Good Eats: Eataly

Yesterday I hopped on the N train to 23rd Street and went to Eataly.  I know I'm a bit late on this, but I have to say I was impressed.  Eataly is a 50,000 square foot (think warehouse... how did they get that much space?) Italian market made up of several different restaurants, cafes and grocery areas. There's a coffee shop, a pastry shop, a standing restaurant that serves wine and antepasta, a fine dining restaurant with a set menu, a pizza and pasta restaurant and even a book store.  Everything is super authentic Italian (except for the Dogfish beer but they get 1 free pass I guess). Whoa, check out that espresso machine! The whole space was the brainchild of Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich and it rocks.

Read more about Eataly after the jump.

I put my name down at the pizza and pasta restaurant before doing a whole loop around the complex.  The selection of fine Italian products is impressive but also pricey, it isn't the best place to go to do grocery shopping on a budget.

Huge selection of Italian sodas
Meats & Cheeses
When it was my turn to munch, I went for the special pizza- 3 different parts, 2 white with various cheeses, prosciutto and arugula and 1 part traditional margherita. I chased the pizza with a plate of ziti in traditional tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese.  The pasta was cooked super al dente, almost hard, but they tell me that's how it should be.  At the end of the meal I was cheesed-out but it was really good, the flavors all blended together well and you could tell that it wasn't just ordinary Italian food.

The pizza/pasta restaurant
On the way out the door I stopped at the chocolate station across from the espresso bar.  There is a running tap of chocolate. I repeat, there is a running... tap... of chocolate.  They serve it up like their sign says 'for sipping or dipping' for $2.00, and for $1.00 more you can add a side of cookies.  I'll spare you the drawn out description and just say that I'm still having flashbacks of the glory.

Eataly gets a 5/5 in our book. But if you plan to stock up on Italian groceries, snacks, and drinks,  while you're there- you better up your credit limit.

The espresso bar
Meat & cheese with caprese salad at the stand-up only restaurant Crudo

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