when I was compiling my NYC gluten-free restaurant review page last week, I realized something was missing. This is Pisticci.
my Pisticci affair began in the spring of my first year of college, several years pre-Celiac. Pisticci is a classy Italian restaurant on the northern border of Morningside Heights. it’s the kind of place you make your parents take you, and you only traipse up there for very special occasions.
the jewel of their menu, in my opinion, is the Penne Pisticci, which is that pasta dish you see - penne in a yummy, homemade, chunky tomato sauce, covered in cubes of fresh homemade mozzarella and broiled just a teensy bit.
when I was diagnosed and I made mental lists of all the food I’d never eat again, I thought about Penne Pisticci. and I was sad.
and THEN on one magical day, a friend of a friend who also has Celiac happened to mention that Pisticci stocks gluten free pasta, and they’ll substitute if you ask!
as you can see, they’ve since added this to their menus. but in the early days it was a kind of secret. (the charge has also increased to $5, which I think is absolutely absurd and ridiculously unfair and if I could do anything about this kind of discrimination I absolutely WOULD but I love that stupid pasta too much.)
the waiters are knowledgeable and they’ll tell you which dishes are safe and which CAN be safe and which should be avoided.
also if you happen to go - the artichoke appetizer is like the best thing in the entire world. we ALWAYS get it to share. it’s just a steamed artichoke but the secret is the emulsified lemon-butter dipping sauce. I COULD WRITE ODES ABOUT THAT SAUCE!
(when we get dessert we often get this thing that’s a mound of whipped cream covered in berries. sounds ridiculous. but it’s delicious.)
ANYWAY, despite the ridiculous markup, I still have a soft spot for Pisticci and if you ever are in the neighborhood and have a hankering for fresh mozzarella, well, you know where to go.