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Eataly NYC

Does anyone know when it will open on 48th St?

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  1. I did read Spring time, but who knows...

    1 Reply
    1. re: kcijones001

      I had read that, as well. I recently visited the website, and was surprised to find no sign whatsoever that they were coming to NY. I panicked for a moment, wondering if it had all been some kind of cruel hoax, but then I dug around on the press page (the Italian version of the site) where an article from last month had an interview with one of the founders, who listed the many cities where they intend to expand. He mentioned that they'd be at Rockefeller Center by the end of the year.

    2. Has anyone heard anything about this as of late? Just checking.

      1. is it just a high-end italian market?

        1. i read this week that it will be btwn union square and madison park. this is from eater on Feb 3

          UNION SQUARE— Joe Bastianich is working to bring Eataly, one of the best Italian markets in the world, to a 60,000 sq. ft. space in New York: "...he’s close to signing a deal for a space 'somewhere between Union Square and Madison Square Park.' Eataly is a unique operation: imagine a Zabar’s or Fairway, only ten times bigger, and run and conceived with the kind of ideological fervor associated with the Park Slope Co-Op..." [TFB]

          1 Reply
          1. re: mch

            Interesting that Bastianch has gotten involved. The original report was to have a smaller one in Rock Center and then have one as big as Torino in the Village. Maybe the smaller store got scrapped?

          2. Eataly New York will be twice the size of the Turin original.I’m still surprised that Tokyo got one before NYC. The one in Bologna is very beautiful and very well integrated into the traditional market district where it is located but it is definitely not the true Bolognese experience- they sell Kettle Chips, for Christ sakes.
            ______________
            http://www.airline-booking.com/italy-...

            1 Reply
            1. re: allangering

              Can't wait to go to Eataly in NY. Hell, they sell Kettle Chips all over Cairo too, right next to the pita chips...

            2. So whats the status? has it opened yet?

              2 Replies
              1. re: Alex318

                Nope. Now they are saying fall 2010.

              2. 48th Street? I thought in the old Toy building across from Madison Green on around 14th/15th Street?

                7 Replies
                1. re: UES Mayor

                  23rd St., actually. The heat has apparently fried everyone's mapping skills.

                  http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/28/din...

                  1. re: small h

                    yes small h!! this heat is something else!! thanks for catching error

                  2. re: UES Mayor

                    It appears that there will be one entrance on 5th Avenue, between 23rd and 24th Streets, across from Madison Square Park, and a second entrance on 23rd Street just west of 5th. I walk by it pretty regularly; they're doing finish work, but it still looks to be about a month away from completion.

                    1. re: Blumie

                      Mario Batali is a big gun behind this project too. I heard there will be five restaurants there and he is excited because he can order fantastic stuff from Italy to source his restaurants.

                      1. re: bronwen

                        according to the recent slashfood interview, eataly is suppose to open sep 23rd.

                      2. re: Blumie

                        I got a press release that the opening is tomorrow: Tuesday, August 31 at the Madison Avenue location stated by Blumie.

                        1. re: jilleduffy

                          I guess my estimate of Eataly being "about a month away from completion" proved to be pretty spon on, eh?

                          -----
                          Eataly
                          200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                      1. the place is awesome. yeah, there are sections of produce and canned goods that i probably wouldn't return for, but the bars and restaurants all had a great feel.
                        we had some wine and starters at the vegan restaurant before moving over to the pizza/pasta bar. pizza was ok, but didn't rival UPN, Keste or Motorino. lasagna, however, was a huge success. best i've had outside of the family kitchen.
                        wines were priced at below $10/glass and several bottles at $30>. for any beer lovers, Dogfish had some real rarities for sale. can't wait to go back for this alone.
                        gelato and espresso both left something to be desired. i expected some savory options like Olive Oil, Corn or Basil, but it was more standard chocolate, vanilla, and fruity stuff. espresso was not made properly, but it has potential.
                        all in all, high ratings from the girlfriend and I.

                        1. I took a look around and was disappointed. It all looks beautiful, but there's not much out of the ordinary here. The restaurants look attractive, and the food I spotted being served looked appetizing, but forget the grocery departments. I can buy just about anything they sell at Citarella for much less. Example: lamb loin chops at $20 a pound. They are at least a third less at Citarella and the quality is the same. The meat selection is your basic beef, pork, lamb. Chickens are $4.80 a pound. The fish counter is small and has a limited selection. San Marzano tomatoes are 4-something a can. I've been to the Eataly in Turin and marvelled at the huge selection and all the exotic items there. This one does not compare in any way. I also don't understand how they can say this one is larger than the Turin store. I certainly does not feel that way.

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: rrems

                            Sounds like a typical Batali scam...

                            1. re: rrems

                              comparing rrems review with my earlier post, it's funny to see such similar opinions with completely opposing viewpoints. we both stated that the place looks great, that the grocery wasn't of interest, and that the prepared foods looked good. yet, rrems review comes off as mostly negative, while mine comes off as mostly positive. as with anything, it's all subjective...

