Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Scarpetta Brunch

As previously mentioned, Scarpetta always serves some of my favorite dishes at food festivals. Other blogs coverage of Scarpetta's brunch have also been enticing. An offer for only $39 a person instead of the usual $68 for brunch on Travelzoo gave me good cause to give it a try.

Scarpetta's brunch buffet is impressive and offers a bit of everything. In addition to the prepared items there  are a number of made to order options at the bottom of the menu. Non-alcoholic drinks are included. Th iced tea was very good.

There was even live music.

After being seated and taking our drinks orders, the waiter led us back to the kitchen. Presented on the kitchen counter are various stations.

First up, an impressive display of bread. The croissants were great as were the blueberry muffins, the foccacia not so much. They also had stromboli.

Next, various salads. The salads were decent. The best were the zucchini with corn, the marinated mushrooms, and the pearl onion. I didn't care too much for their cauliflower or quinoa dishes.

Carving station. The Porchetta, served with a mustard seed vinaigrette was great. Really crispy skin and juicy meat. My favorite was a leg of lamb served with a fantastic minted salsa verde which is not listed on the menu.

Seafood. Two kinds of oysters were presented, Kushi and Blue Point. Both were very fresh and clean tasting. Cocktail shrimp were nice and plump and the wahoo crudo was accented very well by the olive oil and lemon zest. They apparently also have crab claws on some days.


The pastas were the most anticipated part of the meal given Scarpetta's reputation. They were certainly some of the best I've ever had. The spaghetti was perfectly al dente in a way I've only previously experience in Italy. Though simple, the tomato and basil sauce was profound. The agnolotti were every bit as good.

Just a few of many plates. Obviously, we were not short on options. 

We also tried a few of the made to order itmes. 

Poached egg over polenta. This was incredible. I don't know what Scarpetta does with their polenta, but it beats any other polenta I've had and I want the recipe. Ultra creamy and made even better by the runny poached egg. A  supplement of shaved truffle was available for $10. 

Nutella and ricotta stuffed french toast with whipped cream. Another winner. it sounds heavy, but it isn't. Very balanced and surprisingly light given the ingredients. 

Hash brown with fried egg and broccoli rabe. I could have skipped this one. We also tried Scarpetta's very interesting take on a Benedict, but I seem to have neglected to take a picture. Really nice truffle flavor.

One of the highlights of Scarpetta's brunch is the cheese counter run by the Beverly Hills Cheese Store:

Far more cheeses were available than the pictures indicate. The woman running the cheese station was extremely knowledge about the topic. You just had to tell her what kind of flavors you enjoy, and she would prepare a custom plate.

This was our first cheese plate. For this, we stuck to more mild flavors. The first highlight on this plate was Sells Sur Cher from France (lower left), which was a light and creamy goat cheese served with cherries. Proceeding counter clockwise, the next two were a harder goat cheese and a sheep's milk cheese I also enjoyed.  On the top right, was Marco Polo by Beechers Cheese in Seattle. This was a cows milk cheese made with green peppercorns. It had a really lively kick, especially when eaten with the green apple.  Two cheeses to the left, was Epoisses. I've heard a lot about this one, but had not had it before. Ultra creamy and strongly flavored. 

I wanted to experiment with some more exotic cheeses, so I asked for a second plate. My favorite was Eden Cheese (cow) from Brazos Valley Cheese in Texas, displayed top left. It was an ultra creamy, spreadable cheese with a very distinct ashy taste. It came wrapped in fig leaf. Also notable, was the cheese on the bottom left. This was an aged Muster (cow) from Alsace, France. I was warned by the cheese server I should eat this last and make sure to have something sweet right after. I'm glad she gave my the warning. It was one of the strongest flavored bites I have ever had. I'm not sure how I feel about it.

Finally, there is an entire room devoted to dessert. My favorite's were a panna cotta topped with guava soup, a caramel budino, and macarons. They had canolis, and while they were some of the best I've tried on the west coast, they still didn't compare to what you can get in New York.

This was by far the best brunch I've ever been to. There were a few dishes I didn't care for, but nothing awful, which is impressive given the sheer volume of food. In fact, most of the dishes were really great. Service was very attentive. Highly recommended for a lavish brunch.

Scarpetta on Urbanspoon

No comments:

Post a Comment