Sunday, June 19, 2011


This weekend, Melissa and I went on an adventure to Eataly, Mario Batali's Italian marketplace monstrosity on 23rd street. Eataly is an eating, shopping, drinking Italian themed experience, with fresh produce, fish, mis en place, wine, pasta, glassware. You name it, they sell it. It has been on my To Do List since it opened, but the thought of crowds and the guilt of inadvertently hurting the small shops in Little Italy has kept me away. Until now. 

It is a little like if Mall of America and Little Italy had a baby. And Wegmans was the godfather of their lovechild. Huge, easy to get turned around, delicious, impeccable quality, and excellent customer service.

Center of Eataly, wine and cheese area. 
Melis found the recipe on epicurious' iPad app, which
provides a grocery shopping list that you check off as you go.
Love this!
We started shopping for a delicious pasta dinner that she is making. Chicken, peaches, saffron. Amazing!

Gorgeous produce!
Must have been 18 varieties of mushrooms.
As we were waiting in line for ciabatta, we spotted two girls hanging out in the pasta aisle w/ glasses of wine in hand. Not just glasses though, they were carrying a bottle of wine, leaning against and end display of fusilli and rigatoni. Picking up dudes, we presumed. But, wait. How is it that they are carrying a full bottle of wine around the store? You can't do that at Whole Foods.... Well, apparently you can buy a bottle from the wine vendor and drink it anywhere in the store. Just pour a glass and toss the bottle in the cart. Genius! Maybe then you won't notice how expensive that hunk of Gouda is.

Mmm, yes. Samples please. 

Beautiful, but not $23 beautiful. 
Within Eataly, are multiple seating areas with seperate menus, depending on what you want to eat- fish, veggies, meat & cheese, pizza. But, you can't order pizza if you are sitting in the fish section. Wierd. Guess you have to be on the same page w/ the rest of your party. By the time we got hungry and and figured out how the sit down system works, it was 8 o'clock on Friday night. Translation, huge waits for a table. We finished our wine by the bread samples and headed home.

Would I go back? Absolutely. I want one of their delicious meat & cheese boards, or maybe a ceviche sampler. I'm thinking a fancy Tuesday afternoon this summer, when no one else is there. Would I go grocery shopping there? No. And actually, this sits well with my conscience because I don't dine in Little Italy, but I do shop and I plan to keep it that way.

RGTs = Really Good Times.

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