                              1. re: rrems

                                I'd say this is pretty right on. There's not a lot of substance to the place, and the layout makes it more like dining in a food court. The restaurant pricing seems okay, but there were no menus on display that I noticed. Prepackaged meats and poultry were absurdly high. The butcher and fish cases looked nice, but pricing untouchable. Not sure what the appeal of a Lavazza Coffee bar is, or why all the breads looked to have been made from the same base. I took home a rustic bread, and it was good, but doesn't beat out the options we already have. I also can't see skipping the Farmers Market for anything in their produce section. It's certainly better than it not being there at all, but I was expecting something massive, full of unique imports, and a quality of food unfound elsewhere. It doesn't even compete with Buon Italia in Chelsea Market.

                                1. re: sugartoof

                                  I went, too, just to have a look around. The place was mobbed from the moment it opened. I'm convinced the Batali/Bastianich PR machine stocked the counters and the restaurants with beautiful Italian-speaking people sipping wine and munching on pizza, pasta, fish, etc., as all of the eateries had good crowds at them from the moment the place opened. The prices clearly were as high as they could be without being obnoxious. (Some will disagree; some will find them obnoxious.) I agree that the appeal of the place will be the eating/dining options, if they prove to be good. I also agree that it's likely to be a net positive addition, but not a life changing one. My biggest issue is whether the parking on 24th between 5th and 6th, which is free and always easy on the weekends, will remain such!

                                  1. re: sugartoof

                                    I'm sorry to hear that -- the Eataly in Torino is one of my favorite places. Did they not have a good selection of groceries? The selection of tomatos, dried pastas, olive oils, etc. at Buon Italia is constantly disappointing me lately -- I had been hoping that this would have a good variety of artisanal regional producers, which is not easy to find in NY.

                                    -----
                                    Buon Italia
                                    75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                                    Eataly
                                    200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                    1. re: Elaine Snutteplutten

                                      It's hit or miss. I don't think this is one stop shopping. They were carrying extended lines of products rather than a variety. Produce is a Noah's Ark approach. Dried pasta, offered around 5 brands. $2.50 was the starting price, if I recall. Canned tomatoes were probably the best buys, and some of the few products I haven't seen elsewhere.

                                      I didn't see much that was artisanal/local though I believe the meats/poultry/fish do appear to be locally sourced. The chickens were advertised as local, naming 3 farms. That's great, but do you select which farm's chicken you want? How would that work? Kind of misses the point if they're all thrown on to the same rotating skillets, and you can't pay tribute to the source. I will say, the butcher and fish stands looked beautiful. The prepackaged meats were redundant and pricey.

                                2. I did some shopping there last night and thought it was an excellent addition to the neighborhood.

                                  The cheese counter looked fine, the salumi counter looked great. They didn't have any guanciale or pancetta, though, but a friend of mine picked up a bunch of other stuff from Salumi, Batali's father's place in Seattle (I believe this is unavailable elsewhere). Service was quite helpful and giving out lots of samples.

                                  I was also able to get a quart of heirloom tomatoes from Eckerton Hill Farms (listed at $8 but the register rung it up at $6.80) and a pound of dry farfalle ($2.80). I was impressed by the large selection of dry pastas. It was nice to be able to grab some Greenmarket goods even at 8pm on a Tuesday night rather than having to rush to make it before the farmers left. The prices seemed reasonable to me on the goods I bought.

                                  It's not going to replace Amy's Bread, Murray's Cheese, the Union Square Greenmarket, or Citarella for me, but it's a good place to supplement my grocery shopping. Also, they're open until 11pm! And closer to the train than Chelsea Market.

                                  Buon Italia also seems a bit haphazardly laid out and dusty in comparison.

                                  -----
                                  Murray's Cheese
                                  254 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

                                  Union Square Greenmarket
                                  Broadway and E 17th St, New York, NY 10003

                                  Buon Italia
                                  75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                                  Amy's Bread
                                  250 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

                                  13 Replies
                                  1. re: kathryn

                                    Thanks for the update. Is it very crowded? I am interested in visiting soon..

                                      1. re: bobjbkln

                                        Omg.. that's wayyyy too crowded for me. Hopefully in a few months the crowd will die down and maybe if I try to go earlier I will have better luck. Thanks for posting.

                                        1. re: bearmi

                                          Super crowded, but the seafood station was good.

                                          -----
                                          Il Pesce
                                          200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                      2. re: bearmi

                                        Yes -- it's pretty crowded although it's also influenced by when you go and what you want to do. Do you want to eat or do you want to shop? I was focused on shopping. Lunchtime and dinnertime will probably be worse. But the pizza/pasta restaurant, wine bar area, and salumi/cheese counters had waits to be seated even at 4pm in the afternoon. There's no real waiting area so people waiting for pizza/pasta end up standing in front of the pasta display. And the people waiting for the wine bar just end up hanging around.

                                        The wine bar area is the worst because it's standing tables right at one of the major junctions of the store, next to the salumi/cheese/mozzarella counter.

                                        1. re: kathryn

                                          Omg.. that's crazy... I will wait for a while before going then... Either that or I will try to go early in the day. I am most interested in shopping so hopefully the crowd won't be too bad earlier in the day!

                                          1. re: bearmi

                                            i was there last night at 9pm and the place was nearly empty! plenty of seats at the various bars, as well as the pizza place. shopping was a breeze and actually quite inexpensive compared to Fairway, Food Emporium or Pioneer, my local options near home.

                                            1. re: coasts

                                              I was there yesterday about 6:15 pm and it was packed to the rafters. I agree with another poster who said that eating there would feel like sitting in the middle of food court. I enjoyed it for the food porn value though. It was so crowded that I couldn't get close enough to even check out the prices. The line for gelato was insane.

