State finance authorities have forced Park Slopers to say “ciao” to a tasty-but-troubled Italian eatery, slapping bright orange “SEIZED” signs on the windows of Scalino for allegedly not paying taxes.
Authorities padlocked the cozy, family-run Seventh Avenue restaurant on Feb. 16, claiming that owner Mateo Yaksick has failed to hand over $230,000 in sales tax over the last three years — and pasta-addicted regulars now one fewer place to get a great plate of pappardelle with a pork shoulder ragu.
Unless he can come up with the cash, the place will be “sold to public auction,” a spokesman for the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance said.
Yaksick didn’t return several calls and texts seeking comment, but loyal patrons mourned the loss of a neighborhood staple run by two jovial brothers who are as obsessed with the Pittsburgh Steelers as they are with slow-roasting pork.
Locals could not miss the blaze orange tax department signs as they passed, gawking at the little yellow eatery, near 10th Street.
“It’s sad; we’ll miss this place,” said stroller-hauling mom, Heather Millen, who sat on a bench outside the restaurant, channeling the tomato cream pasta. “I love the owners, so I hope things work out.”
Millen said she feels a kinship with the place because she ate dinner there the night she went into labor. Now, it’s one of those neighborhood spots she feels comfortable drinking a glass of wine with her baby.
The restaurant — which boasts a brick interior and big, sunny windows — opened about three years ago with mixed reviews, but was later hailed as “a real hidden treasure” and maybe even “the best Italian restaurant on Seventh,” according to the blog, Here’s Park Slope.
“I hope it opens back up in a day or two,” said Martin Einhorn, who owns Uncle Moe’s Burritos next door. “I hope it’s a mistake.”