Wow… my husband and I visited to the much talked about Eataly on Saturday and LOVED it. Best not to go in hungry as you will want to explore everything before you settle on what to eat or what to buy. With all the tempting food bars ( Panini, Gelato, Cappucino, Meats and Cheeses, Oysters, Wine and Beer) and restaurants it is tough to make a decision.
If you haven’t heard about Eataly, let me get you up to speed. Chef Mario Batali opened Eataly, a 50,000 square foot world of all the best food Italy has to offer in the Flatiron District of New York City. We loved the cool minimalist design and “oohed” and “aahed” over all the meats, cheeses, pastas, breads, vegetables, and seafood. With seven restaurants and four food stands there is something to fulfill your wildest Italian cravings. Batali says, “This isn’t a selection of restaurants under one roof. This is a retail store where we peddle the greatest of Italian gastronomy to people who want to eat it and know how to appreciate it. You ask any Italian and all of the smart Americans where the best meal they ever had in the last ten years was, and it was never in someone’s restaurant. It was always in the house.”
The market (which also includes an on-site bookstore) opened with Batali’s longtime partners Joe and Lidia Bastianich (and Italian investor Oscar Farinetti), features a who’s who of New York and Italy’s top food personalities. Heading up the charcuterie selection are famed New York butcher Pat LaFrieda (who provides the excellent burgers found at the nearby Shake Shack) and Sergio Capaldo, founder of the Razza Piemontese Consortium, and a leader in the Italian slow food movement. Even Batali’s father, a longtime Seattle meat purveyor, is getting in on the act, flying in his famous salumi from the West Coast. Chef David Pasternack (of the beloved Midtown seafood spot Esca) is manning the fish station, while Marco Michelis, a young chef shipped in straight from Torino, will be serving up gnocchi, orecchiette, and other fresh pastas daily. For wine lovers, the vino section will carry over 1,000 bottles.
Aside from the restaurants and the market you can also shop for cookbooks, cooking utensils, sign up for cooking classes, and plan a trip to Italy through their travel program.
Fresh vegetables… I love the brussel sprouts!
Fresh pastas being made on site. The ravioli and gnocchi selection looked outstanding.
The imported pasta section in the market has a huge selection. There are signs throughout the market located above each type of food telling you what to cook or pair the particular item with…very helpful.
The meats all looked amazingly fresh and again, there was a wide selection to choose from.
The seafood counter was amazing and all of the mussles, clams, and shrimp packed into ice is quite tempting.
The cheese and sliced meat selection in the market is perfect for a picnic.
The bread is all made on site ( you can watch through a glass window). We sampled some and it was delicious.
All the Italian jams, cookies, crackers, candy, and chocolate you could want.
The dessert counter in the market caught my eye. How incredible do all of these look? Perfection.
The signs through out the Italaian mecca help you find your way around.
Above is the central “food court” where we settled on eating lunch. There are four stations with counter space for you to grab some appetizers and a glass of wine or beer.
Our lunch hit the spot: An order of caprese followed by a selection of five meats and five cheeses paired with honey, figs, jam, and bread. Paired with a rose wine.
I look forward to my next visit! It is a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon and definitely worth a trip into the city. There is nothing quite like Eataly!
Below is a breakdown of exactly what Eataly has to offer:
Wine and Beer
Wine director Dan Amatuzzi worked with Batali, Bastianich and Farinetti to stock Eataly’s shelves with more than 1,000 Italian wines, including Antinori, Ferrari and La Mozza. Meanwhile, beer lovers can take the elevator up to the rooftop to indulge in La Birreria‘s house brews.
Le Verdure (vegetable) will serve fried veggies, fresh salads and other vegetarian-only options.
Manzo (meat) will have a menu that features raw beef, steak and anti-pasti dishes.
Il Pesce (fish), headed up by Esca chef David Pasternack, will sell everything from lemon-cooked fish to seafood salads and contorni.
La Pizza (pizza) will dish out delicious fresh mozzarella pies made daily in wood-burning ovens.
La Pasta (pasta), La Pizza ‘s nearest neighbor, will serve dried and fresh pasta dishes, some of which you can find on the store shelves.
Salumi e Formaggi (salumi and cheese) will offer delectable cold-cuts, with favorites like prosciutto di Parma and an array of aged cheeses. At the mozzarella bar, you can watch the cheese being handmade before buying a chunk.
Crudo (raw bar) is where you can stock up on raw delights, while getting a front-row seat to the chef as he prepares dishes.
Eataly’s shelves are rife with imported Italian olive oils (prices range from $8- $40), dried pastas ($1.75-$20), balsamic vinegars, tomato sauces, honey, and jams. There’s also a selection of linens, kitchen equipment, houseware products, and a bookstore dedicated to wine, food and Italian culture. And if you’re thinking about visiting Italy, talk to AlpiTours and Liberi Tutti, the in-house travel agencies available to help you plan your next trip.
Culinary Stations and School
The stations spread throughout the store will offer food and wine courses, lectures and demonstrations. You can learn everything from how to make fresh mozzarella, to how to roll out pasta dough and bake focaccia bread. At La Scuola (the school), you can take classes with Eataly’s founders, who’ll teach you about artisanal products, seasonal ingredients, as well as healthy cooking.