Eataly is where foodies die and go to heaven. If you like high quality food, ingredients, produce, wine, gelato, coffee and much much more, your going to want to spend hours roaming around this behemoth food mall. Eataly has something for everyone - whether your there to just people watch and leisurely enjoy a latte, shopping and preparing for an authentic Italian dinner, or sitting down to manja with friends and family. Brought to you by Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich, and their other Italian partners, this is a must visit for any Italian food (really any food!) lover in Manhattan.
I recently stopped by after seeing Black Swan at a nearby theater. Ok ok, I definitely picked the closest theater possible because I have been dying to go to Eataly since it opened! After taking a stroll and touring the massive marketplace with awe and amazement, we decided to make our first stop La Piazza, the standing table bistro in the heart of Eataly. The menu consists of only the highest quality Salumi & Formaggi (meat and cheese for my non-foodie friends out there!). There are no reservations, but there is full table service, as well as wine and beer by the bottle and glass (on the pricey side - one glass of red wine will run you around $14). We kicked off the night with La Mozzarella and Prosciutto, which consisted of some of the freshest and finest quality mozzarella you will find without actually getting on a plane and traveling to Italy. My one (slight) critique was that it could have used a bit more salt sprinkled on top with the olive oil and grated pepper. It was accompanied by pieces of freshly baked and very crusty bread, which was apparently made from yeast that was smuggled into the United States straight from Italy inside 19 travel-size shampoo bottles. It doesn’t get more authentic (or illegal) than that!
Next, we wandered over to La Pizza & Pasta for dinner, one of the more casual full service dining restaurants in Eataly. Again, another eatery with no reservations, so we ended up waiting around 30 minutes. After agonizing over which pie on the menu to order, we finally went with the Maruzzella, which had a well-charred crust topped with tomato sauce, anchovies, mozzarella, black olives, and fresh basil. It was good, but in a city that is in constant rivalry for the best Neapolitan style pie, Eataly’s pizza was not quite at a level of the Motorino’s of New York.
Next, we moved on to the pasta menu and decided to go with the Fettuccine con Coda alla Vaccinara, perfectly al dente home made pasta topped with an oxtail ragu sauce. This pasta was absolutely excellent, I practically licked the bowl clean! It reminded me of the kind of pastas Batali is known to serve up at his four star dining establishment Del Posto, for probably half the price.
All in all, a casual but wonderful night touring the “Little Italy” of Madison Square Park. I look forward to going back many a more times to sample all the goodies Eataly has to offer.
200 5th Ave
New York, NY 10010