                                              1. re: coasts

                                                Thanks for letting me know... perhaps later on in the evening would work too :)!

                                                1. re: coasts

                                                  You must have a pretty high threshold for crowds because I was there too at that time and thought it was pretty bad. Yes, it was definitely easier getting a seat compared to the Friday afternoon I was there. But I still had issues trying to navigate around the crowds. Plus, there were hardly any desserts left!

                                                  But it did make buying shishito peppers a bit easier. Great price as well.

                                                  1. re: Miss Needle

                                                    How much were they? Lani's Farm and Bodhitree have been selling them for $8/lb.

                                                    Also, surprisingly, I found limes to be cheaper at Eataly than Trader Joe's. Eataly price: 20 cents each. Trader Joe's, a bag of 6 for 1.39.

                                                    -----
                                                    Trader Joe's
                                                    142 E 14th St, New York, NY 10003

                                                    Eataly
                                                    200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                    1. re: kathryn

                                                      They were $5/lb. $5 buys you a lot of peppers.

                                                      1. re: kathryn

                                                        corn, too...4 for $1.00, as opposed to 4 for $2.00. Avocados were $1.50 each, instead of $2.00 at Fairway. Fresh Basil was $1.50/bunch i/o $2.00+. all other produce was less by comparison than what we typically pay, and of seemingly better quality.

                                                        the only thing we paid a lot for was ONE MANGOSTEEN! It was from Puerto Rico, so we had high hopes that it could have skirted the radiation laws...alas, it was rotten inside...a $5 disappointment!

                                                        as for meats, we bought four patties of Pat La Frieda ground beef for a bbq on sunday. i don't know the price per pound, but total was less than six bucks and they were delicious.

                                          2. Does anyone know whether they're open every day, and the store hours? I cannot seem to find that information on their website. Thanks.

                                            6 Replies
                                            1. re: ellenost

                                              There was a sign in the window saying that the coffee bar opens at 9am, the rest of Eataly opens at 10am, and everything closes at 11pm. Every day of the week!

                                              -----
                                              Eataly
                                              200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                1. re: ellenost

                                                  Being open until 11pm every day is going to be really nice.

                                                  Eataly is on the way home from work for me and sometimes I don't leave until after 8pm. By contrast, Buon Italia's hours mean they close at 8pm. And Di Palo closes at 6:30pm.

                                                  -----
                                                  Buon Italia
                                                  75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                                                  Eataly
                                                  200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                  1. re: kathryn

                                                    Note that while they are open til 11pm, they stop seating at the dining areas earlier. I was in there on Wed night, and they were turning people away at the pizza and pasta area at 9:30pm.

                                                    1. re: kathryn

                                                      Happy (really) for you, but I wonder how important late night, local shoppers are to their overall plan. Other posters here have said how delighted they are to have such a place in the nabe. But B,B, and F care little about a 45,000 sq ft local grocery--their stakes are so much higher. And it is on this level they must succeed. Lou DiPalo, we're behind you!

                                                  2. re: kathryn

                                                    I heard someone say they're going to begin coffee service at 7am once they've settled in.

                                                2. we stopped by eataly after a fab dinner at the breslin. it was packed with people and, if such things are important to you, mario batali was actually behind the pastry counter holding court.

                                                  i'm a designer and visuals are important to me, and i gotta tell you, this place missed the mark. it was poorly laid out, not at all pretty and might as well have had a sign posted above the door, "my name is mario batali and i'm doing this because i'm a bit of a whore and want to secure my financial future."

                                                  if you are the kind of person who thinks disneyland is a fantastic vacation, by all means, run to eataly. me, i'll pass.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: jrnlmkr

                                                    totally agree on the lack of visuals. the Mrs. Eaves is really tired; it looks like a trade show except even more boring; the all white graphics really don't do it for me and don't even come off as "clean" visuals. really needs a total graphic refresh or at least, showcase the product better. probably a result also of the too-high ceilings clashing with a very bottom-heavy setup. poor layout and navigation, despite the almost novelty four-way sign in the middle. needs tweaks but . . . it was totally packed on a wednesday night. it will have plenny of business.

                                                  2. Fine if you prefer spectacle more than food. Very low product to square foot ratio and almost nothing that couldn't be gotten elsewhere cheaper. (Was looking for Venetian stye quince mostarda and did get a pear mostarda that is as close in style as I've found in NY; it happened to be produced by the one brand that they have a relationship with.) Don't see it as much competition for Buona Italia in selection (minus the meat, fish, veggies, etc., all of which can be bought elsewhere in Chelsea Market) or Da Palo's in quality and service. Wonder how it will do once the hype dies down.

                                                    15 Replies
                                                    1. re: jmatturr

                                                      I agree about the ambience, but this is undoubtedly an artifact of Eataly's having been opened for just a few days. My own impressions were mixed: I don't need to spend $7 or $8 on a can of San Marzano tomatoes, nor am I willing to shell out $20-something per pound for a fish filet when good alternatives are easily to be found elsewhere; the gelato, by contrast, was very good (best I've had in nyc), good portion sizes, reasonable prices. I wasn't inclined to want to eat in the restaurant spaces, which had all the charm and warmth of eating in a convention center. No, it won't draw me away from the Lobster Place, where I get fish, and DiPalo's, where I shop for Italian; but despite all the hype and the madness, I'm pleased that it's around.

