The cavernous Eataly, from Mario Batali & Co., is a temple of all things Italian. Ignore the overpriced produce market by the front entrance and make a beeline for La Piazza for sandwiches made with meticulously sourced ingredients (you can eat at the standup tables nearby). There's also a full-service pizza and pasta restaurant, a raw bar and fish eatery, and a wine bar for quaffing wines by the glass and beers on tap. Gourmet Italian chocolates, coffees, gelati, and pastries are all delicious to take away, too, though none of this is cheap. Upstairs, the covered, roof-top birrerria is open in all weather and serves hearty Austrian and German food as well as Italian specialties, and excellent beer, of course.
Jul 24, 2012
Will Return at a Less-Crowded Time My spouse and I visited Eataly on the July Fourth holiday 2012 in the late afternoon. It was a madhouse, just wall-to-wall people! Eataly is definitely something to see, with lots of different vendors selling all kinds of food/ingredients (homemade pastas, meats, cheeses, produce, oils and vinegars, wine, cookbooks, cooking gadgets/equipment, and so on) and many different restaurants serving many different items.
(It’s a much more flashy version of Chelsea Market, with all vendors open to the others rather than pigeonholed into individual stores/rooms.) Manzo is the most formal of the restaurants, focusing on meat (call for reservations). La Piazza features meats and cheeses that you eat standing up. (Despite the “seating”, La Piazza looked most interesting to us of all the dining options that we saw.) There is also a fish restaurant, an Italian option (pizza and pasta), sandwiches, ice cream/gelato, yummy-looking desserts, and coffee. Be sure to make a reservation if you want to eat or drink at the Birreria rooftop beer garden (they’re on Open Table). We tried to have a drink there, but the lines merely to reach the podium to request a table or get on the wait list were extensive. We were told that there wasn’t even space to stand at the bar for a drink, but that they would take our name and call us when space became available (and they estimated it would be 60 minutes or so). It was just too crowded to enjoy ourselves at Eataly on the day that we were there, but we will return at a less-busy time – like when it first opens in the morning, although the exact hour is difficult to discern (the coffee bar opens at 8:00 am, but the eating areas don’t open until 11:00 or so); I’m not sure what time the cash registers or the vendor counters begin accepting customer