By Guss Firestein
For those of us in our twenties, owning our own business seems like a distant dream. For Gaetano Sementili Jr., the owner of Scotti’s Restaurant & Pizzeria, owning his own business became a reality in 1994 at the young age of 20.
The original establishment opened in 1966 and has gone through several owners before Gaetano, also known as simply “Guy.” Having grown up locally, Guy knows the area extremely well and has built up a great following. He is extremely friendly and passionate about what he does; it is really a beautiful thing to see one love what they do.
Guy’s passion for cooking started at a young age. Growing up, Guy’s mother taught him the essence of cooking, an essence he supplemented with experience from working in the industry and later on, culinary school. Guy had been working at Scotti’s for five years, first as a dishwasher and then as a waiter, before he bought the establishment from the previous owner.
Since he has taken over, the menu at Scotti’s has almost doubled, with many new entrees, appetizers, and even wines (which I think is great because everyone knows that there is really nothing better than some good Italian food paired with a good glass of vino).
With his local contacts, great personality, and industry experience, Guy is ready to take on the challenges of running the restaurant.
I met Guy through my GrubLink escapades and decided to let people in on Guy’s history and his awesome restaurant. I arrived at Scotti’s right around lunchtime, which worked out perfectly because Guy was just about to eat a pizza he had made. Of course, being the friendly person he is, Guy shared some slices with me. This pizza was right out of the oven and tasted, frankly, unreal: fresh spinach, chicken, and garlic on a white pie.
A twelve-inch cut pizza with the toppings I mentioned would run you about sixteen buckaroos, a little more expensive than your typical pizza. But, let’s remember that good quality food isn’t cheap.
At the time of the interview they were also just putting all the bread in the oven for that night. Guy told me, “I have it down to a science, I put them in right around lunch and they come out right when people are arriving at four in the afternoon.”
The smell of 84 loaves of freshly baked bread fills the restaurant daily right around dinnertime. Trying to figure out what food to suggest to students, Guy mentioned that the hot antipasto is one of the most popular appetizers.
While this might not be the establishment you go to when you just want a quick slice of pizza, this is definitely the place you go when you are looking for some good food or looking for a place to take your parents or even that “special someone.”
This is a very Union College friendly establishment; they even offer a 10% discount when you show your student ID. Scotti’s is located at 1730 Union St and operate: Tues-Sat 11:30-1:30pm and 4:30-9:30pm (closed Sundays and Mondays). You can find their menu on GrubLink.com.