Dine LA! I usually don’t really care for Dine LA because I don’t like dessert, which makes a prix fixe menu kind of useless. However, Dine LA seems to have stepped it up over the last couple years and the menus have much more variety. There was a point when almost every restaurant was offering beet salads and short ribs entrees.
Scarpetta in Beverly Hills is located in the Montage Hotel right off Wilshire and Canon, across an open courtyard from Bouchon (with which I was not very impressed). I think the hotel is probably typically beautiful (the bathrooms were amazing!) the way you would think of most stereotypical Beverly Hills establishments. Three course lunch for $28 per person. I planned this for my Friday off and got Tom to come with me. The weather was gorgeous and we sat on the patio.
One of the better bread baskets I’ve had with three spreads: eggplant caponata, mascarpone butter, and herb infused olive oil. One of the breads was rolled with smoked mozzarella and prosciutto, and another was like a gigantic soft crouton.
Okay, yes, I got short ribs. Whatever. They were delicious and served on top of a bed of farro. Tom got the creamiest polenta I’ve ever had in my life with a dish of mushrooms on the side.
Scarpetta’s famous spaghetti. I think the pasta is handmade, with a tomato basil sauce. It was a bit bland–the beauty is supposed to be in its simplicity, but I added a scoop of the eggplant caponata and it perked up. The texture and chewiness of the noodles was absolutely perfect though. Tom got these ravioli type pasta with a beet filling that he really liked, but I didn’t because it was sprinkled with pistachios.
Don’t care much for desserts, but I think I liked this caramel budino with chocolate sable cookies because it was a mix of salty and sweet, and at times, more salty than sweet. It had these little crunchy cookie bits under the cream that reminded me of the buttery sugar crumble topping of coffee cake.
This was probably the nicest restaurant we’ve been to with Dine LA, and I could tell because the quality of service and food was top notch. Tom usually doesn’t really buy into Dine LA because he feels that it’s just normal stuff you could get at practically the same price when it isn’t Dine LA. For the most part, I agree with him, but that’s why I compare the Dine LA menus with the regular menus and only bother going to the ones that I think are worth it. We went to Waterloo & City a couple nights before, and while the food was really good, the value was not. Apparently, they do an even cheaper three-course menu on Sundays and Mondays. It would be a great restaurant to go to on any random day, but it’s not a must for Dine LA. Scarpetta, on the other hand, was a much more exemplary experience.