Friday, January 28, 2011 at 6:00PM
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.