A few weeks ago I received an invitation to come in and sample Scampo’s Spring Lunch Menu. I was thrilled for a number of reasons, the least being it is a 5 minute walk from work, the most being…well, its Lydia Shire’s Scampo! Scampo is located in the amazing Liberty Hotel, and the ambiance matches the imaginative standards of the rest of the former, and storied, Charles Street Jail. My co-worker Liz and I were seated right by a window overlooking the courtyard, where, on less rainy days, I imagine it is the perfect spot for a business lunch. Our server, Alejandra, was lovely and gave us a full run down of the special and her recommendations…all of which included cheese (and we were okay with that).
We started off with the fried calamari with peppadew pot. This dish was as full of surprises as a fried calamari dish can be! Fried, thinly sliced lemons were hiding amongst the incredibly tender and fresh squid. And the peppadew sauce….well, its sauce made out of peppadews, how could it be anything less than stellar?
Next, the waitress brought us an abbreviated version of their Caprese Salad. While the flavored oils lacked a little flavor, the balsamic and the mozzarella were heavenly. This was the perfect dish to freshen up our pallets after the calamari and before…(drum roll please)…the Bacon Pizza, with bacon that is cured in apple cider , smoked in applewood and with smashed ripe plantains, carmalized onions and whipped ricotta. AKA, heaven.
This pizza was stunning. We ordered it because it sounded so different, and I don’t think either of us expected that “different” to translate into “the best pizza I have ever had.” Scampo is serious about their pizza. A late night pizza menu, and a copper embellished pizza oven that is one of the centerpieces of the dining room, prove that this is not your Pizza Hut pizza. But nothing will prepare you for the sweet, salty, creamy and fresh flavors that all hit your palate at once when you bite into the bacon pizza. I am going to say it…you HAVE to go try this pizza.
After such a decadent lunch, Liz and I were ready to head out with out dessert, but naturally we had to “just take a quick look”. And naturally that led to us ordering the Strawberry Shortcake with sour cream butter cake, strawberries and pineapple-coconut sorbet. This was an excellent choice. As cheesy as it sounds, when I took a bite of the sorbet, cake and strawberries together, I turned to Liz and said “It tastes just like summer!” And I cannot think of a better way to describe it!
Scampo’s Spring menu is only available for a couple more weeks, and the summer menu will launch in early July. So head on over soon to get a taste, I don’t think there is a possible way for you to be disappointed. The only warning I would say is to skip the Garden Pea Soup, it is the only dish that did nothing for me.
– Renee Hirschberg