In an ideal world there would be a place like Piccolo Cafe every few blocks or so, all over town: a casual, all-day eatery with an interesting, varied menu and a kitchen that can crank out solid, satisfying food at a reasonable price. And if said place is as ridiculously cute (in a very tasteful way) as Piccolo Cafe UWS? All the more reason we'll be spending a lot of time there over the coming weeks and months, sipping coffee, munching egg sandwiches, eating pastas and salads. There are three other Piccolo Cafes–in Midtown (West and East), and Kips Bay–but this new one on Amsterdam near 74th Street is nicely situated on one our more frequent stomping grounds, less than a five minute walk from Emerald Green. So: welcome Piccolo Cafe. Glad you could make it.
Piccolo Cafe on the Upper West Side
Piccolo Cafe on the Upper West Side is open every day for breakfast, lunch, coffee, brunch, snack, treats, dinner, dessert. The design of the place is totally appealing–call it "Euro-nostalgia"–using reclaimed materials like barn wood and tin, old-school signage, and it's decoupaged all over with ancient Italian newspapers Such a nice change from the usual drearily generic or overly fratty spots that have traditionally set down on this stretch of the Upper West Side. And the staff was all friendly and warm, if maybe a tad addled. This is a cozy, comfortable place.
As for the food, the Piccolo Cafe UWS menu has a surprisingly lengthy menu for what must be a tiny kitchen; there's an entire section on eggs, as well as paninis, salads, pasta and a daily list of more entree-ish specials–but based on our (admittedly limited) experience, the chefs seem to know what they're doing back there. We went simple on our first visit to Piccolo Cafe NY last week, and were rewarded with a pair of carefully prepared dishes. The Spinach Salad, for example, was fresh and lively, generously studded with chewy, funky prosciutto, sprinkled with sharp parmigiano, drizzled with a nice balsamic vinegar. Basically: much better than you'd expect, or, really, than it needs to be. Same goes for the Spaghetti and Meatballs, which was rich and satisfying and, again, a far more exciting and even accomplished dish than, say, 95% of all the other $10 plates of pasta in town.
Piccolo Cafe Upper West Side Details
The Upper West Side Piccolo Cafe is located on Amsterdam Avenue between 74th and 75th Streets and is open every day from 8:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. A take-out window serves coffee and ice cream. For more information and a look at the complete Piccolo Cafe menu, please see the restaurant's website, here.