A friend told me about Pisillo Italian Panini and I’m glad he did. Not only are the sandwiches delicious, but the owner comes from the town near my grandfather’s in Italy, Sant’Agata de’ Goti. Sant’Agata de’ Goti is a prototypical Medieval Italian city located in the province of Benevento in the Campania region of Italy near Naples. A truly delightful place to visit and the hometown of NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s grandfather.
Pisillo is a small shop in Manhattan’s Financial District that does a brisk lunch business. Sometimes the line is out the door, but luckily, there are menus tacked up everywhere so you can read the long list of sandwiches before you get to the counter.
There is a variety of bread for your sandwich, including focaccia, ciabatta and sfilatino, a long, crunchier bread that would be familiar to Italian Americans but maybe not so to others.
I ordered the Sant’Agata with mortadella, fresh mozzarella, tomato and arugula on sfilatino. The sandwich is very large and was very tasty.
Pisillo’s is so popular that it opened a coffee shop next door. The coffee shop has some seating as well that you are welcome to if there are no seats at the sandwich shop. When I visited, the coffee shop had a minimal amount of pastries. Some cannoli, sfogliatelle and cookies. I opted for the pretty cannoli.
While it was pretty, I wasn’t sure about the filling. It was different from what I’m used to with ricotta cream. So I wasn’t able to discern what it was. Maybe ricotta with confectioners’ sugar? Not sure.
I wouldn’t say the panini shop or the coffee shop are bringing anything new to New York that the Italian immigrants of old didn’t introduce before, but both are a nice addition to an area lacking in good food choices and Italian choices.