Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Eataly

EATALY is a 50,000 square-foot emporium devoted to the food and culinary traditions of Italy that wants to challenge the idea that quality products are accessible only to a select few. Good eating and shopping is not limited to connoisseurs; it is an agricultural act we all have the right, "diritto" in Italian, to enjoy. Eataly supports the local farmers, fishermen, butchers, bakers, and cheesemakers who produce them and create a better environment - for eating and beyond. With a philosophy of "Eat Better, Live Better Today,"  Eataly's team of bakers, pastamakers and more make fresh food in house every day. They use the highest quality local ingredients and follow age-old Italian recipes to celebrate Italy in NYC.

Eataly is an original “marketplace” model inviting consumers to be active participants in an innovative food and beverage experience where they shop, taste and savor high quality traditional Italian food products and beverages along with local produce and artisanal products; a multifunctional marketplace that includes a premier retail center for Italian delicacies and wine, a culinary educational center, and a diverse slate of seven boutique eateries. When I learned that the folks behind Eataly (Mario Batali and Lidia & Joe Bastianich) decided to not bring Eataly to DC, I knew we had to visit the original in NYC. So we took the train into the city while we were up visiting family for the Thanksgiving weekend.  Getting there was easy, a short walk (about 10 blocks) from main Penn Station.  We entered the market and I was immediately shocked by how small it felt - mainly due to the overflowing stands of goodies and the massive crowds of upper-middle class patrons.  Prices are definitely on the higher side, as most items are imports and inflated for the Eataly namesake.  For this reason, perhaps it is a good thing they didn't come to DC.  Although the business would have been great for our community, I doubt I would shop there that often given the overpriced items.  Nevertheless, we spent nearly 2 hours walking around and picked up a few goodies to bring home: fresh meats and cheeses, mixed olives, rustic bread, dry pasta, and a tiny can of truffled tomato sauce. There are marketplace staff sprinkled throughout who were quite helpful and the checkout lines moved fast.  There are also a couple restaurants inside the market, which I will cover in a separate post.  Here is a photo recap of the marketplace:
Various fresh produce.
Cheeses galore.
Fresh sliced deli meats. 
Top: Dried imported pastas. Bottom: Fresh handmade pastas.
Holiday panettone.

Fresh seafood.

  Eataly on Urbanspoon

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