While surfing the internet for Italian restaurants in New York City, I stumbled upon a new marketplace featuring foods and wine from Italy. So, I knew I had to check it out during last week's visit!
I had read that Eataly was the largest artisanal food and wine marketplace in the world, but nothing could have prepared me for the sensory overload I faced when I walked in! The 50,000-square-foot retail center (yes, it makes Central Market look like a roadside vegetable stand!) located at 200 Fifth Avenue features Italian delicacies and wine, an educational center, and array of boutique eateries. Features include cured meats and cheeses, fruits and vegetables, fresh meats, fresh fish, handmade pasta, desserts, baked goods and coffees.
The Eataly concept was started by Oscar Farinetti in Turin, Italy. There are currently 6 locations in Italy, 3 in Japan, and now (thanks to Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich and Lidia Bastianich) we have an Eataly in New York.
It's a fancy grocery store offering the best of everything. Want fresh hand-made mozzarella? They've got it! Need a butcher's assistance with a special cut of meat? They've got it! Don't have time to cut up your vegetables for tonight's meal? No worries, let the Vegetable Butcher handle it! Gelato! Panini! A cooking school! A bookstore! A coffee bar! There's even a 300-seat, 6,000-square-foot rooftop partially-enclosed beer garden on the 15th floor. The only thing missing is a ferris wheel!
The place was packed when I visited, almost to deafening decibel levels. But, the enthusiasm among the foodies inside was exhilarating! If I could only do one thing on my next visit to NYC, a stop in Eataly just might make the top of the list!