John Meadow Teases What’s Next for Fashion Week Hotspot Scarpetta

by The Daily Front Row

Scarpetta has become a culinary destination for visitors and native New Yorkers alike, thanks to their mouthwatering dishes and cozy-chic ambiance. The Daily sat down with owner John Meadow to learn all about their recent upgrades and get a sneak peak at what’s next.

It’s hard to believe this is your third year inside The James Hotel. How are you liking the area?
We absolutely love our new home in the NoMad neighborhood. It really represents the new social and business crossroads of New York City. We never wanted to leave Meatpacking, but the move proved to be the best thing that ever happened to us, and we’ve found wonderful synergy among our guests at the Miami, London, and Hamptons Scarpetta properties.

Any really memorable moments at the NoMad location?
The entire room stopping and turning their heads to watch my childhood idol, Michael Jordan, hold court in the dining room. Also, artist Domingo Zapata’s Fashion Week after-party at the Seville.

We know you have a lot of celebrity clients…
Just last week, we had Richard Branson in for lunch and he decided, unprompted, to go downstairs to a private event room and give a speech at a conference! We also had John Varvatos and the Jonas Brothers in last week. Other guests include Justin Timberlake, Victoria and David Beckham, Hugh Jackman, Mick Jagger, Kate Moss, and Alicia Keys.

You just opened two new private dining rooms on the property. Tell us more!
We’re seeing a real shift toward social, community-centric dining, and a greater desire than ever before for large groups to have private restaurant experiences. To meet demand, we’ve converted two meeting rooms at the James Hotel into Scarpetta private dining rooms, with the ability to host up to 100 guests.

How else might you use these swanky new spaces?
We can now host collaborations, classes, and pop-ups, like a recent wine-and-food collaboration dinner we did with Restaurant Roscioli from Rome. We conducted pasta-making classes last year with our executive chef, and plan to roll out more classes this year, as well as wine dinners and classes with our favorite wine brands, like Gaja. We’re also opening up these types of experiences to corporate groups for private events and meetings.

Mick and Jade Jagger at Scarpetta (Courtesy)

What’s new on the menu?
We’re about to roll out a special caviar with tagliatelle pasta. We’re also expanding our crudo offering. Plus, we started making our own gluten-free pasta this year.

You also recently launched a new charity program, right?
We’re focusing our charitable efforts on the Food & Finance High School in NYC, the city’s only culinary high school, powered by the Food Education Fund, to encourage local youth to pursue careers in hospitality. So many people are caught in an unfortunate cycle of poor education, which impedes long-term career development. The Food and Finance High School allows a direct path into the city’s restaurant industry. We couldn’t think of a better charity, both to benefit the kids of New York and to help improve the talent pool in our industry. We are donating $1 for every spaghetti dish sold in our NYC location this year. We began on Giving Tuesday in December 2019, and decided that this was the right place to put our efforts. The initiative at Scarpetta is #Spaghettiforsocialgood, and we have other events coming to support them, too.

What’s next for Scarpetta?
Selfishly, I want to open restaurants in my favorite places so I have an excuse to travel. We opened our first international project in London this summer, and we have three new international projects coming up in amazing cities that we can’t wait to share!

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