Scampo – The Liberty Hotel

Everytime I describe The Liberty Hotel one word comes to mind: swanky. From Clink (their ‘jail cell’ restaurant with bars on the windows), to The Liberty Bar (an open aired bar with stools and a surrounding lounge), to Scampo (their chic restaurant with an outrageous menu), you can’t go wrong. I’ve been to Scampo twice now, and it may be my favorite restaurant in Boston.

Bread: these bread sticks are brought to you in a basket and then poured directly onto the tablecloth in front of you, crumbs included. This may be a ‘fancy’ place based on the prices, but they’re not trying to impress anyone (but do so anyways). Served with a pesto based hummus spread and a drizzle of EVOO (this thankfully comes on a plate), these sticks are perfect for dipping in the tasty sauce. A different approach to a traditional bread basket!

Menu: if this is your first time dining at Scampo, you’ll need a full tutorial on how to read the menu and what certain names of dishes actually mean. The handmade bread appetizers are laid out across the top, under that the pizzas, which range from a classic tomato basil mozzarella, to white clam & bacon. A unique surprise is their mozzarella bar which I strongly suggest you indulge in. Presentation: pizza is as you assume. The mozzarella appetizer not only came with avocado & king crab, but also a few ‘garnishes’ that I happily ate with my cheese. My side of polenta was piled with curled fried onions, all of which was to die for.

Bathroom: clean & pretty, and enough stalls so that you don’t have to wait. Also stocked those super powered hand dryers; put your hands inside, slowly raise them out as the dryer goes on, and there you have it! The only downside is that the bathroom is in the lower lobby of the hotel. Not far from the restaurant at all… I’ll just play the lazy card on this one.

Wait Staff: in both occurences the waiter/waitress stressed how every ingredient used in the meal preparation is fresh and hand made. Being Italian, I particularly appreciate the hand made pastas, as my parents have taught me that home made pasta & gravy (red sauce) is really the only way to go. Our waiter was a gem; kind as can be, was patient when I asked a half dozen questions about the menu, and honestly, I just wanted to give him a hug before I left (but didn’t in fear that I’d be asked to never return). When I originally made my reservation I was asked if this was a special occassion and I mentioned that my boyfriend & I were celebrating our birthdays. At the end of our meal, after we turned down dessert based on a full stomache & money worries, our waiter came over with tiramisu & a candle, on him! No cheesy singing or dancing, the plate was left for us to blow out our candle and enjoy the masterpiece in front of us.

Overall: like I said before, I can safely say this is my favorite restaurant in Boston, and I’ve only been there twice. The wait staff has been a joy both times, the food is incredible, and overall you get a different experience than your typical fancy-shmancy restaurant.

The Perfect Bite: Prime Sirloin (medium rare), polenta, fried onion. I couldn’t finish the creamy side dish, but absolutely took it home to enjoy for the next couple days. Who doesn’t love a scrumptious late night snack?

www.scampoboston.com

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