                                                      -----
                                                      The Lobster Place
                                                      252 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

                                                      Eataly
                                                      200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                      1. re: 280 Ninth

                                                        I didn't get to try the gelato, but will make the trek back, despite hating the layout of the place. What flavor(s) did you get? Of the two desserts that I bought, the limoncello babka was godawful and the tiramisu was only ok, if way overpriced.

                                                        The prices are significantly more expensive than DiPalo's and that's saying something. If one likes shopping at a place that is more expensive and chaotic than the Union Square Trader Joe's, with less charm, then Eataly might be right. Besides which I can get the same cheeses at DiPalo's for lots less. The only other thing I want is salumi, then I'll be done with the infernal place.

                                                        -----
                                                        Trader Joe's
                                                        142 E 14th St, New York, NY 10003

                                                        Eataly
                                                        200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                        1. re: windycity

                                                          We tried the strawberry and lemon gelati, and the sweet cream. All were very good. Also had a taste of the fig, which wasn't very memorable. When we were there, last week, amid the opening week throngs, the line was long but it moved quickly. I very much appreciated the good humor of the staff, who were very upbeat and cheerful amid the high demand.

                                                          Completely agree about not abandoning DiPalo's anytime soon. My own take on Eataly is that it's good to have around if I can't make the trek downtown to DiPalo's and wait/make overly many impulse purchases there. Not a highly desirable destination in its own right, but I'd rather have it to complain about than not have it at all.

                                                          -----
                                                          Eataly
                                                          200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                          1. re: 280 Ninth

                                                            "I'd rather have it to complain about than not have it at all."

                                                            Wow, maybe the gurus and yoga masters are right and mankind really is evolving toward enlightenment! I can't remember such a sentiment ever once being expressed on Chowhound in the 1990's, amid all the incensed criticism of places chowhounds clearly visited frequently.

                                                            Sorry, not to derail the thread. I'll check the gelato tomorrow. Also hope to try the pizza. And the bizarrely overpriced cookies.

                                                            1. re: Jim Leff

                                                              I think it really sums it up though. It's not like it's replacing anything, so it doesn't hurt that it's there, and it'll come in handy. It's just not what a lot of us hoped, but it is what it is.

                                                              1. re: Jim Leff

                                                                Totally agree with Jim. Loving 280Ninth's broadminded lack of vitriol. I came away from Eataly thinking: Hmm, not as amazing as expected; I must go back and explore to see what the fuss is about.

                                                                Incidentally, Jim, you're a god. I must confess I miss the days when Chowhound was less about the Minetta Taverns of the world and more about weird little holes in the wall in Queens... but that's just me.

                                                                Besides, as a man wiser that I once said, "There's no such thing as bad art, just unfinished art."

                                                                -----
                                                                Minetta Tavern
                                                                113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

                                                                Eataly
                                                                200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                1. re: pork_buns

                                                                  -----
                                                                  I miss the days when Chowhound was less about the Minetta Taverns of the world and more about weird little holes in the wall in Queens.
                                                                  -----

                                                                  Chowhound always had lots of Minetta Tavern discussion from day one along with the more off-radar stuff. Now we have more of both. But according to Jim's Green M&M Theory, if you really dislike green M&Ms, you'll find yourself more disgusted by a big bowl of M&Ms than by a small one, just because there's greater quantity of greens in the former.

                                                                  This same fallacy makes everything seem to decline as it grows. Another example is cities: big ones have the same proportion of nice, kind people as any small town (maybe more, in fact), but while the small town may have two or three obnoxious assholes, a big city, by virtue of its scale, has tens of thousands. In a given day in Manhattan, you'll likely encounter ten or twenty assholes, who stick out a lot more than the thousands of kindly strangers you quietly pass.

                                                                  -----
                                                                  Minetta Tavern
                                                                  113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

                                                                  1. re: Jim Leff

                                                                    And where can one learn more of Jim's theories? They seem to be quite useful.

                                                              2. re: 280 Ninth

                                                                You're not the first person to make the connection with DiPalo's. From what I've seen, how could you possibly compare them. I LOVE DP and head there first thing when arriving in NYC. But the selection at Eataly is beyond anything that Lou et al are trying to do. Apples and oranges to me. Just a humble ! Left Coaster's opinion :)

                                                              3. re: windycity

                                                                "more expensive and chaotic than the Union Square Trader Joe's, with less charm..." Wow. So evocative, and so miserable sounding. I'll stay away for now!

                                                              4. re: 280 Ninth

                                                                i know batali s connected to eataly, is the gelato the same as the gelato in otto or babbo?

                                                                1. re: daffyduck

                                                                  I'm pretty sure they make it on site. It's different from what's served in batali's restaurants, but still very good. The chocolate and hazelnut (nocciola) flavors are both awesome.

                                                                  1. re: ml77

                                                                    is the gelato really thick? i think the gelato at otto or babbo is just good as oppose to amazing because it's too thick. it's more like ice cream than gelato.

                                                              5. re: jmatturr

                                                                I think I disagree on the comparison to Buon Italia -- the dried pasta selection was quite large, and featured a number of regional shapes/styles that you don't see everywhere, and a far cry from Buona Italia's limited range. Ditto the choices of canned tomatos, which is an endless source of frustration to me at Buon Italia. Buon Italia often seem to have one kind of a lot of things -- not a lot of a lot of things -- and I think Eataly "may" help address that problem.

