The Scarpetta NYC Review

Christine Drinan, Founder

Scarpetta in NYC

When a restaurant takes over the Village Idiot old space, we’d say that the only direction is up (though some may say that those are big shoes to fill). But that’s what Scarpetta did as up-and-coming Scott Conant’s restaurant in the Meatpacking district. Fast forward 15+ years and Scarpetta NYC is back in the Flatiron. The scene is better than ever, but what’s the food like? This is the review of Scarpetta NYC today.


When I moved to NYC in 2001, the Meatpacking District was a gritty, sex-club filled den of debauchery. The opening of Scarpetta NYC in 2008 was a pivot point for Meatpacking as higher-end dining arrived. Helmed by Chef Scott Conant, Scarpetta NYC had some of the best Italian food in NYC. Not that I put much into ratings, but they had a well-deserved 3-star review from the New York Times. I still remember the polenta and mushrooms; the food was top-notch. Chef Conant was almost always in the house, charming all the tables which added to the atmosphere. However, he left in 2014 and by then, most New Yorkers didn’t give a second thought to Scarpetta NYC.

Scarpetta though under hospitality group LDV opened locations all over the world. They’ve mastered a formula, where several locations are in hotels, including the Bulgari in London. Scarpetta NYC eventually moved to the James Hotel. It’s a completely different Scarpetta than the original. This is the updated Scarpetta NYC review.


Overall, the atmosphere of Scarpetta is one of its greatest strengths. However, the atmosphere of Scarpetta depends on when you go. For lunch it’s nice and quiet, and a place that you can almost always walk in for a bite. It completely transforms though for dinner, and the scene is distinct between the weekdays and weekends. During the week, the scene of Scarpetta NYC is filled with lots of New York eye candy, both on the female and male sides. The average age ranges 30s, and up, and it’s a real NYC crowd. Tables are packed and it’s a good scene to meet attractive people.

On a weekend at Scarpetta, the scene is more out-of-towners, twenties or so, big birthday celebrations. People are dressed to the nines, but they likely don’t live in Manhattan. There’s a club downstairs so it’s that type of vibe. It’s not bad, but the crowd isn’t dominated by local New Yorkers. You’ll certainly meet people if you sit at the bar, but if you want a table, a reservation is a must. You really will wait over 2 hours for a table without one.

To note to Scarpetta management: while the weekend crowd is different in the club downstairs than during the week, restaurant patrons still share the same bathroom. The bathroom is a disgrace; you need two attendants down there. To have glasses, spills, no toilet paper, and general filth is not ok.

Food + Wine

The 3-star reviews, polenta with mushrooms as it used to be and talented Scott Conant are long gone, or a shadow of itself. What you’re left with though is solid Italian food that you can eat any night of the week. They shine most in their pastas where there are usually around 7 or so seasonal options. Counter-intuitively the best pasta and reason to go to Scarpetta is the classic spaghetti in tomato and basil sauce. It’s the top pasta on the menu, though it sounds a lot less interesting than the other renditions like duck and foie gras. The crudo and fish dishes on the menu don’t offend but they also don’t leave a lasting memory. I don’t mean to make the food sound average because it’s quite good as long as you’re looking for something easy. Also, the bread basket with the stromboli is another good reason to drop by for a weeknight meal.


The service ranges from not memorable to great at Scarpetta NYC. Interestingly enough, on arrival, the hosts are younger and not memorable. There’s no one with big energy or confidence up front. Instead, you have people who are doing the function of checking you in. I’m not saying they’re not friendly or unfriendly, but they leave no impression. However, as you get deeper into the restaurant the service gets more professional. The guys at the bar execute their job well, and the waitstaff in the restaurant know their stuff. It’s not like there was anyone passionate enough to work there, but people know their jobs. Obviously, it’s a well-run operation, as you would expect from a corporate restaurant group.

Overall: 7/10

A solid spot to eat at the bar any night of the week.

Other Articles You’ll Like

The Updated Le Coucou Review 
Brasserie Fouquet’s Review 
NYC Bars Where You Can Dance


Q: Where is Scarpetta NYC located?

A: Scarpetta NYC is located in the James Hotel. The address is: The James Hotel, 88 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10016

Q: What are Scarpetta’s hours of operation?

A: Scarpetta NYC’s hours of operation are as follows:

  • 11:30 AM–2:30 PM
  • 5:30–11 PM
  • 5–11 PM
  • 11:30 AM–3 PM
  • 5:30–9:30 PM
  • 11:30 AM–2:30 PM
  • 5:30–9:30 PM
  • 11:30 AM–2:30 PM
  • 5:30–10 PM
  • 11:30 AM–2:30 PM
  • 5:30–10 PM
  • 11:30 AM–2:30 PM

Q: Is Scarpetta NYC good for lunch?

A: The lunch scene at Scarpetta is quiet, especially compared to the evening scene where dinner table reservations are a practical must. The menu is streamlined at lunch, but they do have the classic spaghetti. They also have a nice 3-course $38 prix fixe lunch, which is good value. It just depends on what you’re looking for, but you’ll likely be able to get a walk-in table.

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