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As you probably know, I swung by the Liberty Hotel for the first time late last week for drinks (here). Alibi was nice, the lobby bar was awesome, the only disappointing thing was the Cliquot Bar - it was tiny and unmanned. Perhaps it's only operational on the weekends. Anyway, while I was there, I saw Scampo - the restaurant - and remembered that it had been mentioned in the Nov issue of Esquire.

Two decades ago, at Seasons, Lydia Shire was at the forefront of "New New England Cuisine," and as her access to better local ingredients has grown, so has the authority of the menus at her successive haunts. At Scampo, located in a former prison transformed into the new Liberty Hotel (the bar doors still hang), she focuses on Boston's rich Italian-American heritage. With its brick walls and wooden floor, sports bar and open kitchen, the place rings with loud music and the joyful sounds of people passing around dishes like executive chef Mario Capone's spaghetti with cracklings and hot pepper. Don't miss the hazelnut risotto with sweetbreads and vin santo, the quail with a yellow-raisin sabayon and semolina gnocchi, or the massive black pig chop with a sweet spring-onion tart. Finish with a ricotta cheesecake with almond toffee and a shot of fiery grappa. If you can, get yourself seated in waiter Mario Depasquale's section -- his crazy exuberance sets exactly the right tone for a night at Scampo.

Next time I'm over there, dinner at Scampo and then drinks after in the hotel bar. w00t.

Click (here) for a link to the Esquire article.



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