Eataly is one of those New York fixtures that we still just can’t believe. An enormous Italian supermarket with restaurants in each section of the market, this place is food heaven. The market is organized thoughtfully by the type of food you want to buy or eat. In the vegetable department where you buy your produce, you’ll also find a sleek restaurant which only serves beautifully prepared seasonal vegetable dishes, in the bread and pasta department a restaurant serving just pizza and pasta, plus there’s a restaurant in the meat and in the fish area. Each one serving speciality food focusing on the delicious simplicity of whatever is great and in season. The restaurants are completely open to the market, so while you sit and enjoy your delicious meal, you watch happy shoppers wander around, often with a glass of wine in their hand. It sounds totally crazy, but it makes for a laid back yet very alive atmosphere.
Our favorite is La Verdure, the Vegetable Restaurant. We love meeting a friend and sitting up to the thick marble bar, ordering lots of dishes like their daily bruscetta special and a few seasonal salads to share, washed down with a delicious glass of wine from the vast Italian wine list. Another favorite is La Piazza, their enoteca in the middle of the market. Standing tables only with marble tops makes this meat and cheese mecca a great place for a casual drink and snack while you watch their team of mozzarella experts make fresh mozzarella right in front of you.
If we’re having people over for a last minute dinner, we rush in and pick up some of their fresh made focaccia bread, home-made mozzarella, plus some prosciutto and their melt in your mouth hand-made pasta. They make a fresh roast chicken to go that people swear is the best they’ve ever had.
It goes without saying that the ultimate Italian food emporium would serve extraordinary coffee and they do, both at the coffee bar, Lavazza Caffe and twenty feet away for the absolute coffee purist, a high end espresso only bar. In the summer months the lines curve around the store for their gelato and for good reason, we don’t know what their secret is, but they are amazing.
Right next door to the main supermarket is a their wine store filled to the brim with fabulous Italian wines. They also offer Italian cooking classes at La Scuola in their own special kitchen so that you too can become a wonderful Italian cook.Eataly. 200 Fifth Avenue at 23rd Street. New York. 10010. Tel: 212 229 2560 La Sculola di Eatily