So I finally got around to checking out Eataly, Mario Batali’s brainchild of a grocery store – restaurant – wine bar – cafe. I’m not even sure what to call it. It’s everything, really. They have a wine store (separate from the rest of Eataly), a humongous grocery store with everything from fruits and veggies…
…to imported hand-twisted pastas to a massive selection of Italian EVOO.
And did I mention there is a meat and cheese deli with prosciutto and salame and mortadella and every type of Italian formaggio you can imagine?
Everything comes directly from Italy, with the exception of the fish, which is caught locally.
There’s even a section of the store where you can order fresh homemade pastas. One corner is devoted entirely to desserts – baked goods, tiramisu and mousse, and sorbet & gelato. In the middle of the store is an atrium filled with high tables to stand at, where there are cocktail waiters coming around to take your order from a selection of wines, Italian beers, meats, breads, cheeses, and Crudo. It’s the perfect spot (although I hear EXTREMELY busy) for a lunch break outing or happy hour drinks and snacks with a friend.
Finally, scattered throughout the grocery store itself are restaurants. There is one for fish (” Il Pesce”), one for pasta and pizza (“La Pasta”), one for vegetables (“La Verdure”), and one for meat (“Manzo”,) that is considered their most “general” restaurant. You cannot get meat at Il Pesce. You cannot get fish at La Pasta. You cannot get pizza at La Verdure. I didn’t go to Manzo, but I’m pretty sure you might be able to get some of those things there. Each restaurant is open on every side so you can see shoppers walking by. Great for people-watching, but not the best for quiet dinner conversation, if that’s what you’re looking for. We ate at Il Pesce.
There’s also a rooftop beer-garden, but I’m not sure if its open yet. If I haven’t sold you on this place yet, there’s no point in continuing to try.