                                                                I say "may" because things have to calm down there before it's going to be any use to anyone. It was so crowded last night (got there at 6:15) that I didn't try to buy anything. I didn't even get to check out the olive oils (another place where Buon Italia's haphazard selection and lack of complete regional selection gets me down).

                                                                I did get something to eat at the pasta restaurant (wait time at 6:30 -- a presposterous 90 minutes or more for a party of 2 or greater but no wait at all for one person me -- I had actually come to shop not to dine -- but found the latter much simpler). The antipasto misto was delicious -- if in no way a bargain at $13 -- it was 2 pieces of perfect tomato, heavily salted with sea salt (which I love) and dressed with olive oil and basil, a handful of roast yellow pepper slices also dressed in olive oil, a fantasticly garlicky tangle of eggplant slices and 2 pieces of tasty salami and two tiny pieces of robiola that were fine if not memorable. Service is so chaotic at the moment that I had eaten my ration of two bread slices while waiting for some food to come and was unable to secure any more.

                                                                My tagliatelle al pesto were pretty mediocre. I was surprised that given how much they were touting this as a "Ligurian" specialty that they weren't serving trofie or trenette (they actually had trofie in the dried pasta section -- something that made me happy to see) or even linguini would have seemed a bit more Ligurian, but normal old tagliatelle. (Over all the pasta dishes on offer seemed to be those most familiar to an American palate (and not necessarily a sophisticated one at that), with no real attempt to get into more interesting or regional Italian dishes). Anyway, the pesto was bland -- not in anyway bursting with the fresh basil flavor it seems fair to expect at this time of year. Moreover, you don't get to have the Romano cheese or even salt and pepper at your table -- so it's tough to adjust seasoning to your liking. I asked for salt and caused a bit of a kerfuffle, which after quite some time led to me getting a teaspoon of flakes sale marina from Trapani, which is gorgeous and I love, but the lady sitting next to me (who borrowed some) thought was too heavy and chunky for salting her food at the table. Anyway, they need to figure that out.

                                                                I also had a gloass of an unmemorable rosato, which wa $14 a glass, so that was a bit annoying. The wines by the glass were limited and not exciting and not regionally comprehensive at all.

                                                                Wouldn't hurry back to the pasta restaurant and certainly wouldn't queue for hours!

                                                                For dessert (not being on offer at the pasta place), I wandered over to the pasticceria counter, which was not crowded, largely because they were sold out of all but a handful of items. I did have a little mini layered hazelnut and chocolate mousse with hazelnut crunch which was perfectly satisfying and the right size for me. I was disappointed not to be able to choose from more of a selection -- but it was after 7:00 by then.

                                                                It hasn't replaced Eataly Torino -- or my local Brooklyn Italian food purveyors -- in my affections, but when the crowds die down, it may be a useful place to pick up some ingredients or have a snack (I was intrigued by the salumi but couldn't stand the crowds long enough to investigate more). It's more convenient for me than Buon Italia, which I (as noted) find disorganized and wildly varying in quality and offerings, so if it can play that Italian supermarket role -- I'll be happy enough.

                                                                -----
                                                                Buon Italia
                                                                75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                                                                Eataly
                                                                200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                              6. Well, it sure sounds like I can take that one off my list of places to visit in the city.

                                                                57 Replies
                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                  I was there opening day. I tried no prepared food....just too crazy (I'll return some rainy weekday at 2:30 or 3).

                                                                  The Good:
                                                                  They stock a few things I look for and have trouble finding.

                                                                  I was very happy to find a lot of Academia Barilla products, which are hard to find (at least a wide range of their products), and which tend to be really good (I picked up a small jar of spicy sicilian cherry tomato topping for a steep $9.20).

                                                                  They have Mulino Bianco cookies (<http://jimleff.info/cookies.html&gt;), but the selection is no better than at Buon Italia (and it's a bit more expensive).

                                                                  I picked up some interesting/yuppie looking Garofalo Spaghetti (from Gragnano) for a reasonable $2.80/pound. Info here: http://www.garofalopasta.com/about.html

                                                                  They stock Domori Chuao chocolate, one of the holy grails of chocolatedom. At $7.80, it's more than mail order, but not if you include shipping. I don't know anywhere else this can be found in NYC.

                                                                  The Bad:
                                                                  I bought a small wedge of a saffron/black pepper sheep cheese, and it turned out to be about 2/3 dried out. Not acceptable for opening day. Shame, as the fresher parts tasted pretty good (though I tasted not a whiff of saffron....anyone want to join in on a class-action suit, generally, against restaurants and food purveyors who fraudulently advertise saffron?).

                                                                  The breads are extravagant-looking. Overly so. I sneered at the farmhouse loaf, which looked like it burst off the cover of Gourmet. I don't trust such attractive bread, and, against better judgement, I bought a small walnut "rustic" loaf for a stiff $5.80, and found it merely ok. I wish they'd put the time/attention into flavor that they do with appearance. But then, I tilt at windmills.

