Eataly, New York

You know when you have Mario Batali proclaiming it as “a temple, where food is more sacred than commerce,” that it’s going to be EPIC. And it is.

Eataly, a 50,000-square foot Italian gourmet superstore in the Flatiron district in New York, represents a stimulating pocket of hectic, food-loving, gastronomic Italy.

Eataly claims “we sell what we cook and we cook what we sell,” and that about sums up the concept of this giant culinary mecca with grocery items and tasting rooms and restaurants. You can shop, you can eat (there are a dozen “eateries” or restaurants inside), you can learn (there are group classes available), you can buy food to go, and you can eat some more. With pizza, pasta, salumi, cheese, seafood, vegetables, meat, sandwiches, gelato, pastries, it seems like an Italian extravaganza.

I was in New York a couple of weekends ago and Eataly was the first stop in our itinerary.

As soon as we walked in, we were greeted with an array of Italian cookies for sale.

then there are rows of fresh produce

all bright and shiny

or brown and earthy

This picture of mushrooms really remind me of food shopping in Tuscany. Anyway my friends and I went around for a few minutes before deciding where to eat. There is so much going on in Eataly! It’s a little overstimulating, if you’re not prepared for the buzzing crowds. The food offerings though, are mesmerizing.

there were a lot of fish options...

and fresh pasta

Italian soda and other grocery items

different meats...

lots of salumi

and cheese, glorious cheese

We decided to grab a bite at the marble countertops at La Piazza, the standing-table area in the middle of Eataly. We actually would’ve preferred to sit elsewhere, but every restaurant was so busy and packed, and in general didn’t seem like the place where we can linger and enjoy our meal (it’s very anti-Italy in this sense), so eat-while-standing became our fate.

of course we ordered the meat and cheese special for the day

That plate of deliciousness had prosciutto, parma ham, speck, mortadella, ricotta, parmigiano reggiano, cacio marzolino (a cheese made with half sheep and half cow’s milk), taleggio, and gorgonzola. It was excellent. And so were the other dishes:

peppery arugula salad

soft shell crab in garlicky pesto sauce

jumbo shrimps with a subtle Asian flavor that I couldn't place

and lush tuna meatballs that tasted incredibly meaty

The tuna meatballs were my favorite, and I will try to recreate it soon. At the end of our meal, I unfortunately did not get to order any dessert, but that’s because I filled up on free samples of this:

as much as I really like dark chocolate, it's milk chocolate I truly adore

Eataly was a fun experience, and I recommend it to people looking for a little slice of Italy in New York. Just keep in mind that it’s not the beautiful, calming, rolling hills type of Italy it represents, but rather the pulsing, gastronomic hub. If anything, it reminds me of a lot of things I loved about Italy- the food!

I also especially liked the Sophia Loren quote peppered all over Eataly: “Everything you see, I owe to spaghetti.” If I can look that legendary by eating spaghetti, I’m all in.

Have you been to Eataly or anything like it?

Eataly on Urbanspoon


27 Responses to “Eataly, New York”

  1. #
    Meghan@travelwinedine posted May 10, 2011 at 8:12 am

    I have been to a couple of Batali’s restaurants and liked them, but not Eataly. This is a great review. I have heard mixed things about the place, and I look forward to exploring it myself someday soon!

  2. #
    Victoria (District Chocoholic) posted May 10, 2011 at 8:18 am

    I’ll be honest: I saw this, said “there must be chocolate involved” and scrolled down until I found it. Do you know what brand it was?

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted May 10, 2011 at 10:24 am

      Haha Victoria unfortunately I was busy stuffing the milk chocolate down my throat to even notice what brand! But it was sooooo sweet and creamy, now I wish I know what it was!

  3. #
    The Food Hound posted May 10, 2011 at 8:23 am

    Oh my gosh- HEAVEN! Even though I’m not a pasta fan, I would go crazy in the cheese aisle :) Is it near a park where you can take your loot and enjoy it Italian-style? Tuna meatballs sound VERY intriguing!! One of the million places I want to visit when we plan a trip to NYC!

  4. #
    Joanne posted May 10, 2011 at 8:38 am

    One of these days I’m going to get down to Eataly…I swear it. You’ve made it all look so good!

