By Lauren Glassberg
A small Italian shop in Lower Manhattan is getting a lot of attention thanks to Mayor de Blasio.
The Italian-American mayor found the restaurant run by people who happen to be from the village his family left years ago.
Pisillo on Nassau Street is a slice of Italy.
Here it's all about the panini, imported meats, and cheese on fresh bread. And unlike most paninis served in America, the sandwiches here are served cold just like in Italy.
"In the beginning, they want it hot and then they taste it and say it's very good," said Antonella Silvio.
She and her husband Carmelo Nazzaro opened their 600 square foot spot in November of 2012, just blocks from City Hall, a fortuitous time and location for the couple, as Bill de Blasio had just been elected mayor.
"So I say maybe it was good luck for us too because he's from my same village, I was so excited," said Antonella.
Yes, Mayor de Blasio's family is originally from Sant Agata de Goti, Antonella's own village, a connection that led to an invite to his inaugural, and quickly the mayor became a customer.
"He came inside and said, oh, you're from Sant Agata, right? So we started to talk and he gave me a picture with him, and he speaks Italian," said Antonella.
Pretty good Italian, she says. And as for his order?
"When he came here, he make a sandwich, mozzarella with pistachio nuts, fresh mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, arugula, and extra virgin olive oil," said Carmelo.
It was soon the sandwich became #32 on the menu, named for that tiny village. And the mayor is onto something.
People have their favorites, and they don't waver.
"What if I told you that Mayor de Blasio gets the Sant Agata," we asked one customer. "He's got to try the New Yorker, it's New York," he said.