Restaurant: Panino Sportivo– 1231 Amsterdam Avenue, Manhattan, NY

If Alidoro lays claim to, in my opinion, the best sandwich in New York City, Panino Sportivo up in Morningside Heights must be its little brother. This bar/restaurant is creating some delicious sandwiches with top-notch ingredients.

Panino Sportivo isn’t so much a sandwich shop as it is a local hangout. The place has a bar along with a few tables for people to sit and relax at while enjoying a drink and something off the menu. I was there during the Euro 2012 football (soccer) matches and the place was packed to the brim with everyone glued to the flatscreen TV in the corner broadcasting the games.

Panino Sportivo
Laura: prosciutto di Parma, sundried tomato paste, pesto

The menu at Panino Sportivo seems to go on and on. I’ve never seen so many different sandwich combinations on a single menu before – all of them with fresh, high quality ingredients. The menu gives you a choice of all different types of sandwiches ranging from vegetarian, to just meat, to meat and cheese, to fish. There are also salads and other larger dishes to choose from such as chicken parmigiana.

I ordered:

  • Laura: prosciutto di Parma, sundried tomato paste, pesto

The sandwich came out warm and the bread had some grill marks from where it was toasted – a nice touch. The sandwich wasn’t huge like at Alidoro but it was a good size and all of the flavors went together very smoothly. There wasn’t too much pesto so that it overpowered the sandwich, a problem I’ve often found with places that are liberal with their pesto. The sandwich didn’t come with any cheese on it but I wished that it had. It seemed to be missing some nice slices of fresh mozzarella which would have been a perfect complement to the other ingredients. I’ll admit, I engulfed this sandwich in a matter of minutes and wished that it had been a little bigger so I could have enjoyed more of it.

The Verdict

Panino Sportivo has good sandwiches, no question about it. If you go to Columbia or live up in Morningside Heights, I highly recommend checking it out. The staff is very friendly and they take time and care in crafting each sandwich, and it shows in the presentation and taste. The price, at $9.50 for my sandwich, is decent but for the size of the sandwich I think it’s a little overpriced. If you’re looking for a fun place to hangout with friends, watch sports and enjoy some higher quality food than your typical bar menu, Panino Sportivo is calling your name.

Panino Sportivo Roma on Urbanspoon