I went straight from work to Eataly-Mario Batali's new creation that's an Italian food lover's dream come true. Over 8 restaurants are housed in the 50,000 square foot space located at 200 5th Avenue.
It was after 10pm when I finally got there and the place was still in full swing. The line for the gelato was the longest and people were still nibbling on cheese and meat plates. I decided to sample a couple desserts and some wine since I was winding down for the night.
We ended up sitting at Manzo, the high end Italian steakhouse and ordering wine at their bar. They were out of our first choice by the glass and had apparently run out of food at 8:30, just three hours into their dinner service. The wine we settled on came with a hefty price tag at $17 per glass but was a wonderful glass from the Veneto region.
The space itself is filled with every typed of specialty Italian food purveyor imaginable. Meats, cheeses, seafood, produce, crudo, fresh pasta are all authentic and tempting. The produce in particular deserves notable mention as the selection of mushrooms, tomatoes and other vegetables was out of this world. They also had the first organic blueberries I've seen since I've been in New York!
We choose too delicious looking pastries from people who spoke only Italian. One was a mousse of hazelnut and chocolate and the other was a sponge cake with meringue and cinnamon whipped cream.
The hazelnut pastry was rather bitter. It actually tasted like they forgot the sugar. But the meringue was magical. I will definitely get one again. It was creamy, light and sweet. The perfect combination of flavors and textures with the crunchy meringue.
Among the ogling crowds was Batali and Bastianch, smiling ever so brightly and taking photo's with fans as New Yorker's opened their wallets for some of Italy's finest.
They are only open until 11pm so my visit was rather short, but I will definitely be back in the coming days to test out some of their savory dishes. New Yorker's are definitely lucky to have such a magnificent Italian market right here in their city.
Eataly 200 5th Ave. New York