3 New Winter Menus to Warm Your Shanghai Soul – Part I

By Sophie Steiner, January 22, 2021

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That winter chill has set in, and there’s no escaping it until spring graces us with her presence. These next few months are going to be all about the hearty, homey dishes that keep the cold from seeping into our bones, so thankfully we’ve got a handful of new warming winter menus to get you through the iciest of months. Click here for Part 2.

Scarpetta

As one of Shanghai’s most popular Italian restaurants, Scarpetta holds its status as a culinary institution. Although the menu has only changed minimally since previous chef Patrick Leano moved to Singapore, this winter saw a major revamp, with quite a few new dishes introduced, along with new desserts. 

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Focusing on elevating classics with a twist, the previous version of the Wagyu Beef Carpaccio has been upgraded to a Wagyu Beef Carpaccio & Tartare (RMB258). The acidic pickled mushrooms cut through the richness of both the truffle aioli and the smoked quail egg, which arrives perched atop the tartare. Earthiness in the form of copious amounts of truffle is balanced by the shaved parmesan’s nuttiness. A fresh sprinkling of basil and rosemary salt tie each bite together. 

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The Red Wine Braised Beef Tendon (RMB168) has replaced the beef tongue dish, and now is served with juicy, roasted tomatoes, fresh basil, a warming beef jus and buttered toasted fresh-baked bread to sop it all up with. The beef flank is springy with a good chew without being gelatinous. 

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Pure luxury arrives tableside in the form of Lobster Pappardelle (RMB368) served with an addictingly thick tomato vodka sauce, creamy straciatella cheese dotted with basil oil, sundried tomatoes and a smattering of fresh, torn basil. The succulent lobster claws make it obvious why this is one of their top orders on Dianping. 

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

For an extra serving of carbs, the Truffle & Cream Pizza (RMB268) is a truffle-lovers wet dream – truffle oil and shaved truffle are generously spread across the pizza’s entire surface area, while a base of stracciatella cheese, crème fraiche and parmesan cream sauce serve as a counterpart to the crispy, light crust. Cured egg yolk slivers and fresh thyme add both texture and a pop of color. 

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Like eating a steak next to a hickory fire, the Chateaubriand (RMB528) – a 250-gram slab of smoked M7 Uruguay Wagyu and equally meaty portobello mushrooms stuffed with spinach and parmesan cream – results in a flavor profile of smoked, thick cut bacon in high end steak form. 

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Rounding out the dessert front, the Amaretto Affogato (RMB88) is the most well-balanced coffee dessert we’ve had to date. Amaretto jellies doused in even more amaretto dot homemade vanilla bean ice cream sprinkled with slivered almonds. Perched atop a luscious coffee sabayon made with Marsala wine, Coffee Patron, and rum, the flavors fully melt together once the boiling espresso is poured on top.

See a listing for Scarpetta


La Baracca

La Baracca, brought to us by The Camel Group, is an Italian osteria on the now cafe-filled Yongkang Lu (check out our full review here.) Just like your neighborhood European cafe, they offer up everything from grab-and-go pastries and Yunnan-sourced coffee beverages in the morning to a full menu of pizzas, charcuterie boards and antipastos for lunch and dinner. And then there's the stellar lineup of 16 spritzes to choose from for just RMB50 and an inviting, budget-friendly wine list. Hello round-the-clock Happy Hour. 

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

To keep us cozy during the winter months, La Baracca has five new dishes and four new winter warmers – cocktails that help you thicken up that beer blanket. The Rustic Tomato Soup (RMB58) is thick and tangy, covered in shredded, melty Parmigiano Reggiano. The pockets of torn bread soak up that concentrated spiced tomato flavor to form little dumpling-like soup explosions.

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The Seafood Pasta (RMB110) is an ocean-filled bowl of clams, mussels, shrimp and prawns all smothered in a garlicky olive oil sauce. 

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

You will find us curled up on the couch in sweats eating the Orecchiette Pasta (RMB98) on a weekly basis until the temperatures rise above freezing. The definition of comfort, the expertly al dente cooked pasta is surrounded by roasted butternut squash, kale, sweet caramelized onions and dots of pungent goat cheese.

See a listing for La Baracca


Homeslice

Homeslice’s new joint in Shankang Li is always bumping, and with the new winter seasonal pizza release, you will find us visiting quite possibly too often. 

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 Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The guest chef pizza comes to us by Commune Social’s Sergio Moreno, who brings together his Spanish roots and his wife’s Italian background in the harmoniously balanced Itagnola (RMB30/slice, RMB230/20” pizza) – a pizza named after the bastardized amalgamation of Spanish and Italian. 

The tomato base is topped with Iberico cheese, roasted pumpkin, and Sergio’s secret chorizo recipe. Beads of sun-dried tomato pesto and olives dot the top, and chiffonade basil adds both color and an herbal aroma. 

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The vegetarians have two pizza options this season, and as avid meat-eaters, we still found ourselves crushing every last crumb of both. The Cauliflower (RMB230/20” pizza) is a hodgepodge mash-up of the weirdest pizza ingredients that somehow really work. Roast cauliflower, garlic chips and fried youtiao cover a base of creamy blended cauliflower mash and béchamel sauce mix. Sprinkled with parsley and a hit of lemon zest, this cheesy cauliflower morsel is the naughtiest way to get in your daily serving of five. 

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Winter’s answer to summer’s Florentine pizza is the Tricolore (RMB230/20” pizza). Green garlic-coated spinach, red roasted cherry tomatoes and creamy white, lemon zest-sprinkled ricotta and parmesan cream come together into an edible Italian flag. 

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Last up is their take on the classic sausage and pepper pizza, the Sausage & Piparra Pepper (RMB270/20” pizza). Topped with Nat’s signature fennel sausage, the pizza gets an added serving of Piparra peppers (hailing from Spain’s Basque region) for a pickled sweet and spicy kick.

See a listing for Homeslice 


READ MORE: 3 New Winter Menus To Warm Your Shanghai Soul Part II

[Cover image by Sophie Steiner/That's]

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