Prepare for vivid childhood flashbacks and exceptional Sicilian slices at Scarr’s, a Lower East Side pizzeria inspired by the wood-paneled parlors that began popping up across tri-state suburbia in the ‘70s. It may have opened in 2015, but Scarr’s will transport you to your favorite after-school hangout with retro decor like Tiffany sconces, Formica countertops, and faux-wood booths, surrounded on all sides by tinted mirrors.
Whether you’re getting a slice to-go or dining in, you place your order at the front counter, where a letter-board menu lists four types of pizza (original, pepperoni, white, and Sicilian), plus personal-pan and whole pies. They can be topped with a list of add-ons that juxtapose classics like meatballs and pancetta with modern alternatives like vegan cheese. Chef-owner Scarr Pimentel hails from institutions including Joe’s and Lombardi’s, and his pizza is a cut above the average late-night slice joint: the flour is milled in-house and ingredients are locally sourced, not canned. A DIY pie is a smart move to get exactly what you’re craving, but trust us, the Sicilian is mandatory. Its thick crust is crunchy but airy and topped with a few basil leaves, a dusting of parmesan, and mozzarella that won’t burn your tongue and lets the star ingredient shine: a rich tomato sauce with a zesty bite.
If you’re dining in, take your pizza to one of the booths in the back room, which is home to a small bar with vinyl stools that serves wine and a couple of craft beers on tap (there’s natural soda, too, but no Coke or Pepsi products, despite a Pepsi-branded menu). The hip, if not ironic, vibe of this old-meets-new spot is accentuated by the fact that Drake is bumping through its speakers -- the sole reminder that you’re not at a middle-school pizza party in 1985.