Monday, September 23, 2013

8 until 8 Happy Hour at Scarpetta

With powerhouse restaurants such as CUT, Urasawa, Mastro's and Crustacean, Beverly Hills isn't exactly a neighborhood where one can expect to dine without shelling out some serious dough. Until recently, my personal options on a budget in that area were M CafĂ© & Greenleaf Chopshop, both of which close pretty early and—while I'm thankful to have healthy choices—not exactly the foods I'd seek out when I'm feeling indulgent, in the "more carbs & fat, calorie-counting be damned!" sense, not necessarily in spending more.
Happy Hour Menu
So I was rather excited to find out that Scarpetta has a happy hour with plenty of delicious and filling choices. Furthermore, it's freaking easy to remember: 8 bar plates & 8 cocktails are $8 each before 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday [they're closed Sunday]. For those who prefer beer & wine, those are available for $4 to $6, respectively, during their HH. And when I went about a week ago, they actually had 10 small plates to choose from.

And don't let the term "small plates" fool you; one can easily get full from 2-3 of these sizable orders. In fact, on my most recent trip, three was perhaps a bit much even for me and I had to enlist Mattatouille & Caroline on Crack to help me polish off some of the foods, which included:
Porchetta Piadini
Porchetta sliders on brioche buns - mini sandwiches that are great on their own but made even better with the assorted housemade pickles, whose crunchy tang were a nice foil to the slightly sweet bread & savory pork.
Mushroom - Mascarpone Ravioli
Mushroom-mascarpone ravioli - their ravioli filling & sauce changes up seasonally, but I loved this variation with plump & tender pasta pillows filled with light, earthy mushroom-cheese, finished off a luscious mushroom cream sauce and a bright spinach puree.
Peach & Ricotta Salad
Grilled peach & ricotta salata salad w baby lettuce & toasted almond vinaigrette - a nice dish for those who want lighter fare, or just wants to fill out their fruits & vegetables quota, this salad was a delightful melange of flavors and textures: smoky-sweetness of the grilled peaches, briny-creaminess of the cheese and the soft crunch of the almond & lettuce.
My happy hour tipple of choice is the Noce - basically a Rye Old-Fashioned paired with some candied pecans to snack on.

But what made this already filling meal into a real belly buster were the assorted complimentary snacks that were also sent out with the order, including . . .
Chips & Nuts
. . . a big bowl of spiced nuts and platter of housemade, herb-infused potato chips . . .
Bread Service
. . . and their famous bread basket, which got LA Weekly's praise of best in the city with good reason. Asides from the assortment of accompaniments (whipped butter, olive oil & caponata), one of the breads in the basket is the stromboli, which is stuffed with gooey mozzarella, bright tomatoes and spicy salami (there's also a meatfree version for vegetarians.)

So needless to say, with all of this going on I can probably order 2 (perhaps even 1) "small plate" and not need another bite for a while.

And at $32 (+ tax & tip), this quickly became my favorite go-to happy hour (and early dinner) place in Beverly Hills, and one of few spots in LA where you can grab some classy bites without breaking the bank.

Other write ups about the Scarpetta Happy Hour:
LA Times
e*star LA
Five Pacific

225 N Canon Dr 
Los Angeles, CA 90210
(855) 370-8021

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