Sunday, October 17, 2010
Eataly by Mario Batali and Friends
The wine store at Eataly.
TD and moseyed up to 23rd Street recently to check out Eataly, the new 50,000 square foot food emporium dedicated to the culinary delights of Italy. Chef Mario Batali and his longtime partner Joe Bastianich and Joe's mother restaurateur and cookbook writer Lidia Matticchio Bastianich teamed up with Eataly founder Oscar Farinetti to open the sprawling complex at the end of August in the Toy Building on West 23rd Street close to Fifth Avenue.
It was a lot of fun and quite a scene but, don't go when we went, late on a Saturday afternoon, because it was really mobbed. There was a lot to look at for sure but the crowds of people made it hard to navigate. Try to go an an off hour because many delights await – including a bakery, a fresh pasta counter, a selection of local produce, a gelateria, an espresso bar, and a book department.
This area provided a place to stand around tables where people were eating cheese and prosciutto.
The wine bar offered wine by the glass. It was funny to see people grocery shopping carrying a big glass of red wine.
A beautiful fresh fish counter.
Rows and rows of olive oil.
A wonderful butcher and friendly too. No one wants to get roughed up by the butcher. We bought a pound of skirt steak which was really delicious at home sauteed in a pan.
There are lots of places to sit and eat including a pizza and pasta restaurant, a vegetable bar, and a seafood restaurant.
The famous Lidia was there signing cookbooks
near rows of chic bottled beer. At some point a 300-seat beer garden will be opening on the roof featuring a microbrewery and guest Italian brewers making regionally and seasonally-specific beers. I know. Heaven.
We escaped the mobs and found some respite in the neighboring Eataly wine store.
A friendly clerk there told us that founder Oscar Farinetti has several Eatalys in Italy and Japan, and that this was his first in the United States. It looks like he and his partners have a winner. The wines were from the north of Italy, Piedmonte, which is where TD's grandmother was from. We chose a bottle of Barbera D'Alba which went very well indeed with our skirt steak. Perfetto.
October 19 update: Today The New York Times covers Eataly, read it here.