  5. #
    miriam posted May 10, 2011 at 8:40 am

    Except for the part where you *can’t* linger over that beautiful food, Eataly looks amazing. From your post, it looks a bit like the markets up in Montreal that, sadly, I didn’t get to visit because a) it was too cold and b) we ended up finding other really amazing things to see/eat/experience :)

  6. #
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet posted May 10, 2011 at 8:49 am

    Eataly definitely is overstimulating! It is amazing, though. I love all of the fresh cheese, meat and pasta they have! I need to get there for dinner sometime.

  7. #
    Daisy posted May 10, 2011 at 9:04 am

    I like how you point out the similarities and differences to real Italy. But since it is eataly after all, I am so glad the food lived up!!

  8. #
    Beth @ The Sailing Foodie posted May 10, 2011 at 9:08 am

    Oh my that looks amazing!!! It is as if someone took everything I love about the North End, Italian cuisine and dessert and put it into one giant building! Sounds like you had a great time!

  9. #
    MelissaNibbles posted May 10, 2011 at 10:27 am

    Wow. I would be totally overwhelmed. Everything looks amazing.

  10. #
    Elizabeth posted May 10, 2011 at 10:34 am

    I went to Eataly last fall shortly after it opened. It was mobbed, so it was a little difficult to fully enjoy it, but it was very cool. I’ll go back the time I’m home, preferably on a weekday so it won’t be too busy. And I’ll keep my eye out for that chocolate!

  11. #
    Emily @ A Cambridge Story posted May 10, 2011 at 10:37 am

    I’ve been wanting to go to Eataly for a while now. But it would probably be a little dangerous, sort of like being in the Austin Texas Whole Foods!

  12. #
    Audrey Ellen @ My Scene and Herd posted May 10, 2011 at 10:56 am

    oh my godd! italian food fair, that is going on my list! and tuna meatballs?! definitely never seen that before. i love when food becomes a day out and a destination.

  13. #
    christina posted May 10, 2011 at 11:44 am

    eataly is so much fun! i want meatballs now! YUM!

  14. #
    Megan posted May 10, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    Dying to go there… now even more so after seeing your pictures!

  15. #
    Michelle Collins posted May 10, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Ohhhh I have been DYING to go here. When we were last in NYC, we tried scoping Eataly out – but were way too far away to get there before we headed back to Boston.

  16. #
    Tracey posted May 10, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    It is now on my list of places to go in New York. I keep talking about it and now it has become a must. Great review!!!!!

  17. #
    ashleigh posted May 10, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    Eataly looks like pure heaven for a foodie!! I have got to check it out the next time im in NYC! I wish we had something like that in Boston!

  18. #
    Michelle posted May 11, 2011 at 8:37 am

    Despite my many trips to NYC, I haven’t made it to Eataly. I’m putting it on the agenda for my next trip in a few weeks!

  19. #
    Julie @ Shining From Within posted May 11, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    OMG YUM!!!! I love Italian food and am a sucker for a peppery arugula salad and fresh pasta and cheese. I’ve never been to Eataly before but I go to Little Italy A LOT and eat at a bunch of yummy places like Il Cortle! My favv!

  20. #
    Dana posted May 11, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    Can you believe that I live in NYC and still haven’t visited Eatily?!! I am ashamed… everything looks so good!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted May 11, 2011 at 8:30 pm

      Dana you have to go since you’re already there!!

  21. #
    Megan posted May 11, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    I want to go!! This looks amazing!

  22. #
    Scott posted May 17, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    We really should be friends, I mean, we love the same places. Eataly truly is a sanctuary. I’ve only been once but dream about it regularly. It’s foodie heaven.

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted May 17, 2011 at 2:00 pm

      Haha Scott yes let’s be real-life friends! We can exchange notes on the best salumi and Italian food haunts. And carbs.

  23. #
    Alicia posted June 8, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    SO jealous!!! I’m dying to go to Eataly. MUST.GET.TO.NYC!!

  24. #
    Molly Galler posted September 25, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    I just went to Eataly in August and loved it! It’s such an incredible mecca of Italian delicacies! Here’s my review:

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