Hidden Gem: Joe Cristiano’s

At 518 Salt Point Turnpike, about 15 minutes from Marist College campus, there is a restaurant that is just starting to get some recognition among the Marist community. Joe Cristiano’s is a pizzeria with a specialty dish that will blow your taste buds away.

The one thing on the menu that people are going crazy over is the meatball slider. For one dollar apiece you get a pretty nicely sized meatball inside of a garlic knot bun. The meatball is a specialty at Joe Cristiano’s and for any Italians out there; they are just like grandma’s meatballs. The best part? Free delivery

You have to wonder, where did they come up with such a brilliant combination? So I asked the manager of the restaurant, Brian Antonucci, if he knew where it came from. “Alex (one of the owners) came up with it about two years ago and it stuck. Everyone loved them so we kept serving them.”

Seven years ago this restaurant was opened up by three guys who worked together at a pizzeria called Amadeo’s, near Arlignton high school. One day they decided that they wanted to open up their own restaurant and I am gald that they did. The three owners are named Alex, Jeremy and Jim. Jeremy and Jim are brothers and their grandfather’s name was Joe Cristiano, hence the name of their pizzeria. The restaurant has three locations so the owners are very busy. They have one place in Poughkeepsie (which is obviously the one closest to Marist), one in Hyde Park and one in Wappinger Falls. Antonucci said that Jeremy and Alex are more of the inside guys who actually run the place while Jim does the bookwork. They seem to make a pretty good team and their food is fantastic.

I spoke with Marist senior Jack Young, who is a regular at Joe Cristiano’s. “They changed my life,” he said of the meatball sliders. “I normally only eat my mom’s meatballs, but these are incredible.”

So besides the sliders, what else is good on the menu?

“Anything with meatballs,” said Antonucci. “The meatball parm sub is probably my favorite thing on the menu. But besides that, the wings are also good, the calzones, and of course the pizza is good too.”

This is definitely a place that Marist students need to try out because it is great food and it is not very expensive. If you go on their website you will see that there are a few promotions that are actually very good deals. You can get a large pizza and 10 wings for $13.99, a large pizza with 20 wings for $19.50, two large pizzas and a two liter bottle of soda for $18.50, and any two subs for $9.99.

It is open Monday through Saturday from 11am to 10pm, and from 12pm to 10pm on Sundays. So next time you and your friends are wondering what to get for dinner, order yourselves a nice big tray of meatball sliders or maybe some subs from Joe Cristiano’s. The number is (845) 454-4020. You won’t regret it.

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