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“Scuderia, by guest reviewer Kathleen Squires”

  Occasion: Cuisine: Area: Cost: Rating:
  Night Out Italian West Village Moderate Good

First and foremost, a giant MAZEL and an even bigger TOV to Andrea and Craig on the birth of their beautiful daughter Emily Juliet! Not only am I happy for them, I’m especially happy for Baby Strongbuzz, who is blessed with parents who happen to be among the best people I know.

Because of her genetics, Emily Juliet is bound to be blessed with a healthy love of sports, a terrific palate, and an even better sense of humor. Maybe she will even bring the Strong Buzz into the next generation…. Not that every child needs to follow in his or her parents’ footsteps, however. But sometimes it’s truly nice when the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Such is the case, fortunately, for Leyla Marchetto, whose Scuderia shows she has learned a thing or two from her father, legendary West Village restaurateur Silvano Marchetto. Leyla’s dad’s famous flagship, Da Silvano, and its adjunct, Da Silvano Bistecca, sit just across the street; yet Scuderia is, refreshingly, not her father’s restaurant. While the Silvanos are pricey, celeb-packed bistros, Scuderia holds a healthy dose of youthful rebellion. It’s a comfortable place, where diners don’t have to break the bank on food (with entrees $12.50 to $24) while watching the “futbol” match on the big screen over the bar. Brick, mirrors and communal tables lend a familiar modern-day coziness, and the bare wood tables aren’t covered in crisp white linens like Silvano’s. Yet Leyla must have mined dad’s record collection, as albums by the likes of Jackson Browne, Blondie, Dylan and the Stones decorate the walls. Windowed doors open out to the sidewalk café on Sixth Avenue: scoping central.

There’s a lot to choose from on the menu—which has everything one wants from a casual Italian spot—pizza, pasta, panini, meat, fish. And as if the regular menu didn’t have enough variety, there’s always a slew of specials. One seasonal must: fried zucchini flowers with jalapeno tartar dipping sauce ($MP/@$16), terrific for their delicate crunch and zest. Another: a cernia (grouper) carpaccio (MP/@$14), sparingly yet lovingly dressed with olive oil, a touch of vinegar, tomato, salt and pepper. Other nice staples on the starters were the polpette, meatballs in a bright red sauce sitting on a comforting bed of polenta ($9.50) and cheesy, fist-sized arancini ($8.50) rice balls, with a bonu ... [more, click below]

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