Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Bits & Morsels

Grilled Pizza Margherita with Bel Paese and Pecorino Romano cheese at Fresco by Scotto.

Nothing makes me happier than going to a restaurant and being pleasantly surprised. This was the case when I recently dined at Fresco by Scotto. Fresco, located in Midtown at 34 East 52nd Street, is owned and run by the Scotto Family. The Scottos often appear on The Today Show and other TV shows cooking up Italian food from their restaurant. So for that reason I was expecting Fresco to be more of a novelty than anything else.

Even in a great dining city like New York, many restaurants still get away with adequate food and subpar service. So naturally, it's much appreciated when I come away with a genuinely solid dining experience.
Spiced, Seared, and Sliced Yellowfin Tuna with pan roasted baby artichokes, porcini mushrooms, sugar snap peas, spring onions, crisp gnocchi, in a porcini mushroom broth.
Fresco, which has been in business for over 13 years, is unique in that it is equally as busy for dinner as it is during lunch hour, which is rare for a midtown restaurant.

Nutella Bomboloni.
When you do decide to dine at Fresco by Scotto, you must order the potato and zucchini chips with Gorgonzola as a starter. It’s the perfect balance of warm and creamy Gorgonzola cheese melted over a bed of crispy fried zucchini and potato chips.

The grilled pizzas are also delicious as an appetizer or a light lunch. They are razor thin so while they look big in circumference you will not feel stuffed even after you gobble the whole pie up. For dessert the nutella donuts are outstanding, still warm from the fryer.

And to top it all off, there's always a Scotto around to make sure you feel like a member of the family.

[Fresco by Scotto]
Clockwise from top left: Entering Fresco by Scotto; Potato and Zucchini Chips baked with crumbled gorgonzola cheese; The main dining room; Anthony Scotto Jr.
Grilled Zucchini. Grilled Asparagus.
Razor-thin Pizza Margherita.
Shaved Raw Artichoke, Celery Heart, and Crimini Mushroom Salad. Squash Risotto.
You can’t go to Maryland without writing about their crabs. Last week I went with my digital for a tour of the J.M. Clayton Company, which processes and handpicks crabmeat from the freshest of crabs. The family-run company was founded in 1890 making it the oldest working crab processing plant in the world. The peak season for crabs is May through November during which the company will pluck thousands of pounds of crabmeat from Chesapeake Bay blue crabs.
The Chesapeake Bay blue crabs.
Clockwise from top left: The J.M. Clayton Crab Company truck; Massive crab steamers (the crabs are steamed before they are picked); Crabs ready to be picked; Picking through the crabmeat to be sure there are no shells.
Joe Brooks. Let the picking begin.
The crab picking room. Epicure Crabmeat packed up and ready to be delivered.
Mother’s day is coming up and if you plan on going out, you better make a reservation sooner rather than later. Here's a list of restaurants for that special day. Some restaurants offer 'special' fixed menus for Mother’s day, so when you make your reservation don't forget to inquire about the menu. [Restaurant Girl]

Here is a fascinating set of videos with Adam Platt on the BigThink.Com. Adam Platt is the food critic for New York Magazine. He gives insight into how to eat relatively healthy as a food critic and how food bloggers affect his job. [The Bigthink.com]

This is my kind of tour. If you want to explore some of the fabulous pizza that New York has to offer, definitely sign up for Scott’s Pizza Tour. The $55-tour runs on Sundays and visits about six Pizza Shops and Pizzerias ranging from Totonno’s in Coney Island to Luzzo’s in the East Village. I'll be going on one and plan to report back for a future column. [The Daily News] & [Scott's Pizza Tours]

Until we eat again,
Jordana Z.

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