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89th And Broke

I'm a young professional living in Astoria (formerly of Williamsburg, the UES and Murray Hill - I move a lot!). I'm always looking for something fun to do or the best place to grab a drink and dinner at an affordable price around the city. Have a suggestion? Email me at Laura AT 89thandbroke DOT com.

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An Italian Gem in Morningside Heights

A while back I was in Morningside Heights looking for a place to have dinner with my boyfriend. We finally narrowed it down to Italian and settled on the well-reviewed Pisticci. It’s fairly small inside but it had a basement that would be nice for groups, as well as an outdoor area. They also have live jazz music on Sunday evenings which was a nice perk. (Sorry, but I have to mention that they were the first restaurant in NYC to go green and they’re 100% carbon neutral, so I thought that was pretty cool.)

Going by the online recommendations, we started with the garlic bread app with goat cheese, and as expected it was outstanding. The bread wasn’t too toasted or crispy, which can be a pet peeve of mine, and the goat cheese was a nice change of pace from the traditional mozzarella, adding a deeper flavor.

Although I went on a summer eve, I opted for their famous maltagliati with ricotta, spinach and lamb. Quite simply it’s hard to turn down a house specialty when all the ingredients sound so good! Maltagliati is like a short piece of lasagna – ribbed and flat. It was pretty incredible and the flavors blended beautifully. However, it was a bit heavy so it was easy to split into two meals (even after my boyfriend stole more than his fair share).

Speaking of him, he ordered the house meatballs over polenta which again was another interesting change of pace. I know some people hate polenta, so clearly this dish isn’t for you. But if you like the creamy texture, then you should give it a try, especially since it comes formed in rectangles so it’s a bit firmer than usual. I really liked his dish too and would order it in the future.

We were too full for dessert so I can’t comment on that, but everything we sampled was delicious, definitely living up to its hype. The appetizer was $8, the entrees a total of $25, and we each had a drink, so our bill (before tip) was just under $50 which we felt was more than reasonable for the quality of food and service we received. I actually can’t believe their entrees are priced as low as they are, but I’m not complaining!

Pisticci’s is a reason worth visiting Morningside Heights, so if you ever find yourself in that neck of the woods, or if you just want some delicious and affordable Italian food, make sure that you give it a whirl.

The Basics
Name: Pisticci
Location: 125 Lasalle St.
Who to take: a date, family, frugal friends
Price: $-$$, so cheap for such a nice restaurant!
Overall: There’s not a single thing to complain about, except maybe the subway ride there. 5 stars!

Pisticci on Urbanspoon

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