Sandwiches: Pisillo Italian Panini

Date: 1/3/2017

Borough: Manhattan

Address: 97 Nassau Street

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What we ordered: 

  • L’Aquila (#14) on Whole Wheat
  • Pisillo (#26) on White

Cost (post-tax, pre-tip): $28.05

The scores:

Ratings (1-10) Rob Missy
Taste 7.75 8
Presentation 7 7
Setting 7.5 7
Value 7.5 7.5
Overall 7.5 7.75

Ryan comments:

Ryan stayed home with her Grammie while we went out to grab sandwiches to go, so she doesn’t get a score.

Ryan’s Report Card (1-10): N/A

General Comments:

Pisillo Italian Panini is a small cash-only sandwich shop in the Financial District and it is somehow currently the #2 restaurant in all of NYC according to TripAdvisor reviews. Definitely suspicious how it is up there with Michelin-star restaurants – it’s good but not THAT good.

Pisillo is well aware of their stellar ratings and tout them with a big TripAdvisor banner in their window, and many of their Yelp reviews printed out on the walls, underneath some artwork depicting different Italian cities.

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There are a few seats and tables available but no bathroom inside. We ordered these as takeout since our apartment is less than a 10 minute walk from here.

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They have a pretty large menu of 35 different sandwiches. Note that they call these paninis but they’re not a “panini” in the Americanized sense of the word, as they’re not hot sandwiches put on a panini press.

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With the exception of their breads, which are delivered from Bensonhurst daily, all of their ingredients are shipped from Italy weekly…including their condiments and toppings. Their White and Whole Wheat rolls are standard but they have other breads for a $1 upcharge, like Semolina, 7 Grain, and Sfilatino.

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Everything is very high-quality, which is reflected in the price point. $13 seems pretty expensive for a sandwich until you get the sandwich and see how massive it is…but more on that below. We ordered a #14 on Wheat and a #26 on White. L’Aquila (#14) is Roasted Chicken Breast, Fresh Mozzarella, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, and Arugula. Pisillo (#26) has Prosciutto di Parma, Porchetta, Bufala Mozzarella, Roasted Peppers, Arugula, and Balsamic Dressing.  The meat for each sandwich is sliced for you once you order, so it’s nice to see that everything is freshly prepared.

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We brought the sandwiches home and couldn’t believe how heavy the bag was…to the point where we brought out our food scale. The Pisillo sandwich was $13.90, but it weighed 1 pound and 13 ounces(!!) so it’s really not a bad value. Rob could have easily turned it into two meals but he ate it all as one dinner because he’s a “real man.” He was a big fan and thought it was very high quality and tasty.

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Melissa had the L’Aquila and is not a real man, so this ended up being 3 meals for her. She was expecting the roasted chicken to be a piece of roasted chicken breast, not a deli-style meat, but was very happy with the meat. The sun-dried tomatoes provided a lot of additional flavor but were a little too oily and there were a LOT of them. They did pair well with the fresh mozzarella and arugula. Overall she was happy eating this multiple times.

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Overall we thought the sandwiches were very good and so large that they were actually a decent value, so we gave Pisillo a 7.5 each…definitely not one of the absolute best places to eat in NYC as TripAdvisor would suggest, but a great option to have so close to home.

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