Scampo at The Liberty Hotel

20080407_Boston_Scampo1This week, Lauren and I tried Scampo at the Liberty Hotel which is right next to MGH at the end of Charles Street. A friend had suggested it after going to Clink which is the other restaurant in the hotel. As you probably know, The Liberty Hotel is the old Charles Street jail, so the whole thing is really fun with lots of prison bars and jail cell references. Clink looks very much like a jail, but Scampo is more of an edgy, attractive Italian restaurant with a patio area and an open kitchen. It was obvious that a lot of attention had been spent on detail and style. What I didn’t know when we went, was that the owner/ chef is Lydia Shire of much Boston restaurant fame. Boston restaurants that she has been associated with include Maison Robert, Seasons, Parker’s, Pignoli and Biba and currently Scampo, Locke-Ober’s and Blue Sky in Maine. Wow. Another thing that I just learned is that Lydia Shire was very good friends with Julia Child and spent a great deal of time dining with her and discussing food and recipes. In fact, she even traveled to England with Julia on the QE2 on a culinary adventure! What a coincidence since this blog was also inspired by Julia Child! I learned all of this from a Boston magazine article that was published in October.
On to the restaurant…Lauren and I got there around 6:00- which was about an hour too early. Around 7:00 the crowd got much more lively. While we were waiting for our appetizers, Lydia Shire walked by and spent some time with her staff discussing the cleaning of the enormous chandelier that hangs in the restaurant- funny because it was mentioned in the Boston Magazine article too- she loves antiques and brought the piece up from New York herself. Anyway, we had a delicious meal. The concept of the restaurant is to offer delicious rustic food in small portions so that diners can try a few things without breaking the bank. We started by sharing mozzarella and spinach in lemon braised artichoke bottom with shoestring potatoes- delicious! There are 9 different mozzarella choices on the mozzarella bar menu. Next, we each had a pasta dish. I had the spaghetti with lobster Bolognese and Lauren had pappardelle with crisped brussel sprout and roasted butternut squash . They were both delicious, but I think that we both liked the spaghetti best. In her interview in Boston Magazine, Lydia mentions that spaghetti would be her last supper and now I know why-  her spaghetti bears absolutely no resemblance to anything I might pass off as a spaghetti dinner. For dessert, We had a cup filled with warm chocolate cake and coffee ice cream covered with hot fudge- okay- that is a dessert worth eating! I wish that Lauren and I could have tried more of the menu because there is definitely something for everyone from pizza to suckling pig and everything in between. The only negative was the bill which was about twice what we have spent in a number of other nice restaurants, but it was probably worth it. Check out Scampo’s website at www.scampoboston.com.

4 Comments

Filed under restaurant reviews

4 responses to “Scampo at The Liberty Hotel

  1. Sue Evans

    I think you have a new career here as a restaurant critic/blogger… also, love the idea of this restaurant…

  2. cyndy

    I am going to cry if I have to go to the” Stockyard” for late night dining ever again … can you review a restaurant in the Allston/Cambridge area that servers dinner past 10 pm on the weekends. I bet Lauren stays up past 10 pm.

    • Ooooo-that makes me want to cry too. The Stockyard is right across from WGBH, but I have never been there. Have you tried Shabu Shabu in Harvard Square? It looks really interesting and Lauren has been asking if we could do sushi.

  3. Sue Evans

    By the way, we tried to go to Scampo the other night, looks fab, wanted to stay overnight at the hotel as well… Scampo was practically sold out, so will try again…

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