I’ll admit it. I’m a complete and total snob when it comes to Italian food. But it’s not my fault that no restaurant pasta dish could ever surpass my 100-year-old great grandmother’s homemade pasta, my mother’s meatballs, or my grandpa’s beloved rigatoni. Needless to say, I was skeptical when one of my college friends raved about the best Italian restaurant in the city, which also happened to be in our neighborhood, Pisticci. So we strolled up Broadway one sunny, warm evening with empty stomachs in tow. This was something I had to taste to believe.
Pisticci is one of those places that makes you feel like you’re in a quaint European trattoria. We dined on the sidewalk, adorned with Christmas lights and tiny outdoor tables, drinking water out of Mason jars and sipping generously-filled glasses of vino. Knowing that pasta was in our future, we started with the Insalata Mista, a simple salad of mixed greens and tomatoes dressed in a delicious, tangy balsamic dressing. I made a note to ask what exactly was in the dressing, but forgot. All the reason more to pay Pisticci another visit… possibly on a Sunday for live music?
I was advised to go with Michael’s Pasta for my entree, and it did not disappoint. The fresh cavatelli were cooked perfectly, doughy, yet firm. Tossed with zucchini and yellow squash, two of my favorite veggies, and cooked in a light, fresh tomato sauce, and topped with a mild caciotta cheese, Michael’s Pasta is quite possibly the best pasta dish I’ve ever had in a restaurant. A bold statement, I know, but maybe I’m a little biased. After all, Michael’s Pasta basically a mix of all of my favorite things.
I loved Michael’s Pasta so much, I couldn’t help but order it again during another Pisticci dinner this weekend. I’m usually someone who, when I frequent a restaurant, I like to try something new every visit, but I just couldn’t bring myself to stray. Maybe next time, because trust me, there will be a next time.
A final fun fact about Pisticci: It’s the FIRST carbon neutral restaurant in New York City. Pretty cool.
125 La Salle Street (near Broadway and 125th)
New York, NY