A VISIT TO EATALY

Greetings!

I recently paid a visit to Eataly, an Italian gastronomical paradise of epic proportions.

A VISIT TO EATALY | #EATALY #NYC #ItalianFood Emporium| www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Eataly, a cute play on the words “Eat” & “Italy” has several branches in various cities around the world, but I recently visited the New York City location.

A VISIT TO EATALY | #EATALY #NYC #ItalianFood Emporium| www.AfterOrangeCounty.comA VISIT TO EATALY | #EATALY #NYC #ItalianFood Emporium| www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

A visit to Eataly has been on my bucket list ever since the NYC store opened 5 years ago. Mario Batali, my favorite celebrity chef, is a partner in Eataly. Because I so respect Mario as a true authority on authentic Italian food, I just had to visit. I also have a soft spot for Mario ever since I met him in 1997 after dining in his small West Village restaurant called PÓ, the restaurant that launched his culinary career. After a long hard night in PÓ’s kitchen, Mario was sitting at the small bar you see in the photo below. After enjoying the delicious meal he had prepared for me, I stopped to compliment him and we launched into a long conversation about shared commonalities: new babies, life in Italy & Spain, etc. I told Mario how I had recently given birth to my 3rd son and how his show on the Food Network helped me get through long sleepless nights of nursing a fussy baby. He explained how he and his wife had also just had a baby boy, so he could commensurate. Having since dined in many of Mario’s restaurants, I was anxious to experience Eataly.

PO Restaurant | NYC West Village | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comPO Restaurant | NYC West Village | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com
I was curious to see how Eataly manages to bring so much of authentic Italy together in one spot. That is quite a feat, as food is very regional in Italy. I know this first hand because, as I told you in a previous post, I used to own a home in Sassello, a small town in Northern Italy near Genoa. In Italy for example, Pesto is a dish that comes from Genoa and is known in the region as Pesto alla Genovese. It was one of the first things my Italian ex mother-in-law made for me on my first visit to her home, and it is something few Italians eat beyond the boundaries of Liguria. I proved this to be the case when a few years later I tried to order pasta with pesto sauce in a restaurant in Sicily and they brushed me off as an ignorant American. You see, Italy was not unified as a country until 1861, so these regional food traditions continue to run deep in local markets, restaurants, and at nonna‘s table. As it states on their website, “Eataly promotes traditional Italian food and drink by working with small-scale regional producers to introduce their authentic products to the world,” or at least to a retail counter within Eataly. In Eataly one can explore the culinary specialities of all 20 regions of Italy in one very delightful and delicious spot.

A VISIT TO EATALY | #EATALY #NYC #ItalianFood Emporium| www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Another example of a highly regional Italian food is Focaccia. Also hailing from Liguria, you’d be hard pressed to find Focaccia in Italy unless you were in Liguria. I had a favorite Focaccia bakery that our family used to frequent when we were in Italy. Each morning we would walk to the Foccacia bakery, where we would pick up huge slabs of this delectable soft bread that is sold both plain and with any number of varied toppings. In Italy we would eat our Focaccia strictly for breakfast. In fact, the Focacceria was always sold out and closed before noon. So it was with great delight that I enjoyed a piece of Focaccia smothered in fresh ricotta cheese on my visit to Eataly. It’s the only Focaccia I have eaten outside of Liguria that was truly authentic!

A VISIT TO EATALY | #EATALY #NYC #ItalianFood Emporium| www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Eataly encourages visitors to shop, taste and learn, which can be accomplished by visiting its 7 boutique eateries, and its retail counters which include a meat market with both fresh and cured meats…

A VISIT TO EATALY | #EATALY #NYC #ItalianFood Emporium| www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

a wonderful fish market…

A VISIT TO EATALY | #EATALY #NYC #ItalianFood Emporium| www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

an amazing fresh pasta shop…

A VISIT TO EATALY | #EATALY #NYC #ItalianFood Emporium| www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

A VISIT TO EATALY | #EATALY #NYC #ItalianFood Emporium| www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

A VISIT TO EATALY | #EATALY #NYC #ItalianFood Emporium| www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

a pastry shop and bread bakery…

A VISIT TO EATALY | #EATALY #NYC #ItalianFood Emporium| www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

A VISIT TO EATALY | #EATALY #NYC #ItalianFood Emporium| www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

A VISIT TO EATALY | #EATALY #NYC #ItalianFood Emporium| www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

and a cheese shop where they have an incredible array of cheeses!

