The best sandwich at this FiDi hole-in-the-wall is the No. 26, the Pisillo, a madcap omnibus of flavors that includes prosciutto di parma, porchetta, mozzarella di bufala, and roasted red peppers. Then again, there’s the No. 16, the Perugia, in which tart balsamic dressing plays off the saltiness of coppa pork cuts. The Trento, No. 9, is true bliss, however, dripping with truffle oil and stacked with speck, smoked mozzarella, and arugula. Pisillo is filled with customers who will swear by their order to the detriment of all others. That said, nearly every one of the giant sandwiches approaches, and even attains, perfection.

Antonella Silvio and Carmelo Nazzaro opened Pisillo almost three years ago, as a white-tiled homage to Silvio’s home town in Italy, Sant’Agata de’ Goti, an arresting stone bastion nestled in the hills above Naples. Sant’Agata, which Italian TV once called “a counterweight to our industrial society,” was also once the home of Giovanni de Blasio, the grandfather of New York’s current mayor. Pisillo’s proximity to City Hall quickly insured that Bill de Blasio became a loyal customer. Pictures of him visiting for a quick bite adorn the walls. The Mayor’s order? The No. 32, the Sant’Agata, a sandwich designed by de Blasio himself: mortadella, fresh mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, arugula, and extra-virgin olive oil. Thinking about it, it’s probably the best.

On any weekday at Pisillo, between about noon and one-thirty, it’s hard to move, and even think, amid the scrum of union reps, bankers, and City Hall workers baying orders to a background of solid nineties Eurodance hits (think “Rhythm of the Night”). They choose their bread, baked fresh every day in Bensonhurst: huge, fluffy focaccia, chewy sfilatino, and fourteen-inch loaves strewn with sesame seeds that burst in the mouth like the serrated beat of an Italo-disco classic.

In days past, the generally accepted protocol was to grab your ginormous sandwich when your name was called, and then devour it with a friend on a nearby park bench. Three months ago, however, Pisillo snapped up the lease from the struggling coffee shop next door, where it now sells espresso, pignoli cookies, and crisp sfogliatella pastries, shaped like lobster tails and filled with cream, in an environment bedecked with memorabilia of the Turin football team Juventus. If you eat in, you’re liable to hear the occasional bit of City Hall gossip. The other day, three men with sausage-size fingers sat around a table, bickering in low voices. “O.K., then, do we really want mass labor disruption in New York City?” one asked. He waited a beat. “I’m assuming that means a no.” They then went back to arguing about who had the better sandwich. (Sandwiches $8.50-$13.90.) ♦

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