Scott Conant got Spanish dancers (I think Flamenco, but I don’t really know) to perform last night at the opening of his new Italian restaurant Scarpetta (where Gin Lane was, in case you follow that sort of thing). That’s cool — no reason to overdo the theme, and Spanish dancing’s sexy.
I interviewed Scott about the restaurant yesterday, and he said he wanted it to be sexy — fun, relaxed, a place where you feel comfortable letting your hair down, picking up a piece of bread and sopping up sauce with it. That sauce-soaked bread is called a scarpetta, and the restaurant’s logo is a streak of sauce.
The party was also a launch party for Scott’s cookbook, “Bold Italian,” a copy of which is now sitting on my desk.
It was a good party. There was plenty of food — pasta, pea soup, calamari, hamachi crudo — the wine flowed freely, and the food world turned up in respectable numbers. And prestigious ones, too. Florence Fabricant stopped by, and the inimitable Kate Krader from Food & Wine and Nilou Motamed from Travel + Leisure. Both are inimitable, they really are — that's them in the picture. Aren’t they inimitable? (You can also see the profile of Caryl Chinn, event planner and former girlfriend of Todd English).
I met Chris Shott, a real estate reporter from The New York Observer, who praised the Soverign Beck tie I was wearing.
Marissa May, the manager of San Domenico stopped by, too, which makes sense since Scott worked there for four years, starting in 1990. San Domenico is giving up its lease this June, and theoretically moving to a new location. Skeptics have said that it will probably just close down, for good, but Marissa indicated that they have, indeed, found a new space, and they’ll announce it on June 19, which is the restaurant’s 20th anniversary. She said the designer of the new space will be Massimo Vignelli. So that’s exciting.
Nutritionist and public health advocate extraordinaire Marion Nestle was at the party, too. She told me about her new book, coming out this September, about the pet food recall and what it means for our food supply generally. It’s called “Pet Food Politics: The Chihuahua in the Coal Mine.” Isn’t that a good title?
I finished out the evening — and pretty much closed the party — hanging out with Josh Ozersky and his friend Abbe.