Taste: Reviews: Sophisticated Sovalo

Seasonal cooking and a showcase wine list set this husband-and-wife Italian venture apart

Like the truest Italian cooking, Scarpone’s style is thrifty and simple, relying on the best possible ingredients. His roast chicken breast, swaddled in pancetta, is a fat, juicy Bell & Evans bird garnished with green olives and braised artichokes that are charred in a hot sauté pan just before serving. A trio of skewered grilled sea scallops, cooked to firmness but not dry, rests on risotto flecked with diced capicola, its richness offset by tart threads of Meyer lemon zest. Grilled swordfish, served with skin-on fingerling potatoes and wide strips of roasted red pepper, pays homage to southern Italy with its robust chili-anchovy vinaigrette. Even broccoli rabe goes on the grill, accentuating the vegetable’s characteristic bitterness, in a good way. The only dish that seemed out of synch was a dry pork stew, served with sweet potatoes and capers.

Scarpone makes all the desserts, reprising huckleberries with fried ricotta fritters, round and golden brown, centered in a pool of vanilla-touched violet sauce. A sweet scoop of cassis sorbetto is paired with ultra-tart Meyer lemon granita. The flourless chocolate tart with spiced mascarpone is irresistible.

Allow plenty of time for dinner here, because the meal pacing is a few steps slower than it should be.