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Fearless Critic restaurant review
New Haven
Food
Feel
Price
5.8
9.0
$40
Italian
Upmarket restaurant

Hours
Wed–Thu 4:30pm–11:30pm
Fri noon–2:00pm
Fri 4:30pm–11:30pm
Sat 4:30pm–11:30pm
Sun 1:00pm–10:00pm

Features Date-friendly, good wines
Bar Beer, wine
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Accepted

www.skappo.com

Ninth Square
59 Crown St.
New Haven, CT
(203) 773-1394
Skappo
An Umbrian wine bar and restaurant where everything—and everyone—is beautiful

With a small, warmly lit, rustic room and bold, lion-themed graphic design, Skappo is immediately likeable. Beauty is a defining quality here; pretty much the entire staff is good-looking. It’s hard to disagree. And from the youthful waitstaff to their endlessly gregarious mama, Signora Anna, a local legend in the making, the folks at Skappo will greet you like family on your first visit. On many nights, you’ll be serenaded by song.

This may or may not be your cup of tea: once the owner begins singing halfway through the dinner service, to continue to chat is rude, rude, rude—keep in mind that this is a tiny space. Some people are made really uncomfortable by the fact that to dine here is to choose to dine with owner. A good compromise, we suppose, would be to come here with someone you don’t actually want to talk to.

The poetic menu is a refreshing departure from the norm, and the small (if pricey) portions are meant to compliment the excellent wine list, which features bottles from lesser-known regions, centered around Umbria. Expect a host of intriguing Umbrian specialties on the rotating menu.

The problem is that almost all of them sound good, but almost none of them are good. Meats, especially braised or stewed meats (lamb or rabbit, for instance), tend to come unbelievably dry and overcooked, a sign that they’ve been boiled rather than slowly braised. Pastas have come out mushy, risotti shaky, and crostini brittle. Your best choice might be the plate of regional Italian cured meats or regional cheeses, which you can enjoy with the Umbrian wines on offer.

Many people come just to sample the dessert list, which follows through better than the savory choices. And the sweets are complemented nicely by Skappo’s selection of dessert wines. Try the raisiny Passito di Pantelleria, which tastes like liquid honey with apricots—yet another reason why you will definitely leave Skappo feeling good.

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