The first restaurant in NYC to go green. 100% carbon neutral. Beyond fresh and delicious. Pisticci is worth a trip uptown for all of you swanky downtown diners.
Turning off Broadway onto 123rd you may feel as though you have made a mistake. Pisticci has an unassuming character, and the rest of the short block is lined by brick faced apartment buildings. Travel a little farther up the small hill, and you will notice a tiny oval sign peeking out from behind a tree, and white Christmas lights sparkling in the evening ambience.
Stepping inside you are greeted by warm hues, puffy velour couches, wooden farmhouse tables, stray knickknacks arbitrarily scattered about, and plenty of local artwork. Each table is set with fresh flowers and water is rustically served in a mason jar.
Fresh bread, which is kept is an over-sized basket by the kitchen, is presented with chopped olives drowning in their own oils.
For starters, I ordered a Mint Julep. I had a few sips, but my stomach just wasn’t having it, so I passed it on to a friend and stuck with a very good glass of house red. (did you notice that the table changed? We moved to a bigger table after the bread came out as unexpected company joined us).
James ordered a big bowl of Gazpacho and shared a few bites with me. Strong on the cucumber, it was a large and refreshing soup.
I ordered Michael’s Pasta for my main course: baby squashes and spinach tossed in fresh tomato over fusilli with aged caciotta cheese.
There are veggies under all that cheese. Can you find them?
The pasta was perfectly cooked and the squash still had a little crunch to it. The tomatoes were light, and the cheese… oh, the cheese! Yes, I ate the whole thing.
James ordered his go to dish, Penne Pisticci: in a yellow and red vine tomato sauce with chunks of homemade mozzarella.
The chunks of mozzarella look like marshmallows, but taste like utopia.
I wish I had snapped a photo of the specials menu. The goat cheese stuffed fig salad (not consumed this time) is life changing.
After our meal, the 7 of us sat around for a while longer chatting and sipping wine. Savoring the atmosphere and happily full, we gradually prepared to leave Pisticci and continue our get together at my apartment. Ambulating rather slowly, with a few stops along the way, it probably took us a good 15 minutes to walk the few blocks in between. I had one last treat for the evening: a nice cold Magic Hat Circus Boy to represent the home state.
*I am still not brave enough to bring my real camera (which is rather obtrusive) into a restaurant to snap pictures. The iPhone will have to do.