Friday, September 3, 2010


Okay, this is about Eataly, because like every other blogger-douche I have to get my say in. I've been twice only. I'll blog about it again in a year (maybe less).

The other night, I had two delicious pastas, a sinful assortment of cured meats and cheeses, a pizza and a beer (or two). Everything was pretty damn good.

Got back today at the perfect time; the espresso bar wasn't much of a zoo. The espresso is perfectly serviceable...maybe even more likable to the general public than the espresso at some other places...

There's another espresso station as well...

This one seemed a little more serious. They were pulling shots of Jamican Blue Mountain at $5 a pop. I didn't try one. This was more my goal...

Looked fairly hot in there...

The pizza I ordered was described with a lot of initials after it's name...T.S.G.* And then the definition of those initials. Gives you something to read while you await the end product.

Which was worth the wait today. Cheese-less, topped only by a sweet tomato puree with bits of thinly sliced garlic barely melted from the heat of the oven, basil and olive oil atop a perfectly cooked crust.

My pie was $9 and the retail prices of some items certainly look comparable, if not a bit lower, than other high-end markets here in NYC.

At the shellfish counter...overseen by fish guru David Pasternack...

Wow. There's surely a lot more for eat here, which means a lot more trips. Perhaps Significant Eater won't mind going tomorrow for lunch?

I think Eataly sets a new bar. It brings together, for our shopping and dining pleasure, the high quality of product (at retail) that Batali has always demanded and the high quality of cooking that we've always expected from the Bastianich (and I mean Lydia here) and Batali kitchens. Is there anything like this in the U.S.?

It has a certain energy; it'll be interesting to see how long that lasts. Sort of like what Otto was when it first opened; like no other Italian restaurant in the city, with a good deal of focus on the front room and standing and eating and drinking being OK.

At Eataly, it may be about standing and eating, or sitting at counters and eating or browsing the aisles while waiting for a table. It may be about nothing but shopping, for that perfect piece of mozzarella, 1/4 pound of prosciutto or to see if Silverton's sourdough has changed along with the seasons. It's beautiful and fresh and new. And the fact is, it's exciting.

There were plenty of people buying T-shirts and aprons today, and that's OK too. For me, it'll always be about the food first. I can get my Alessi somewhere else.


  1. Wow Mitch, I could spend all day here. What about the restaurant, is it supposed to be killer or just over priced?

  2. @ Ed - there are multiple "restaurants" within. But I don't think I'd call any of them traditional restaurants, as even if you're eating at the steak restaurant, there will be people wandering around and shopping. I think that dining at the counters is really the way to go here.