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Rolling the Dice: Scarpetta

Every week, we take our turn with Lady Luck on the BruniBetting odds as posted by Eater. Just for kicks, we track Eater’s bet too, and see who is better at guessing what the unpredictable Bruni will do. We track our sins with an imaginary $1 bet every week.

The Line: Tomorrow, Frank Bruni reviews Scott Conant’s comeback at the Meatpacking-adjacent Scarpetta. The Eater oddsmakers have set the action as follows:

Zero Stars: 12-1
One Star: 5-1
Two Stars: 3-1
Three Stars: 4-1 √√
Four Stars:

The Skinny: We’re reasonably confident that Scarpetta was designed as a two-star concept. The prices, the vibe, the service, all say two stars.

On rare occasions, Bruni has awarded a third star that the restaurant itself probably never planned on, with Dovetail being the most recent example. But that doesn’t happen often. It’s hard enough to get three stars when you’re trying to. An unintended third star is a blessing granted to very few.

Working in Scarpetta’s favor is the two-star kiss that Bruni blew at Bar Milano just four weeks ago. In a way, it’s an insult to the obviously superior Scarpetta to be saddled with the same two stars. With Italian restaurants and Bruni, it never hurts to figure on a star more than the restaurant deserves.

But we know the Italian restaurants Bruni really liked—Babbo, Felidia, Del Posto, A Voce (under Carmellini) and Alto the second time around. We are hard pressed to put Scarpetta in that league. Our 1½-star review may have under-rated it, but we’ve seldom been that far away from Bruni’s assessment.

The Bet: We are betting that Frank Bruni will award a very enthusiastic two stars to Scarpetta.

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