Daily, 11am-3:30pm and 4:30pm-11pm
1 at 125th St.
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110th St. to 132nd St., Morningside Dr. to Riverside Dr.
Chances are, unless you are student or faculty at Columbia, you probably never heard of the hidden, subterranean Italian restaurant, Pisticci. Tucked away on little-known LaSalle Street, in the shadows of the elevated number 1 train, and across the street from the FHL Dental, you'll see the sign Cucina Italiana. Walk down the steep steps into the restaurant and you'll be immediately charmed by the colorful, rustic dining room with brick walls, exposed pipes along the ceiling, rotating original art on the walls, and a faux library/dining room with a full bar and plush lounge chairs. Pisticci's food claims to be "Italian cooking from the homeland," but that homeland is vast and diverse. The menu here attempts to encompass it all; northern, southern, and variations of both—you can start with a Caprese salad with rich mozzarella di buffala or a bowl of mussels steamed in fragrant white wine and parsley. Pisticci's pasta offerings are attractive, but the end result is sometimes disappointing. Without an overabundance of sauce, most dishes would improve considerably: The otherwise very good penne Pisticci, with a sauce made from sweet fresh vine tomatoes, is drowned in it. So is the maltagliati, sheets of fresh pasta in a tomato sauce, thick and hearty with pieces of shredded lamb—while fine, it suffers the same fate as the penne Pisticci—there's just too much sauce.Live Music
Jazz, Sun., 6:30 p.m.—9:30 p.m.Recommended Dishes
Insalate caprese, $9.95; maltagliati with ricotta, spinach, and lamb, $14.95; meatballs over polenta, $12.95