                                                                  intriguingly, they sell not-huge tubs of good-looking cookies for $19. See photo, which wouldn't upload here, at http://jimleff.info/cookie.jpg . I am super intrigued by this. It's not very attractively packaged, nor is it a status brand, so they must be hoping quality alone will drive sales. I can't imagine that the cookies wouldn't be great, though I've been sucker-punched before (read about Eli Zabar's Granola in my Granola Tasting report: http://bit.ly/aWj86W

                                                                  Prices
                                                                  Very strange pricing. First, everything ends in ".80". So: $2.80, $11.80, etc. Some things are priced quite fair, and some are extravagant. Hard to find the rhyme or reason.

                                                                  More work is needed.

                                                                  -----
                                                                  Buon Italia
                                                                  75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                                                                  1. re: Jim Leff

                                                                    good to know they carry Domori, and Chauo no less! Did they have Porcelana and other criollo chocolates? And by any chance did you see any Amedei chocolates? I have not been able to find Domori in quite some time in the city, and the last time I did find Domori the selection was very limited and undesirable.

                                                                    1. re: mimolette

                                                                      Definitely no Amadei; there were other Domori chocolates, not sure if Porcelana was there, specifically. Agreed on its rarity.

                                                                      But here's a hot tip: Hotel Chocolate (with two stores in Boston and another in London) sells better, cheaper chuao.

                                                                    2. re: Jim Leff

                                                                      Second visit. Had a baked pasta dish (forget name) with both pesto and bechamel. Competent, fine, expensive, tiny, spiritually vacant. And a margarita pizza with competent, fine toppings and a crust that was both over-charred and undercooked, and the char had an unpleasant campfire marshmallow taste (from singed sugars). Good service, I hope none of these guys goes postal from dealing with the indignant, imperious rich customers crammed into what's essentially a consumer pressure cooker.

                                                                      Also: a vegetable panini. Small, good bread, mostly flavor of strong (but good) olive oil, little or no veg flavor. They didn't have the vaunted mushroom panini, said they're revolving every day, but apparently lots of customers really want the mushroom back.

                                                                      There seem to be no bathrooms (of course, there must be, but good luck finding them). I joked to my friend that there's no R.O.I. (return on investment) in bathrooms. This is a very very very commercial undertaking. No perceptible love. Which I guess is inevitable in so ambitious an undertaking. Though, come to think of it, there was palpable love in enormous International Foods Warehouse in Lodi, NJ, which longtime chowhounds will fondly remember.

                                                                      Next I'll try the steakhouse, and if not delighted, will relegate this as strictly a source for certain ingredients I can't find elsewhere.

                                                                      1. re: Jim Leff

                                                                        "spiritually vacant" -- very well-said :) it succinctly describes one of my frequent disappointments w/ food in Manhattan...

                                                                        And the "ROI" mentality, also right on the money (no pun intended) and far too frequent in Manhattan: i.e. the attitude that if there's even the remotest chance that something might might might cut into the ROI, it must be avoided...example, once a couple years ago when i went to Lupa with my gf in the late afternoon and the place was half empty but they wouldn't seat us and rudely told us to wait at the bar because even though her Japanese parents were a few blocks away and en route, "we don't seat incomplete parties, ever"...ok, so you'd rather alienate and annoy your customers on the very off-chance that within 5 or 10 or 15 minutes, 75 people will suddenly descend on the place, grab every available seat and thus the restaurant might lose some tiny amount of ROI while a 4-top is being used as a 2-top for 15 minutes...argh...or in Eataly's case, not having adequate/easy-to-find bathrooms because "Who cares if busy shoppers have to pee? Let them hold it if they want to buy our precious food!"...

                                                                        -----
                                                                        Lupa
                                                                        170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

                                                                        Eataly
                                                                        200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                        1. re: Simon

                                                                          I'm ok with the no seating incomplete parties rule, and I assume you are, as well, under normal circumstances. Again, the greediness of Manhattan businesspeople is only exceeded by the indignant imperious of Manhattan consumers, so a hard line needs to be drawn. If you soften the hard line when the place is somewhat/half/mostly empty, it becomes a where-do-you-draw-the-line quandry, and it's impossible to insist (to your indignant, imperious customers) that you've got a hard and fast rule at the moments when you NEED to make such insistence. For example if there are two empty tables the customer could point to, would you need to bend the rule? Three? And what if the customer's aware that you bend for three open tables, and there are currently two, but a third table's paying the check? It's impossible. So, sorry, but I agree with Lupa.

                                                                          I also understand it in Eataly's case. When you've got that kind of money sunk in (enough to make even really rich people gulp), I can understand this mentality. The thing is, if you're creative and/or want to do something truly great and with love, you simply don't open 50,000 sq ft retail outlets in midtown! You also don't start oil companies or brokerage houses. A few decades ago, before materialism become 100% admirable, someone like Batali would have had his reputation tarnished for being part of such an operation.

                                                                          That said, there's nothing "wrong" per se with a place like Eataly (or with oil companies or brokerages). I'll patronize it for certain things. But it is what it is.

                                                                          -----
                                                                          Eataly
                                                                          200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                          1. re: Jim Leff

                                                                            Rich people are evil. Manhattanites are evil. Poor outer borough residents have the corner on the market for being good and nicely behaved. Interesting.

                                                                            Seems to me that *anybody* who can afford to eat or shop at Eataly is plenty "rich." It's all relative. Or maybe just people "richer" than you are "rich?" And plenty of non-"rich" people have lousy manners.

