Escape Artist

By Amy Traverso | Boston Magazine |

Chef Lydia Shire’s creativity won’t be confined. While her new eatery in the Liberty Hotel—a former jail—is primarily Italian, Scampo (“escape”) offers left-field flourishes, too, like fresh-baked naan, tandoori scallops, and the lobster pizza she made famous at Biba. There’s also house-made mozzarella and burrata cheeses, pasta, risi e bisi (rice and peas), and for dessert, creamy zabaglione. It’s a vibrant mix, framed by an equally vibrant room: warm and open, with gleaming wood and a sexy orange-topped bar.

Some dishes weren’t quite so, well, arresting. The cappellacci pasta purses, for instance, were overwhelmed by an acidic walnut butter sauce. But the kurobuta pork chop was moist, buttery, and big enough for two. And in skittish economic times like these, it’s nice to have a chef who embraces abbondanza in life, and on the plate.

Liberty Hotel, 215 Charles St., Boston, 617-536-2100, scampoboston.com.