May 1, 2004 12:20 AM | By Adam Roberts | No Comments

Lunch at Fresco


Fresco is a sprightly Italian joint on Madison Avenue where powerplayers and fans of the Today show come to dine. Fans of the Today Show because Fresco's owner, Mrs. Scotto, and her family are frequently guests with Matt Lauer and Katy Couric. In fact, my parents just one week ago spotted Katy Couric while lunching at Fresco. It's like the fine dining equivalent of standing outside the Today Show studio with a large piece of poster board that reads: "CARLOS IS MY BABY DADDY!"

Well, that's not fair. The food is fantastic. When I spent a summer at NYU with my friend Dana, we went to Fresco during restaurant week and had a fabulous 3-course lunch for $19.99.

Alas, this week isn't restaurant week but we had our fair share of terrific dining.

First we shared a mozarrella salad--my mom added the onions (she's an onion maven)--and it tasted great, especially since the mozarrella is homemade!


We also shared a crabcake which was very good, though not as great as the best crabcake ever at Bacchanalia (which has permanently ruined any other crab cake for me):


For our entrees, mom and dad shared a pasta with rock shrimp (not pictured). And I had a big fat plate of risotto with duck confit:


The risotto didn't have a ton of flavor, but with the confit it became a delightful combination: the risoto saucy and savory and the duck salty and rich. I only ate half, though, because I felt my insides start to inflate.

For dessert we shared a decadent brownie concoction that sent spoons and hearts flying:


And then we had a nice visit from Mrs. Scotto, who made the rounds and spent an exceptional amount of time at our table. She is a lovely woman with a humble air that would make it easy to forget she owns one of the most successful lunch spots in New York. Mom suggested that I get a recipe book which Mrs. Scotto brought over and autographed:


She then posed for a picture with my dad:


Their chemistry was so compelling, that they ran off together leaving my mother and I shocked and silent. We dabbed at the remaining brownie bits and left our table, directionless and alone.

Another successful meal at Fresco!

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