                                                                            -----
                                                                            Eataly
                                                                            200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                            1. re: gutsofsteel

                                                                              I said nothing as extreme as your paraphrase, and the fact that customers at Manhattan upscale establishments tend to be especially imperious is both obvious and inherent.

                                                                              You may think otherwise, but unless you can make it pertinent to the topic at hand (Eataly), it's not an argument worth having (at least not here).

                                                                            2. re: Jim Leff

                                                                              Eh, i think you draw the line w/ common sense...sure, duringn dinner rush, it makes sense not to risk having empty seats when there are tons of people waiting and a packed house...no major problem w/ that (even though a more civilized and gracious restaurant like Scarpetta doesn't seem to mind at all)...but in the afternoon w/ zero customers waiting?...nope, wrong...in fact, the restaurant is actually losing money by not using common sense, because if we were sitting at a table waiting for 10 minutes we'd a) be drinking more wine and have already ordered a bottle by the time the others arrive, and be perusing the menu and even ordering some appetizers in advance (which might turn the table faster), and b) be happy customers who'd return again and tell our friends to do the same (i.e. saying things to friends like: "Go there when it's quieter at lunch and they are so nice and you can relax!")

                                                                              If Batali's restaurants hired pleasant and cordial hosts/hostesses it would make the ROI-obsessed rules go down slightly easier, but his management seems to pick them for maximum snottiness...i sympathize with the fact that restaurants have to deal w/ imperious diners, but a management/host culture that puts attitude/arrogance above friendliness/common-sense contributes to the problem...granted, it's not every visit, but enough times to make me boycott his entire oversalted empire...

                                                                              On one hand, i say, sure to each his/her own, and live and let eat, etc...but i really think his restaurants set a nasty example for Manhattan dining in general...

                                                                              -----
                                                                              Scarpetta
                                                                              355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

                                                                              1. re: Simon

                                                                                I've always found the hostesses at Lupa nice, and that might be because I've been cooperative and easygoing with them. If the restaurant were empty and I were part of an incomplete party, I'd be happy to wait at the bar and have the bartender help me select some interesting wine to drink while I waited.

                                                                                1. re: Pan

                                                                                  So you'd be happy to told to wait and not sit at a table, even though there was no common sense reason why you couldn't sit down?...while dozens of empty comfortable places to sit were in front of you?...great, you get a gold star from Mario Batali for obedience...

                                                                                  By the way, i take offense to the implication that i wasn't polite to the hostess...i even explained very politely and cordially that my gf's parents were en route for a special meal and we'd love to grab a nice table and order wine and appetizers to be waiting for them when they got there, as they'd flown in from Japan and had had a full day of sightseeing...the hostess replied: "Please wait at the bar and we'll keep you in mind when i have a table for you"...

                                                                                  But it's not just this one incident...sometimes it's been fine, the attitude at Batali joints is consistently vile more often than not (at all of his NY restaurants that i've been to, and i think i've been to all of them other than Del Posto)...

                                                                                  -----
                                                                                  Del Posto
                                                                                  85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                    We also had great service at Babbo and my husband raved about his server at Esca on his trip last month.

                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                      Glad you had a nice experience.

                                                                                      If you do a search here, you'll find many others who agree with you, and many others have been revolted by the attitude at Babbo, Lupa, etc.

                                                                                      -----
                                                                                      Lupa
                                                                                      170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

                                                                                      Babbo
                                                                                      110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

                                                                                    2. re: Pan

                                                                                      I was cooperative and easygoing with the staff at Po (many years back), I had a taxi driver that got lost and despite putting him on the phone, we were 5 minutes late for our reservation (made weeks before). But when we got there, they made us sit at the two person service bar and never moved us to a real table; if everything is reserved there must have been a place set aside for us within that time frame? Anyway, you want a touch of NY attitude, that's the place to go, one of Mario's restaurants. How rude!

                                                                                    3. re: Simon

                                                                                      Idunno., I'm tolerant of explicit rules followed firmly. The Soup Man never bugged me, for example. And, hey, we can vote with our feet, no?

                                                                                      Flexible rules sound good on the customer side, but those who run public operations find that flexibility sets precedents which can haunt you later. You may feel like a unique instance, but from the operator's standpoint, you're one of innumerable data points, and there are meta-reasons that are best not delved into.

                                                                                      And, anyway, I don't think it has anything to do with Return On Investment thinking in any given instance of rules enforcement. That's what I'm trying to explain. You may or may not agree with the specifics, but there is a basis for inflexible seating rules other than greedily screwing customers to scratch out a few more pennies of bottom line.

                                                                                      But we can disagree, no problem! I've enjoyed your postings, fwiw...

                                                                                      1. re: Jim Leff

                                                                                        thanks! (i appreciate the compliment)...and fair enough -- i vote with my feet (and with my reviews and word-of-mouth) -- as should everyone...

                                                                                        as i've said countless times on this forum, people seem to get worked up and forget that this is an "opinion" forum...just because i loathe certain places and love others, it doesn't mean anyone else needs to feel the same way...and even in my anti-Batali rants, i've tried to be fair and name specific dishes that i've enjoyed and make clear it isn't motivated by spite, but by my experiences and subjective take on the places...

                                                                                        Cheers...

                                                                                        1. re: Simon

                                                                                          I dunno, I like reading your posts on places, too, but didn't you wish arson on Batali's restaurants once here? ;)

                                                                                          1. re: kathryn

                                                                                            Wishing's fine. Incitement or actual torching's not.

