Do you like food? Do you like Italian culture. If the answer to either of these is no…are you really alive? I mean, really?
Anyway, a new fantasyland of such massive pleasures is ready to rock and roll in downtown NYC right in the heart of the rebirth of the World Trade Center. Eataly is opening up a second location in NYC and it is fantastic. In a lofty, light-filled perch on the third floor of the brand spanking new World Trade Center 4, Eataly Downtown NYC is a 40,000-square-foot place to eat, drink, shop and soak in all the Italian food and culture you could possibly enjoy in one place. It’s dope.
There’s just so much to see and experience. If you’ve been to the original Flatiron location, you are hit right away with the major difference…it’s more spread out and a lot brighter in feel. While the original is amazing, chaotic, very “Italian”, and pretty much started the NY (and nationwide) food hall craze when it opened in 2010, this location just feels good. It feels fresh. It feels different. That’s a good thing in this case, as it still lived up to the very high standards of the original.
Eataly Downtown NYC is set to open on August 11th. Thing everything top-notch wonderful. Super fresh, perfectly prepared, simple, and so Italian. It’s really one of my favorite spots anywhere, seriously. I don’t think you could have anything bad here, literally.
The best part, it opens TODAY!! August 11th!!!
Now, let’s take a look and see where all the magic happens:
An amazing bread section made fresh daily featuring a special yeast brought from Italy to NYC in 2010 for the Flatiron opening. In addition to all the Italian breads made in house, Eataly will partner with a New York City bakery each month to showcase breads from all over.
Massive fish! It was crazy. Super fresh, featuring sustainably sourced and local fish. They are trying to get to the point of tracking the traceability of each fish so they know where it was from, by who, and when. It’s an impressive goal.
The butcher is dope. Plain and simple. Ridiculous cuts of the best meats, all sourced by the legend himself, Pat LaFrieda. Sustainable, super fresh, top cuts from top purveyors.
Salumi e formaggi
The #1 counter at Eataly, this is the place for 200 pound provolones (no, literally), the best of Italian and American cured meats, and a cheese selection to make any cheese singles product lover take notice. The parmigiano reggiano is the tops, so sweet and nutty, it can’t be beat.
Of course there’s pizza. Are you kidding? This is literally my favorite food in the world. It would be the thing I request for my last meal. This place does it right. Neapolitan style rocking out fresh pies in 90 seconds in a 900-degree wood burning oven straight from the mother land. It’s a golden oven because this is the gold-standard for pizza excellence. I mean, they let the dough cure for 36 hours to make it right. Sick.
Where there’s pizza, there should be pasta. While the market has so much dried Italian pasta it will make your head spin, this is a nice thing to see and witness. All made fresh, right in front of your eyes.
The Prosciutto Truck
No, literally, it’s a tiny Euro-car stacked with prosciutto from three distinct regions, cut right there for you. It’s such a cool addition to the dining area…it just feels right. Plus…it’s awesome. So, you can’t beat that.
These Italian pastries are amazing. The selection is vast and the quality is top notch, from the tiramisu to the
What would an Italian experience be without coffee? How about some of Italy’s finest drawn by pro baristas? Great espresso, cappuccino, drip, and even a cacao/whip cream concoction that’s spot on.
Beautiful gelato complete with a Nutella-like fountain. Look away…
Produce, Juice Bar, and Vegetable Butcher
There’s a great produce market located right near the front, with all super fresh and local seasonal produce. They use their produce for juices and smoothies, too. They take it so seriously, that there is actually a vegetable butcher in-house to chop, peel, cut, and dice whatever you’d like however you’d like it.
This is a prepared foods section that knocks your socks off. Think olives, caviar, trulles, and other prepared foods based on the recipes of Joe Bastianich, Lidia Bastianich and Mario Batali.
Eataly is all about simple, light, and healthy. What better way to show that to have a very clean and crisp salad station. NYers love salads, so Eataly is delivering it’s first salad bar, with a distinctive Italian spin on things, of course.
La Piadina Romagnola
This is a stand worth visiting. It’s a simple yet elegant street food focused on grilled flatbreads. The sandwiches are light and very tasty. This shows Eataly’s focus on regional specialities and showing how the Italian culture is made up of so many small, regional, and even tiny village-based subcultures.
Want to learn how to cook like an Italian? This is the place…all with amazing views and wonderful teachers. This is a fantastic addition to the Eataly lineup. I can’t wait to sign up for a class! Ravioli anyone?
Something new to this Eataly is their new breakfast options, starting at 7AM. Think espresso, of course, tarts, yogurt and granola, and amazing yet simple egg sandwiches. The bread was amazing, and the egg was soft yet not runny. So good, all with just salt on it. Fantastic.
Really great roasted rotisserie chickens, but also some amazing prime rib. So good.
Sure, they the imported stuff, which is awesome, but real mozzarella is supposed to be eaten within hours, and be done by days end. Eataly delivers in spades. So fresh, so creamy, some of the best I’ve had…and I’ve had my fair share.
While there is a dedicated section here and there, there’s awesome product everywhere. From pastas to sauces to crackers to 120 olive oils and everything else you could imagine (think funny T-shirts and cookbooks), there is literally nothing related to Italian food and culture that you cannot find here. Awesome. By the way, that Pisani pasta is Mario’s favorite.
One of the things I really loved about this new Eataly is that there’s an entire wing dedicated to just dining venues. There’s a wine bar, a fish-focused restaurant, a pizzeria, a pasta area, and a high-end sit down restaurant (see below). The layout is awesome and it’s nice to have it seperate from the market section of the venue. It’s a nice change to the Flatiron location where everything is all mixed together. Really enjoyed it.
Osteria Della Pace
This may be the crown jewel of the entire venue. This is an upscale, full service restaurant focused on Southern Italian cooking. Chef Riccardo Orfino is at the helm and cooking the true Italian way…simple with the best ingredients. His pasta pomodoro was fantastically al dente with a wonderful tomato sauce sourced from two Italian and one local (New Jersey) tomato. Literally, it was perfect. So simple yet so amazingly delicious and satisfying when done as well as this is.
Mario Batali and Learning About Food And Culture
The place is unreal. I can’t say enough. I can’t wait to go back. You learn about the culture, the food, how it’s made and where it comes from. They even have, essentially, a learning center about cheese, meat, wine, and pasta in a narrow hallway leading to the bathrooms! Dude…I even took a selfie with Mario Batali. He’s a partner and a driving force…and he really knows his stuff.
If you’re in NYC, do yourself and favor and check this place out. You won’t be disappointed. In fact, I bet you won’t want to leave. Ever.
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