The final post from my New York experience is one reserved to the place so nice, I actually went twice – and I was only there for 4 days! That place would be Mario Batali’s Eataly. From the uninitiated, Mario Batali is one of the first big celebrity chefs from the early Food Network days. He has built up quite a little restaurant empire within New York and a few years ago, he opened up Eataly near the Flatiron building in midtown Manhattan.
At its core, Eataly is a Italian food market and quite an amazing one at that. Whatever Italian speciality ingredient you are looking for, they probably have. Aisles of olive oils, pastas (gluten-free or not), wine store, cookbooks, amazing meat counter, housemade mozzarella counter, chocolates, gelatoes, a bakery, coffee shop…. This place is a food paradise. I could have spend hours in there sampling all the food in there.
But the brilliance here is not the amazing quality of the market but how Batali has incorporate restaurant experiences within this setting. In the same space, surrounded by all this wonderful food to buy and bring home, there are 7 sit down “restaurants” where you can enjoy a nice meal – that utilizes the same things you can buy inside. Each one is located closest to the market area that services the majority of their menu.
On our first visit, we chose to sit down at Manzo – the restaurant “attached” to the market butcher. I ordered the Pappardelle with braised pork and radicchio. Just a great plate of pasta with absolutely no complaints from me.
And then on the way out, I stopped by the dessert counter and picked up some fresh cannolis. Wonderful fresh ricotta based cream with pieces of candied orange mixed in. Add the light shell covered with cinnamon and you get an amazing dessert.
On our return visit, we “sat” down at La Piazza – which is serviced by their mozzarella, salami and cheese counters. For the occasion, we ordered some wine and got a tasting plate of cheese and meats. Great mix of different meats and cheeses to enjoy with bread, some olives, figs, honey and candied oranges. Not a single bad items on the entire table. I could have stood there for a few more hours and simply continued to order more wine, cheese and meats to enjoy. Just a great experience.
From a foodie’s perspective, Eataly is simply an heavenly experience. Any future NY trip will most definitely include return visits because I simply didn’t get to try everything this market has to offer. New York is very lucky to have a place like this to call their own.
200 5th Avenue
New York, NY
212 229 2560