Last week I had some business in NYC and asked my son to join me and keep me company. I figured I would reward him afterwards with lunch. It was a rare, warm day in February so we decided to walk. We walked down 5th avenue towards Union Square as there are tons of nice places to eat in that area. ( I also thought I would drag him into the most amazing store-ABC Carpet.)
But, all of a sudden I realized we were in front of EATALY!!!
I have been wanting to go there ever since I started hearing the buzz last Summer but I had no idea it was so close to where I do all my business.
Eataly is the culinary project of Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich, lidi Matticchio Bastianich and Eataly founder Oscar Farine. The immense space situated between 23rd and 24th streets, fronted on 5th avenue is a primo destination for Italian style shopping, eating, experimenting, and learning. There are five restaurants within and many, MANY counters to order everything from fresh made pasta, all different kinds of sauces, to Italian hams and sausages.
Now, I don't consider myself a "foodie" but I am an adventurous eater. So I couldn't wait to go in... and I wasn't disappointed! I don't think I have ever seen so many different types of olives oils in one place.We walked around for about an hour and then decided where to eat. We went to La Pizza & La Pasta. My son had a dish of fresh mozzarella and I had an amazing salad, mostly comprised of roots and radishes. Then we shared a pizza. Our food was delicious- made more so by the wine selection suggested by our waiter. The service was AWESOME!
At the end of the meal I asked for an expresso and that is when we found out the way you are supposed to eat at EATALY.
The intention is that you should be at EATALY for hours. Start at LE VERDURE with a soup and maybe a salad or you could start at IL PESCE with an amazing seafood antipasto. Then, head over to LA PASTA for a pasta course. Next, you would go to MANZA for a meat course. At the end you can go to the cafe for expresso and pastries or there is a gelato store too.
All along, while you enjoy your eating experience you can shop for any italian ingrediant that you ate there or that you could think of.
If you are heading to NYC make sure you stop in. it is a very unique experience. Not too expensive either.
Oh, and the people watching is crazy!
Restaurateurs (from left) Joe Bastianich, Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and Mario Batali have one foot in Italy and one in New York with their new extravaganza, Eataly.
"Part of Eataly’s mission is to celebrate and foster understanding of the Italian table — a place where ingredients come from people with names and faces. To that end, it will include a cooking school and even an in-house travel agency that will organize trips."