Bellicose empires always argue that without expansion, they'd languish and become Lichtenstein. For a West Village empire's latest land grab, hit Scuderia.

From the Bar Pitti/Da Silvano don and located just across 6th Ave, Scud's a brightly lit, familial barstaurant strewn w/ heirlooms (Silvano's fave LPs, childhood photos of his daughter), Italian film stills, chalk graffiti, and a door helpfully painted with "bathroom" in 25 languages -- but as usual, Esperanto-speakers are sh*t out of luck. Eats're rustic northern Italian (roasted brick-flattened Cornish hen, skirt steak alle tre salsa), with American infusions like a Monterey Jack Beef brisket burger, and a rosemary-speck grilled cheese (speck's 'n effect). Because people seem to enjoy drinking, Scud's pouring three taps (Guinness, Brooklyn, Peroni) and six cocktails (watermelon mojitos, Italian margaritas...), plus mono-varietal vinos entirely from Italy, save one Provence wine provided by a family friend (sure beats Christmas sweaters).

Next weekend, Scud's starting brunch, then lunch in about two weeks -- causing your stomach to roll inexorably into the area known as Loins-enstein.