Decided to wander my hood to find a place I hadn’t written about and found Scampi on 18th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. I read mixed reviews as Eater liked it, The Infatuation didn’t. I stopped by to make my own decision.
The warm and welcoming host took the time to describe the menu to me in such detail that my mouth watered. While waiting for my meal, I nibbled on the thin breadsticks and housemade bomba that Rob, my friendly bartender served me. Rob explained that the bomba is a traditional southern Italian condiment made from pickled shallots, mushrooms, artichokes and Calabrian chilies.
The grilled swordfish sandwich on sesame strecci (soft and chewy thin-crusted bread sprinkled with seeds) with fresh basil and mint and thinly sliced radishes had a choice of accompaniments. I chose the crispy fingerling potatoes. This entree has an interesting combo of textures and flavors.
Scampi’s chef PJ Calpa hailed from Michael White’s Ai Fiori‘s as did the pastry chef Laura Sansone, whose freshly made sweet cannoli ended my meal. I also learned from bartender Rob that Scampi recently started serving brunch on Saturdays. I will have to return for that, as I agree with Eater’s review that the food is good!