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Entries in Food (747)

Friday
Jan282011

Friday Foodporn: Scalino


Scalino is an unassuming 3 1/2 year-old Italian trattoria on the corner of Seventh Avenue and Tenth Street. With its large windows, blue and yellow outdoor color scheme, and simple brick interior it's one of the more attractive restaurants in the area, and it's serving up some surprisingly good food. Scalino is a real hidden treasure; I might even go so far as to say that it's the best Italian restaurant on Seventh. 


The simple, rustic decor is echoed in the food, and the menu changes according to what's fresh and in season. It's all prepared as simply as possible, but with plenty of care. You can tell there's some skill at work here, even in the pasta dishes, some as simple as tagliatelle tossed with herbs and lemon. The daily specials are the real draw here, although the small regular menu is always well-curated (try the osso bucco with lentils, you won't be disappointed). The portions aren't massive, but the food is high quality and there's no gloopy red sauce in sight. Case in point: some grilled tuna over a salad of green beans and cherry tomatoes, tossed in an onion vinaigrette, above.

Owner Mateo Yaksick is almost always there, catering to a group of loyal regulars. He's from Pittsburgh, so don't be surprised if you see a Terrible Towel or some Iron City Beer around (The beer is for decoration only; "I'm not afraid to say that it's absolute shite," Yaksick told me. If you're not a Steelers fan I'd advise not dropping by on Super Bowl Sunday, but if you haven't eaten here yet I'd seriously recommend stopping in next time you're looking to discover a new neighborhood gem. 

Scalino, 347 7th Avenue Brooklyn NY 11215. 718-840-5738.

Friday
Jan212011

Friday Foodporn: Willies Dawgs, Closing Sunday

When I found out that four year old Willie's Dawgs, the small hot dog place on Fifth Avenue between 4th and 5th Streets, had closed down, it was a disappointment to know that I wouldn't have a chance to try some of the crazier items on their menu. When I found out that they were in fact staying open until this Sunday, though, a Friday Foodporn redux was in order. 

Owner Tom Anderson was more than happy to point me towards the Pickles Jalan dog, which is topped with peanut sauce, Indonesian pickled vegetables, and jalapenos, and served on a homemade challah roll (all the bread is made in-house, in varieties including rye and multi-grain).


If Willie's is renowned for one item, however, it has to be the Phoney Baloney Dog, which is essentially a carrot, boiled, marinated in hot dog spices, and finished on the flat top. I'd heard good things about it, and it was surprisingly delicious, even topped with just a little mustard.


As for Tom? "I'm not soured on the business," he told me. "I might open up someplace else in a while. I've lived in Park Slope for 30 years so I'm not going anywhere. It was just too expensive to stay in this spot." And if he had to do it all over again? "I wouldn't bake my own bread. It was way too labor intensive."

Thanks for everything, Willie's Dawgs. Hope to see you again soon. 

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