I am a bit late to the game, but better late than never, I say, when it comes to visiting a place like Eataly. I am sure you have heard of Eataly, and if you have been to New York City in the past year, you have also likely been there. This collaboration between Oscar Farinetti, Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich, and Lidia Bastianich, with consultants Slow Food International, brings all sorts of high quality food, beverage, and kitchen items together under one glorious roof.
Located at 200 5th Avenue, Eataly has something for everybody, and if you love all things food and wine, it will be a place you will want to spend a lot of time.
We walked the 23 blocks from our hotel near Times Square, stopping to check out some store windows and the Rockefeller Center tree on the way. Post to come!
Once we arrived in front of Eataly’s gelateria entrance, we reconvened with our group and then went off to explore.
Much of Eataly’s manifesto speaks to the reasons I love food. I especially love these first four items. I too am in love with food and think it’s pretty amazing the businesses that Batali and the Bastanich family have been able to build through their passion and commitment to quality.
On our way in, we passed the Gelateria ( I had the straciatella, which was divine.), vowing to return on our way out of Eataly. In addition to indulging in some rich gelato on the way out, we also saw Jennifer Love Hewitt who is absolutely gorgeous in person and very, very small.
A Lavazza café and Caffe Vergnano (I had a doppio espresso.) offer quality coffee and coffee drinks, and, if you are so inclined, a Gran Turino, which is a mix of espresso, vodka, and coffee or chocolate liqueur.
A Pasticceria loaded with sweet and festive desserts lined the entry area, each and every one decorated beautifully.
One of our favorites was the heavenly Piazza enoteca, complete with perfect soppresatta, prosciutto, speck, and cheeses, which we brought back to our hotel for a late night dinner/snack.
I salivated at the fish market and oyster bar, wishing this was my regular place for grocery shopping.
And wondered if I should buy another suitcase as I browsed dried pastas, olive oils, canned fish, and vinegars. We snagged a bottle of aged balsamic and some olive oil to eat with our meat, cheese, and bread but forgot to open them. I am sure they will go to good use another night.
The produce section in Eataly is like a display of edible art. Again, I found myself wanting a kitchen in NYC so I could fill my arms with meyer lemons and satsumas
Every inch of Eataly was inviting. Whether the customer is a seasoned chef, a curious home cook, or someone who doesn’t step foot in the kitchen, you can find what you need, and as Chef Batali states above, someone to help you.
After tons of wandering, we found a stand up table in the Piazza to stop and rest over a bottle of sparkling wine. Our server, Ada, was adorable and took into account my taste for drier bubbly, offering us, after some thought, a Contessa Rosa sparkling wine from Italy.
Imported from the Piemonte region, the Contessa Rosa, I learned, is made with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and aged on its lees for three years, resulting in flavors of honey-soaked brioche. The bubbles were tiny and persistent, adding to our festive holiday spirit. Unlike many Italian bubblies, this was not a Prosecco, and it exhibited more characteristics of Champagne that you would expect from an Italian sparkler. We all adored it, and the service was absolutely delightful.
With a large variety of places to eat and drink, along with the perfect foodie shopping experience, Eataly has become a must-visit on any trip to New York City for me.
Have you been to Eataly yet? Or is there a similar market you love?