First Bites

Scarpetta Hosts La Tavola Della Famiglia on Sundays

For those of you wishing you could get an invite for dinner at celebrity chef Scott Conant's home, his Scarpetta at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel is doing the next best thing.

Every Sunday, the restaurant is hosting la tavola della famiglia, or "family table", a four course feast served family style. The dinner is $45 per person (not including tax and gratuity) and all diners must opt into the menu (with a minimum of two people enjoying the special deal). Like at mamma's house, the menu changes weekly, but expect generous portions of food prepared by chef de cuisine Marlon Rambaran, starting with a stromboli bread basket and ending with several desserts. In between, there's a seemingly never-ending parade of pastas, fish, and meat, including a signature timpano — a traditional Italian dish that's basically baked ziti inside a pastry crust. The 30 pound mammoth of comfort food is wheeled tableside and sliced to order. It's a sight, especially when presented by none other than chef Conant, himself.

New Times was invited by Conant to preview la tavola della famiglia, including the timpano in all its cheesy glory. Here's what we experienced.

Eggplant ravioli with sausage, arugula, pecorino, and hazelnuts is presented family-style.

Local grilled snapper with ramp puree, concentrated tomato, and caper emulsion (pictured) was one of the dishes offered during Scarpetta's family table. Porchetta with Swiss chard, soffritto, and charred onion; and a whole roasted Cornish hen with farro, cipollino onion, and charred scallions were other options presented.

Scott Conant, himself, presented the timpano, a 30-pound giant of a dish, meant to feed an army. The wheel is presented tableside, and every person gets a slice.

The sliced timpano, seconds before being devoured. Conant calls the dish, “everything good in the world.” Who's going to argue with that logic?

Finally, there's dessert. Tiramisu, berry crisp, and a coconut panna cotta were options for the evening. 

Scarpetta's la tavola della famiglia is offered every Sunday evening. Though it's not guaranteed that you'll be served by Scott Conant, it's a sure bet that you'll be treated like family.

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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss