>> Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Eataly is a dream come true for any Italian food lover.
What is Eataly?
Oh, just the largest artisanal Italian food and wine marketplace in the entire world. The first one opened in Turin, Italy two years ago by a fellow named Oscar Farinetti. This past summer, Farinetti teamed up with Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich, and Lidia Matticchio Bastianich to build a second one in New York City.
This new one occupies 50,000 square feet of space in the former Toy building at 200 Fifth avenue. Inside, you'll find all sorts of hard-to-find Italian specialties, a number of Italian restaurants, wines, cheeses, and even various types of classes and cooking demonstrations.
It's every food lover's dream, which would explain why the place is always packed like a mad house.
I guess coming on a Saturday afternoon is always a bad idea. It gets so crowded that you may have trouble walking around comfortably. Forget eating at one of the restaurants! (or at least we did!)
There is a huge selection of various types of cured meats, many of which hang right above the counter. Check out those huge prosciutto legs!
They stock a beautiful assortment of cheeses from all over the world, including Italy (of course), France, and even Indiana! Of course there's a selection of local New York cheeses. There is even "Il Laboratoria De La Mozzarella", a place where fresh mozzarella is made right in front of you. If you're lucky, you might be able to catch a demonstration.
So this is where you get speck, porchetta, and pancetta! There are so many types of cured meats here, it's mind boggling. Bryan's super food-loving cousin told us this was among the best cured meat she'd ever had in her life.
Check out the fresh seafood from all over the US and Canada (yum, razor clams! PEI mussels! Oooh, Wellfleet oysters!) One could ooh and ahh forever here.
A wonderful bakery that makes fresh bread continuously throughout the day. Check out all those lovely rustic loaves!
Want dried pasta? You have aisles and aisles from which to choose! There are popular Italian supermarket brands (like Barilla), as well as many artisanal choices. So hard to decide!
Of course, if you're like Bryan, you'll opt for the many fresh pasta choices! Countless raviolis, a green spinach pasta, and "noodles" of all different widths.
So many cheese wheels!
This place is really a sight to behold. Its sheer size as well as the endless options of absolutely delicious Italian goods can be downright overwhelming (in a good way!)
Though we did not have a chance to dine at his restaurant, we are pretty confident that the food quality will be high here. We've always loved anything from Mario Batali. His pastas are absolutely incredible (even the recipes I've tried at home). His steak is the best I've ever had. Even his casual dining spots are perfectly enjoyable.
This place is crazy popular but definitely worth a visit. If you are on the lookout for interesting Italian imports, I can't imagine a place with more options.
If you do want to come, try to avoid coming on weekend afternoons, where it's truly a madhouse.
200 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10010