkier and stickier.
And now I get it, no matter how beautiful it is, it’s all about the taste. Taste is everything. Either you have it or you don’t. So, no matter how stunning a dish looks, it may not taste as good; everything seems without substance. If it tastes good, it is worthy of “scarpetta”. Do you have “scarpetta”? Definitely “scarpetta”.
4441 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33140-3227