Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Manzo at Eataly

MANZO literally translates to "beef" and is Eataly’s more formal dining experience that celebrates meat from the United States. Manzo offers both modern Italian preparations as well as traditional Piedmontese beef dishes. The Chef works like a true Italian butcher to use every part of the animal, tongue and cheek. Like all of Mario, Joe and Lidia’s fine dining restaurants, Manzo also provides a complete dining experience, that’s not all about meat. Antipasti and main courses give a variety of delicious choices and desserts will satisfy every taste bud.

Located in the middle of the Eataly marketplace, Keith and I had lunch at Manzo before our shopping stroll. It was quite crowded, but nice to be able to sit at a more formal dining table than at the bar or casual shared table tops as seen at the other eatery options in the marketplace.  Keith was excited to have some meat and I, of course, wanted some pasta. We decided to splurge a bit and do the 3 course prix fixe lunch menu for $29 per person plus wine pairings for an additional $16 each.  Our server was precise and the meal was perfectly timed.  We nibbled on fresh baked bread with olive oil while waiting for our meal to arrive.

For our first course, I chose the Baby Wild Arugula salad that was straight forward and light with Parmigiano Reggiano & Aceto Balsamico.  Seasoned with salt and pepper, it was simple as simple gets.  It was a decent portion too, considering the lunch prix fixe.  Keith thoroughly enjoyed the thinly sliced Carpaccio with Guanciale Vinaigrette.  The only difference from the regular menu is the missing quail egg, but Keith did not mind.  With this first course I enjoyed a light white wine and Keith had a red - I did not catch the names of each as our server quickly poured them and only introduced them as  being "tasting pours" - meaning they were on the smaller side.

Next, I had the delightful and fluffy Gnocchi with Spicy Tomato Sauce & Fresh Ricotta.  They were truly little pillows of potato goodness and while I wished my portion was slightly bigger at first glance, after devouring the whole thing my stomach quickly filled.  The tomato sauce was not overly acidic and I enjoyed this course with a different more medium-bodied white wine from the Bastianich collection.  Keith ate the NY Strip Steak with Fingerling Potatoes, Oyster Mushrooms & Barbaresco Vinaigrette.  His meat was cooked perfectly and was very tender.  It was also paired with another glass of red wine.  By this point, we were very pleased with our meal and could really distinguish the high quality ingredients with their simplified true natured preparation.

Finally, for dessert I chose the Vanilla Panna Cotta that came with a smear of dark chocolate and was so creamy.  Keith was a bit jealous and kept sneaking spoonfuls of mine as he chose the Torta di Nocciole, which was a more plain cake of hazelnuts. Although good, it was dry and just not as wow as the previous courses.  We did not have any wine pairings with this last course, which was kind of a bummer for the price.  Nevertheless, the food at Manzo was of very high standard, as to be expected from the Batali & Bastianich namesakes.  Service was professional and prompt, yet the location inside the middle of the marketplace allows for a more boisterous atmosphere and the price was expensive.  If you are looking for a more fine dining sit down experience while you visit Eataly, check out Manzo.

Total Rating: 4.25
Food: 5, Price: 3, Service: 4, Ambience: 3, Accessibility: 4

What I ate:
Baby Wild Arugula
with Parmigiano Reggiano & Aceto Balsamico

Gnocchi with Spicy Tomato Sauce & Fresh Ricotta

Vanilla Panna Cotta

Plus Keith ate:
with Guanciale Vinaigrette

NY Strip Steak
with Fingerling Potatoes, Oyster Mushrooms & Barbaresco Vinaigrette

Torta di Nocciole

  Manzo Ristorante @ Eataly on Urbanspoon

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