What better to way to celebrate the re-birth of our blog then by returning to its roots – the restaurant that started it all: Scampo. Enough time had passed since our first trip to Scampo that I was legitimately excited to go back. I had fond memories of the homemade mozzarella and my nightmares of the elephant ear bread – that absolutely absurd bread tepee that seemed more like the unfortunate product of a kindergarten art project than an actual piece of food- had finally begun to fade. This time we opted for the more sensible bread options of focaccia with robiola and the naan with prosciutto, both were damn tasty. Things got better when the mozzarella tasting arrived. Four different kinds of housemade mozzarella were served with some prosciutto, sliced pears, and some sort of honey/jam. Simple, delicious, even impressive. It is one of the best appetizers I’ve had in Boston.
Unfortunately, it was downhill from there. The pumpkin soup tasted and looked like butter soup, the duck and quince pizza was particularly oily and the entrees just didn’t make sense. Of the swordfish, the tagliatta (thinly sliced sirloin), and the beet ravioli stuffed with oxtail, the swordfish was the winner for no other reason than that it had the fewest components on the plate. The beet ravioli were smothered in horseradish “crema” and then drowned in broth, turning what might have been great, into a soup with some squirts of cream and red pasta leaking meat. Even the tagliata came smothered in some kind of cream. The meat was cooked well, but the kitchen was doing its best to hide it.
So Scampo hasn’t changed much. What would be good food is getting bogged down by bad ideas and it’s still not worth the price. But if you go, get a glass of wine and a plate of fresh mozzarella. Heck, get two or three and call it a night.