When I was in New York earlier this week I stopped in to have a gander at Eataly. This 50,000-square-foot Italian gourmet center opened at 200 Fifth Ave. in the Flatiron District a few weeks ago. It’s a market filled with stalls offering everything from fresh pastas and mozzarella made before your eyes to pedigreed Italian beef and gelato. But it also contains three distinct restaurants (one specializing in pizza and pasta, another in fish and vegetables, and a third in beef and other meats. If you want to grab a panini or a coffee, you can find free seating, as well. All throughout are placards with foodie aphorisms — “don’t overdress raw vegetables” — and places to stop and learn about Italian artisanal food products.
Eataly has been getting gobs of press — surely on account of the lavish press party that was thrown by its American partners, restaurateurs Mario Batali and Joe and Lidia Bastianich.
Some of the early reports made it sound like Eataly was Batali’s baby, which