A VISIT TO EATALY | #EATALY #NYC #ItalianFood Emporium| www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

A VISIT TO EATALY | #EATALY #NYC #ItalianFood Emporium| www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

A VISIT TO EATALY | #EATALY #NYC #ItalianFood Emporium| www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

They also make fresh mozzarella cheese. My son just had to taste it immediately, so he purchased not only the fresh mozzarella but a tomato and fresh basil to eat along with it.

A VISIT TO EATALY | #EATALY #NYC #ItalianFood Emporium| www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Eataly is lined with stand-up style tables where one can enjoy its many wonderful food items right then and there. So, if you visit Eataly, GO THERE HUNGRY!

A VISIT TO EATALY | #EATALY #NYC #ItalianFood Emporium| www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

A VISIT TO EATALY | #EATALY #NYC #ItalianFood Emporium| www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

There is an area that displays more than 100 different types of olive oils and they feature dozens of varieties of dry pasta (pastasciutta).

A VISIT TO EATALY | #EATALY #NYC #ItalianFood Emporium| www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

I even found my favorite: Pasta di Gragnano.

A VISIT TO EATALY | #EATALY #NYC #ItalianFood Emporium| www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

There are 2 Italian trademark coffee bars within Eataly: LaVazza and Vergnano; there is a Nutella corner as well. Here they prepare fresh Italian style crepes and fill them with many varieties of Nutella and Gelato.

A VISIT TO EATALY | #EATALY #NYC #ItalianFood Emporium| www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

There’s a housewares section, a bookstore filled with recipe books, and a” Vino Libero” wine bar and store.

A VISIT TO EATALY | #EATALY #NYC #ItalianFood Emporium| www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Eataly also has a microbrewery, a cooking school and various private event spaces. And there are also several sit-down restaurants inside Eataly. We decided to have lunch at the restaurant featuring both pizza & pasta.

A VISIT TO EATALY | #EATALY #NYC #ItalianFood Emporium| www.AfterOrangeCounty.comA VISIT TO EATALY | #EATALY #NYC #ItalianFood Emporium| www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Seated at a mezzanine level table, we could look down into the open kitchen and watch our food being prepared.

A VISIT TO EATALY | #EATALY #NYC #ItalianFood Emporium| www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

A delightful and attentive waiter delivered to our table some of the bread we had seen being made earlier. It was wrapped in paper to retain its freshness and was served with a generous saucer of great olive oil for dipping.

A VISIT TO EATALY | #EATALY #NYC #ItalianFood Emporium| www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Austin ordered lasagne, which the waiter smothered in freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Taylor tried the pizza…

A VISIT TO EATALY | #EATALY #NYC #ItalianFood Emporium| www.AfterOrangeCounty.comA VISIT TO EATALY | #EATALY #NYC #ItalianFood Emporium| www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Brad had a seafood pasta, and I enjoyed a delicious pappardelle pasta with sauted mushrooms and fresh thyme. Sorry about the blurry photo!

A VISIT TO EATALY | #EATALY #NYC #ItalianFood Emporium| www.AfterOrangeCounty.comA VISIT TO EATALY | #EATALY #NYC #ItalianFood Emporium| www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

All things considered, it was a delicious day! What I wouldn’t give to have an Eataly in my backyard. I can only dream of the dinner parties I could host using amazing ingredients from Eataly, and I could even pick up fresh flowers for my table.

A VISIT TO EATALY | #EATALY #NYC #ItalianFood Emporium| www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

So, if you are ever in New York or Chicago you must pay a visit to Eataly! Other locations coming soon to Boston and Los Angeles. Then, of course, if you are in Italy you can visit their many stores throughout the country.

So there you have it: A VISIT TO EATALY

Thanks for dropping in!  Do please leave a comment below.  I’d love to hear from you!

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All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Unless otherwise credited, all photos are the original property of Celia Becker @ www.AfterOrangeCounty.com and may not be reproduced without specific permission

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