During a recent trip to Manhattan we made a delightful discovery: a lovely, inviting, moderately-priced restaurant in the heart of the theater district with fine, fresh food, inventive dishes and excellent service.
And there's more: The place is intimate, tastefully decorated and conducive to good conversation. Plus it boasts an excellently stocked bar and serves up the best (and among the largest) martinis we've enjoyed in a long time.To top it all off, it's Italian. Can you beat that?!?
By now you're probably wondering: What's the name of this place anyway and exactly where is it?
Why should we tell you? We don't want throngs headed there. We want to make sure we're able to get a reservation and walk right in next time we go to Broadway.
Well, there you are -- it's near Broadway.
OK, OK . . . dear reader. Since you're reading this blog in the first place and since we appreciate that and since we want you to know (as we do) that going to the theater and dinner on Broadway needn't break the bank, we'll tell you.
But before we do, we must acknowledge that it was a dear friend who told us about this place. The friend wishes to remain anonymous but please know that we're simply passing this along.
We didn't actually make the discovery, Our friend did.
Anyway, the restaurant is Scarlotto and it's at 250 West 47th between Broadway and Eighth.
The chef at Scarlotto is Roberto Passon, formerly of La Zie and Zoccole. According to AOL City Guide he is "known for turning humble comfort dishes like spaghetti and meatballs and macaroni and cheese into elevated cuisine."
Indeed, that old secure favorite spaghetti and meatballs is on the menu. But we opted for the gnocchi sorrentina, the tagliarini bolognese, the sea bass with broccoli and roasted potatoes and the red snapper marinated in herbs and garlic sauteed mixed vegetables. The pasta dishes were priced at $12 and $13 and they were plentiful entrees. The fish dishes were priced at $23 and well worth it. We combined these with mixed greens ($7) or caesar salad ($8) and were deliciously satisfied.
And yes -- the vodka martinis were delightfully smooth.
It's been said that "a subtle confidence accompanies the comments on [Passon's] dishes, and you know without a doubt that he does believe in them."
Our feeling is that he has every right to believe in them as they are "perfecto!"
You can be sure of this: We will be returning to Scarlotto -- and soon!