Pistacchio is the most recent inductee into Ferguson Lane, a stylishly downplayed space on Wukang Lu that’s home to heavy-hitters like Farine and Azul. It promises simple, ingredient-centered Italian classics in an elegant setting, and delivers on the elegant setting. The Italian classics, on the other hand, seemed more tired than classic, and amateurish at that.
Grand like a hotel ballroom. A square bar occupies the center of the floor, and an open kitchen overlooks the dining area from the upper deck of a two-tiered space illuminated by dim, low-hanging lights. Staff are cordial but kind’ve clueless. I was asked twice if I wanted to see a dessert menu before I’d received my main, and I had to remind them that I’d ordered Beef Rossini as they hadn’t fired it after my initial order.
Standard antipasto, pasta, main, dessert format. For antipasto, we chose the seasonal greens with fried goat cheese, which tipped the price scale at over 90RMB, and were almost completely salt-less. Even the crusty, creamy puck of fried goat cheese couldn’t save this grassy blandvalanche.
The lasagne pasta course (88RMB) featured the same spring vegetables, but sported more depth. Too much depth. Underneath the noodle canvas lay an almost unassailable sinkhole of sweet peppers and cheese. After about twenty minutes of mining peppers and stretchy cheese from beneath the noodle, our taste buds tuned out and we went on autopilot; unconsciously picking and munching.
Fortunately, our Beef Rossini main with a red wine reduction, foie gras, and potatoes (188RMB) was pretty good, albeit a bit mundane. They served the beef a perfect medium rare; tender and bleeding at the core. However, in an unlikely twist, the usually reliable foie gras came up short. Rather than that quivering hunk of pungent liver that looks like it would melt if you blew on it, we got a bland, mealy slab that could’ve thawed better.
Pistacchio is a bit like a cruise ship in that you pay more for the luxuriant decor and locale than the sort’ve forgettable throwback dishes. But if you’ve got cash to spare, and want to grab a comfy bite with fam and friends in one of Shanghai’s most scenic neighborhoods, you can do worse.
Pistacchio – First Floor, 378 Wukang Lu, near Taian Lu, Xuhui district (开心果 徐汇区武康路378号1楼, 近泰安路). Tel: (0)21-5410-9852. Hours: 11am-midnight daily.
See a complete list of our reviews here.
Benjamin Cost is Shanghaiist’s Food Editor. Email tips, recommendations, and news updates on Shanghai’s dining scene to [email protected].