Scarpetta’s Sultry Dining Experience
There is something exceptional in the air at theÂ Fontainbleau. In addition to the lavish perfumes of the gorgeous gold diggers and the pretentiousness of the millionaires, there is also this intoxicating energy that imbues one with feelings of regal and sexiness. Walking through the doors and into this haven of plush indulgence seems to elevate the resortâ€™s patrons. We finally got around to trying the fabledÂ ScarpettaÂ that our foodie circle raves about and took the tongue plunge. The ambiance was exalting, the service impeccable, the soundtrack melodic and the food was great too.
After promenading past the seductive bar and the beautiful people drinking at it, we were seated in a luxurious dining area. Before we even ordered our fare a tasty basket with an assortment of fresh bread was delivered along with stellar eggplant dip, oil and butter. It came hot, crispy and moist straight from the oven. The favorite was a concoction of thin sliced salami layered into the bread with tomatoes.
We started with the acclaimed Creamy Polenta and it was better than we ever could have imagined. Polenta is cornmeal that is boiled into a porridge. Scarpetta serves it next to a bowl of fricasseed (cut up, sautÃ©ed and braised) truffled mushrooms. What makes this treat so freakishly deliciously special is that the polenta is cooked for three hours, which dissolves ALL of the grains. This process transforms it into this uber creamy and deliriously superb delicacy. It possesses an amazing consistency that simultaneously dazzles and soothes the mouth. The Hedonist preferred it without the mushrooms, so you might want to stop the server from mixing the two after it is bestowed upon your table and try it both ways.
For our second app we had theÂ Diver Scallop Crudo, with fennel orange and pine nuts. This minuscule plate was refreshing and light with a hint of sweetness.
We started the main course with theÂ Duck and Foie Gras RavioliÂ with a marsala reduction. The diminutive pasta purses were loaded with ample duck and foie with a scrumptious sauce and a generous portion. While the foie was not on par with the French versions that transports your palate into Nirvana, it was still a solid dish.
The only letdown of the night was theÂ Black TaglioniÂ with stewed baby octopus and basil bread crumbs. The dish looked resplendent but was truly uninspiring. It consisted of just one flavor note and was fairly bland. When our gracious waitress asked us how everything was, I responded in my usual brutally honest way that the taglioni was disappointing. She asked if we wanted to switch it out, but not wanting to make a fuss, we politely declined. A couple minutes later the manager arrived and profusely apologized and demanded that we substitute out the taglioni for their famous spaghetti. This is a true staple of a fantastic restaurant, where unadulterated customer satisfaction is paramount. They had no idea we were bloggers and still insisted on optimizing our experience, kudos Scarpetta.
TheÂ SpaghettiÂ with tomato and basil is what vaulted Scarpetta aloft to its world renowned fame. They use some of the finest pasta imported from Italy and one can taste the difference. It was cooked to utter perfectionÂ al denteÂ (firm, but not hard). It was thick substantial noodles, yet soft enough to twirl around your fork and tongue. These delicately firm noodles just feel so amazing to bite into. The sauce was nice, not overpowered by the tomato and contained some depth from the fresh basil. It is not a rich dish and is fairly simple on the taste spectrum, but it is just done right as a perfect plain spaghetti dish was meant to be.
To consummate the meal, we had theÂ Coconut Panna CottaÂ with caramelized pineapple and guava â€œsoupâ€. This was a fun dessert that made dining feel more like play. The underneath the â€œsweet and tartâ€ soup was a deceptively thick custard, so when you dipped your spoon into it, you found yourself surprised at the resistance. It was definitely addictive as all the flavors harmoniously blended together into an ambrosial sugar rush. The tiny cookie (tuile) on top was simply divine.
Since one dessert is rarely enough we also ordered theÂ Coffee SemifredoÂ with hazelnuts, anise cream and lemon sorbet that was a brilliant treat. The hazelnut was at the forefront with a subdued cafecito taste entwined into it. The highlight of the dish was a ridiculously poignant lemon sorbet that will energize your face from its sheer flavor strength. I am not sure what goes on in that kitchen but it felt like the sorbet had some adderal or cocaine in it. I scooped up a bit to put on my teeth to see if I could get a lemon numbie but to no avail.
Scarpetta provided a truly luscious and gratifying experience, draped in provocativeness. The service and presentation were splendorous, demonstrating that they will go above and beyond when it comes to making sure its customers are satiated and satisfied. We definitely were.