Restaurant Review: Fresco by Scotto

(Image from Grub Street NY)

I haven’t written a restaurant review in a while because I’ve been pretty busy with work and haven’t gotten a chance to wine and dine. But, last week for my birthday my family treated me to a yummy dinner. It was my choice (as it is every year haha), and I was having a pretty difficult time choosing a restaurant. Usually when it comes to my birthday I have a restaurant in mind that I’ve been wanting to try, but this year I just haven’t had the time to think about what new places have opened up in the city! So on the day of my birthday at work, I did some quick research via my most trusted restaurant reviewers- Zagat– and I stumbled upon Fresco by Scotto. It’s categorized as “Tuscan Italian” food on Zagat, and I really like Northern Italian food, and Zagat rated it pretty well (22 for food), so I thought why not? Let me just say though that I never usually go for Italian food on my birthday, because as a native Staten Islander, I am really biased towards the fact that Staten Island has some of the best Italian food. But the Fresco by Scotto menu looked really yummy, and they had a LOT of vegetarian options.

Quick Rates (1-10, 10 being the best):

  • Food: 9
  • Beverages: 8
  • Service: 10
  • Ambiance: 6
  • Price: 7

The highlight of the restaurant: the food. I must say the food was delicious! Besides the fact that the portions were sized appropriately for the price, the taste was amazing. You can tell that all of the ingredients were fresh and cooked to perfection. For instance one of the appetizers we ordered was the Eggplant and Zucchini Pie- the eggplant was perfectly cooked, not too soggy and not raw. Just tender and perfectly layered. The marinara that is served on the side was really zesty and tasted like they had just picked and stewed the tomatoes for the sauce. I unfortunately did not take many pictures because I was so hungry and the food was so yummy, that I completely forgot to be my foodie-self and take a million pictures!

(Please excuse the terrible phone picture and my sister’s hand!)

We also ordered the Potato & Zucchini Chip crumbled with fresh gorgonzola.. oh my god they were crisped to perfection. Thinly cut potatoes and zucchini slices fried and topped with crumbled gorgonzola, so the cheese was slightly melted throughout the chips. They serve it piled HIGH for a family-sharing portion. It was heavenly.

For my entree I originally wanted this:

Orecchiette with Roasted Cauliflower- caramelized onions, capers, anchovy, chili, olive oil, garlic, vegetable broth, lemon zest, toasted garlic breadcrumbs

I highlighted the anchovy because as a vegetarian I asked them if they could make the pasta without anchovy, but it was already mixed into the paste for the sauce. So this was a no-go for me. But I had my eye on another pasta dish:

Penne Gratin- Proscuitto, peas, fontina, provolone, parmigiana, heavy cream and cracked black pepper

Yes, pretty much sounds like a heart attack in a plate- BUT it was my birthday and I was entitled to splurge. I order this without the proscuitto. It was velvety mini penne topped with a crisp baked cheese topping, and oozing with cheesy goodness inside. It was wonderful and totally worth the partially clogged arteries, hehe.. I wish I took a picture!

My family’s dishes were equally delicious, and my father was very pleased with his Risotto Primavera with Pesto, so that was definitely a success. Why? Because he’s not an easy daddy to please!

For dessert we ordered the Banana Pudding- definitely not your traditional pudding! And the waiter was so nice- he knew I really liked chocolate, so he brought out a side of chocolate-chunk gelato for me!

Service:

I need to highlight the quality of the service at this restaurant because it was excellent. They were very accomodating to my 2 year old niece which was a major plus. Lately you can find restaurants in the city that won’t even ALLOW babies (ehem Tamarind). But they were so nice- when we order Prosecco for the table, our waiter brought over club soda with a cherry so my niece wouldn’t feel left out!

(My niece playing and my sister-her mommy haha)

The service in general was really good, and we’re not the easiest people to deal with! All in all great experience. It really makes a difference to your dining expereince if the service is not good- it just ruins the mood and even if the food is good, the whole experience is, well lame. But not here- I was pleasantly surprised with the service AND the food. I highly recommend Fresco by Scotto!

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