Eataly should have it’s own zip code! A veritable Disneyworld for Italian foodies (and wannabes), Eataly takes up 50,000 square feet of the Gramercy Park neighborhood. It’s owned and run by Mario Batali and Lidia and Joe Bastianich. Lidia is considered the Grandmother of Italian cooking in America. Joe is her winemaking/entrepreneur son and Mario, well, turn on the Food Network and he’s probably on. Eataly is restaurants, markets, a school, a store, basically everything anyone would ever need to become Italian… I think Mario might be a little disappointed to not be born Italian… what do you think?
So, if you can maneuver your way through the mass amounts of tourists, there is some pretty cool stuff going on here. The two restaurants that I ate at were fantastic and the produce I bought and cooked was excellent.
The first restaurant I hit up was La Pizza & La Pasta. Of course I had to start with a little Italian beer
I brought along my friend Laura (an incredible photographer BTW) and we shared a plate of the quadrati ricotta e spinaci (spinach and ricotta ravioli) to start. They were delightful little pillows of joy in a creamy buttery sauce topped with pistachios.
Mario always makes a good pizza and this one is no exception, but I have to say, his pizzas are best at Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles and I have to credit Nancy Silverton for being the best bread maker in the country. But this pizza is amazing and you should order it!
The following day I went back for more… This time eating at Le Verdure. The vegetable restaurant! A Veggie Dreamgirl’s dream! They do serve some cheese here, but clearly state on the menu what is vegan and what is not. We had to start with the special of the day appetizer. Fried shishito peppers topped with oyster salt:
Now if you are of the meat eating presuasion, there are plenty of things for you to enjoy as well… just check out the list of restaurants.
This place is a must. Must see, must eat, must experience! Just try to stay away during lunch time.
200 5th AVENUE
NEW YORK, NY 10010
Entrances on 5th Avenue and 23rd Street