One of my favourite places when I visited New York City this past August was Eataly. What is Eataly? A place where you can Eat....in Italy? If you're anything like me, this is what I was first thinking, and hence I was excited, hungry and confused all at once. Many people were speaking highly of Eataly before I left for NYC, imploring me to visit. Some mentioned a restaurant, other mentioned a market. All raved. It wasn't until I visited myself that I realised it was indeed a restaurant and a market. On a grand scale. It's pretty much Heaven. Of course it is, it's the work of Mario Batali.
Welcome to food, food and more food! Beautiful produce, cured meats, cheeses, chocolates and more.
Yep, I told you...Heaven.
In terms of eating at Eataly, an activity I highly recommend, you go about it as follows:
1. Select a station - would you like to eat vegetables, gelato, pizza, seafood, antipasti, pasta? Too much choice? I know. Here's a tip, close your eyes and go wherever your heart desires most. But open your eyes before you walk.
2. Wait to be seated - they don't like you to take your own seats (this was the case everywhere in New York, it would seem). Just FYI. Neglectful and slightly resentful service may ensue if you dare take a seat yourself.
3. Order away! This is the hard part, as it all sounds so divine. It's a trouble I'd love to be burdened with more often though. It would be my pleasure.
Oh here we go...the best bread I tasted while in The States. Pure Bliss. Heaven.
Along with beautiful Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Balsamic.
We selected a Caprese Salad (our favourite!)...
...and Fritto Misto. These fried seasonal vegetables were incredible. The batter was very light, peppery and just gorgeous.
My second visit to Eataly was a solo affair. Peta was about to board her flight home, Vicki was seeing a matinee of Wicked, Bhey was napping at home and I had just braved the rain to visit Moma. Afterwards I sought refuge from the downpour in Eataly. On this day I was in the mood for some seafood, and so I placed my soggy little umbrella at my feet, perched on a stool at Il Pesce and settled in to enjoy my lunch - a Frutti Di Mare Salad with Sautéed Summer Squash. In other words, Heaven. Simple seafood like this is undoubtedly one of my most favourite dishes in the world. If not served atop an al dente twirl of pasta, I will settle for beautiful bread to soak up the juices. But preferably both.