Friday, March 1, 2013

Eataly!

 For all of you that have attended BEA in New York at any point, I'm probably not going to rock your world with this post.  Because strangely, all BEA bloggers seem to know about this place.  But the rest of you must be informed.  So while I was visiting New York City in late November, Rhapsody Jill told me that we HAD to visit Eataly.  It was out of the way from where we were, but I trust Jill in areas of food (and reading) and we cabbed it to this place to check it out.

Words almost cannot describe Eataly.  After about ten minutes of walking around in this place (actually more like aimless stumbling), my husband and I turned to each other with glazed expressions, and claimed over-stimulation.  So let me tell you a little about it.

Eataly is a concept that first originated in Turin, Italy in 2007.  Italian businessman Oscar Farinetti converted an old vermouth factory into type of mega-market focused on fresh foods, dining and culinary education.  Mario Batali, Lidia Bastianich, and Joe Bastianich partnered up and opened one in New York City near Madison Square Park in 2010.  Since then, other locations have been opened in Rome and Tokyo, and one will be opening in Chicago in the fall of next year.  (Can we get a fist-pump on that one?)  

So what is it exactly?  Well, in New York, it is 50,000 square feet of a "grocery store with tasting rooms" according to Batali.  Shelves and shelves of all things Italian like sauces, olive oils, spices, dried pasta, cookies.  But intermixed with the non-perishable items are stations with fresh foods.  Meats, cheeses, fish, vegetables, pasta, DESSERTS, even a fresh mozzarella station where you can watch the guy making it.  The items range from your basic organic chicken breasts for example, to the exotic and bizarre like quail eggs and sea urchin.  

I saw chef-looking people bustling in to buy ingredients for their dinner preparations that evening.  I saw locals with their business attire sitting with their co-workers having some antipasti.  Everyone imbibing in wine.  The place was PACKED and in very good spirits...standing room only.  Here are some pictures I took.  









Scattered throughout the market there are actual sit-down restaurants that have different features.  Fish, or beef, or pizza and pasta...they are basically serving what they sell in the market.  And when you are in Italy (I mean Eataly) you must eat pasta, at least in MY mind.  My husband was annoyed at the 45 minute wait for the pasta tables, and would have been just as happy to sit immediately and eat fish, but I was determined.

When we finally sat down, a very friendly retired couple from Arizona started talking to us, and explained they were going to attend a cooking class at Eataly the next day.  I commented on how delicious their pasta looked, and the gentleman let me have a taste.  I was sold.  I had the Spaghettoni al Rancetto (what you see below) and my husband has Tagliatelle al Ragu di Monzo (Short Rib Ragu) with a couple glasses of wine.  




This place was pure insanity, but also a feast of the senses for anyone who likes to eat.  I cannot recommend it highly enough.  Even if you don't have time to eat there, pop in and take a look.  It is an experience!

Eataly NYC
200 5th Avenue
Hours vary for retail store, restaurants, coffee shop and information booth

    


21 comments:

Beth F said...

I love a good food market as much (or more) than the next, but I found Eataly to be crowded, noisy, and mostly overwhelming. Perhaps I should give it a try during the day instead of night right when people get off work.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Ha ha, I will change Beth Fish's mind!!

bermudaonion said...

We went there during BEA last year and no one wanted to wait to eat so we just browsed, but it was so much fun! Dawn did buy chocolate for me and Julie.

Zibilee said...

It looks amazing and it does sound like a feast of the senses with all of that going on around the various eateries. I would love to visit there someday!

Jackie Bailey said...

That place looks and sounds amazing. Shame there isn't one in the UK :-(

Darlene said...

One word - OMG! I'd love to visit.

Julie P. said...

It was such a fun place to visit!

JoAnn said...

My daughter lives just a few blocks from there, so we visit every time we're in NYC. Evenings are just overwhelming (at least for me), so going early or late is a better bet.

Tasha B. said...

Gah SO JEALOUS!

(Diane) bookchickdi said...

I LOVE Eataly! Their ravioli at the pasta restaurant is beyond belief and they make a delicious prime rib sandwich way in the back at the rotisserie chicken area. I get it as a special lunch treat once in a awhile. My sons and husband even got me a gift card to Eataly for Christmas. I'm glad you got to eat there; great post!

Beth S. said...

I adore Mario Batali and I plan to visit NYC in July this year so I definitely want to venture to Eataly! :)

Margot said...

Just your pictures alone are tempting. It must be a food lovers paradise. Some day . . .

caite said...

I have never been there..never heard of it!
But I will be visiting my beloved Reading Terminal Market in just a few days...

Janel Gradowski said...

I have never heard of this, but will definitely visit the one in Chicago if it goes in there! I've been to some nice specialty grocery stores in metro Detroit, but they don't sound quite as interesting as this.

C.B. James said...

This does look like a fun place to visit. Lately, I am a fan of small places, though.

Have you done Zabar's? It's one of our favorite places in New York.

But, I should just admit, that we mostly eat off of food trucks when in NYC. Food trucks and diners.

Peggy Ann said...

Oh my goodness! It does look like a lovely place to spend the day.

Angela said...

Wow, Eataly sounds AMAZING. A Chicago location would be excellent, as it's only an hour and a half away from me.

Ti said...

Another blogger told me that they are opening one in Los Angeles. Oh my.

Kimberly (Reflections of a Book Addict) said...

Eataly is hands down one of my favorite places in the city. So glad you enjoyed it!!

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) said...

Amazing. I have never been here. Walk by all the time. *ducks out of this post*

Kathleen said...

This looks like an AWESOME place and one I will visit when I get to NYC!