Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Eataly: Italian Mecca in New York City

On my recent visit to New York City, I wanted to visit Eataly, the new Italian market and eatery which many have raved about. Eataly is a partnership between Oscar Farinetti, Mario Batali, Lidia Bastianich and Joe Bastianich, and aims to be a extensive market with several restaurants where you can dine on Italian specialties. The main complaint I have heard is that it gets too crowded, but on my Tuesday morning visit, that was not a problem at all. I was able to freely wander around, checking out everything without having to maneuver through a throng of people.

You will be able to find wine, beer, other beverages, salumi, cheese, pasta, bread, meat, seafood, produce, olive oil, housewares, books and more.  Some of the foods are freshly prepared while others are boxed or canned. Eataly was very clean, and it is awe-inspiring to see so much packed within this large space.  The foods looked enticing and I wish I had been able to load up a shopping cart with a diverse mix of items. New Yorkers are fortunate to have such a market available to them.

Plenty of fresh vegetables and food are available.

There is even a Vegetable Butcher on the premises (and where else can you find one?), who will prep your veggies for you. In addition, you will find Le Verdure, a restaurant specializing in Italian-style vegetable dishes, so vegetarians will want to visit here.

The fresh pasta were compelling, and you could even watch it be made behind the counter. Agnolotti, ravioli, pansotti, fettucine, gnocchi and much more. Lots of variety, and if you want dried pasta, you can find plenty of that as well, including many well known brands.

Loaves of fresh bread, again plenty of variety, which are all produced on the premises.

An extensive case of meat, from beef to rabbit, pork to lamb. The meats look very appealing, and once again diversity reigns.  You can even learn the source of some of the meat, and you could probably ask about the source of the rest.

Seafood ranges from shellfish to fillets. You'll find razor clams, PEI mussels, kumamoto oysters, and steamer clams.  You'll find wild King salmon, wild halibut, Arctic char and much more.

Cheese galore, from ricotta to parmesan, and dozens of more choices. I am not sure I have ever seen as many different types of Italian cheeses as here.

Near the cheese, they also carry plenty of salumi, from prosciutto to pepperoni. And if you any questions, just ask the cheesemonger on duty.

There are numerous appealing desserts, from gelato to tiramisu. 

Besides all the food, you'll also find houseware, such as dishes, plates, expresso makers, and more.  Plus, there is a book section, concentrating on Italian food, but including other food-related titles.

For lunch, I stopped at La Pizza & La Pasta, which makes Neapolitan pizzas in gold tiled ovens. Pizzas range from $9-$19, dependent on the toppings. Choose a simple Margherita ($13) or a heartier Salsicciotta ($19), with tomato sauce, smoked provola cheese, mushrooms, Neapolitan sausage and fresh basil. If you don't want pizza, there is a separate menu with a list of pasta entrees.

I chose the Quattro Formaggi ($14), with mozzarella, gorgonzola, and parmiggiano reggiano. Cooked perfectly, this pizza was superb, with a thin, crisp and chewy crust, and plenty of flavorful cheese, especially the tang of the gorgonzola. This is my kind of pizza.

Next door to Eataly, you will find their Italian wine shop, where you can find a huge selection of Italian wines, from all over that country.

The medium-sized shop is jam packed with wines, generally arranged by geographic area. Prices seemed reasonable, based on prices I knew about, and varied from about $10 to several hundred dollars.  I was impressed with the diversity available, finding plenty of wines previously unknown to me. Besides Prosecco and Barolo, you will also find Friuliano and Pelaverga. They even stock grappa and amaro. After shopping at Eataly, you can stop here and buy a couple bottles of wine for that evening's dinner, or to store for the near future. 

A display of some of the Gaja product line.

This all is but a brief sampling of what is available at Eataly, hopefully enough to entice you to check it out if you are in NYC.  I found it to be an impressive market, and would advise you to visit it during more off times to avoid the crowds. The weekend is probably the busiest time there so you might want to avoid it then, and visit instead during the week.  The quality and diversity of products available is excellent, and I wish we had such a market in Boston.

Eataly on Urbanspoon


Hadley at The Urban Grape said...

I'm pretty sure that is what Heaven looks like....

Boston Food Diary said...

As I expressed last night -I am OBSESSED with going to Eataly- thank you for sharing your experiences....I long for a visit even more now!

Martha Pulley said...

I was supposed to be leaving for NYC on Wednesday. Eataly was to be my first stop. Unfortunately something came up and I am not able to go. It was so great seeing this post. I definitely felt the experience! I think I could live there, happily ever after! Martha @ www.nelliesoldherhousetous.blogspot.com