                                                                                            1. re: kathryn

                                                                                              Haha...i hope i said it w/ enough clear jokey exaggeration that people knew that i thought the comment should be taken w/ a mine of salt :)

                                                                                              I vote with my feet and my words, not with matches...(which is why i've moved to London, where so far, restaurants are fab!)...

                                                                                              1. re: Simon

                                                                                                My girlfriend and I had a great experience in London during a 2-week trip in August, and I posted about some of our dining experiences in relevant threads. We found the Londoners we encountered to be very polite and unusually helpful. But like anywhere, there were a few (though only a very few) exceptions.

                                                                                                I think that's not too dissimilar to what I experience here in New York. People may be a little more rushed and a bit less outwardly kind here a lot of the time, but my experiences of rude treatment or extremely bad service at restaurants in New York are memorable because they're the exception. That could have something to do with my level of tolerance, too, of course.

                                                                                                1. re: Pan

                                                                                                  Cool...will search your London posts and check out some of the places you liked...

                                                                                  2. re: Jim Leff

                                                                                    Eataly is great, but it's not Italy

                                                                                    What we love about Italy are the people, the food, and the culture. And we especially appreciate the people who are close to the ground, close to the vines, close to the traditions. Because let's face it, they love good food, they love to eat, and they love to share that good food with us to support themselves. And we are delighted to pay them for it and sustain them and their traditions. Although the cuisine in each province is fairly consistent based on the local products and seasons, nearly every restaurant and shop is unique. In some the hospitality is overwhelming, in some it's subdued. But when they are people who genuinely enjoy their cuisine, they almost always enjoy sharing it. So it's not just the perfect truffle. It's the the truffle in the restaurant that just told us that the truffle season is bad this year, and most of the truffles are from eastern europe and they aren't serving them. And then a local customer brings in his own newly found truffle, and shares it with the restaurant, and they share it with us. It may not be the perfect truffle, but it's divine. And we are connected.

                                                                                    Even in Venice, 70,000 residents, millions of tourists, giant cruise ships. Get off to the edge and you are in Italy. When the beautiful little red San Erasmo artichokes are in season (San Erasmo is a farming island in the Venetian lagoon), they may not be on the menu, but ask in nearly any restaurant and they will have them. And they will be simply and wonderfully prepared. And they are sublime.

                                                                                    In a little restaurant in Piemonte, order a cheese plate. It's extraordinary - not one cheese you are likely to find in New York City. You ask for names, they don't know. Came from a local producer or the local market. It's goat. It's cow. It's old it's young. Some may be from farther away. But it's in perfect shape, and sharp and sweet and you want more. And at every meal you get a cheese plate, and it's always very good, frequently great. And never the same.

                                                                                    We like Piedmont, we like Turin, but we never thought to visit Eataly. You bring all the wonderful foods together in a mall, and they are still wonderful foods, but it's not the same. You lose the people and the connections.

                                                                                    I'm a Manhattan provincial, so my Italian New York barely includes Arthur Ave or Staten Island or the other boroughs. But I know Joe's Dairy, I know Rafetto's. DiPalo is not just a store, it's two brothers who are in love with the foods they sell and make and import. And they enjoy sharing that love. In person. Same down the block at Alleve. Faicco's changed their name from "Pork Shop" to "International Specialties", but it's the same guys and the same great food and it's personal. Salumeria Biellese looks like twenty other salumerias that I remember when I was kid, except that they are still here, and they make their own salamis and sausages. And you feel the love. You visit Sullivan Street Bakery and it's not just a brand, it's Jim Lahey. And you talk to him and you get it. Same at Gran Daisy where Monica is a force. Buon Italia is a little different, because they are primarily an importer, but they are my number one source for Italian cheeses. Yes, many are vacuum packed in plastic, it's not like DiPalo, but they are excellent cheeses and in perfect condition and they have stuff no one else does.

                                                                                    Same with Italian restaurants in New York - we have it all. We have delicious food and gracious service at Babbo and Locanda Verde. We have Gennaro and Keste and Company, we have Acqua at Peck Slip, we have I Sodi, we have Petrarca and Pepolino and 'Ino and Bar Pitti. We have dozen's of wonderful idiosyncratic and personal one of a kind Italian restaurants. Together they are our own Italy, many provinces, many personalities, many specialities and styles. People who love their food and want to share it. It sustains us and them at the same time.

                                                                                    I'm glad that Eataly is here, because they have some of the packaged Italian products that no one else does, they have good produce at fair prices, and they have a very large range in one place. Their restaurants all seem very competent with excellent ingredients. I know that Joe and Mario love this food and want to share it, but it's no longer personal. It's tremendously convenient, and the staff seems well trained and polite and sometimes welcoming. Some are very knowledgeable, some are very harried, some both. It's a food mall, and a great one, way better than DDL food show of yesteryear. It adds a lot of convenience and some new products to New York. But Eataly sure ain't Italy.

                                                                                    Please enjoy all that Eataly has to offer, but let's be sure that we sustain our entire local Italian community and diversity at the same time. It's part of what makes New York such a special place.

                                                                                    -----
                                                                                    Sullivan Street Bakery
                                                                                    533 W 47th St, New York, NY 10036

                                                                                    Buon Italia
                                                                                    75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                                                                                    Babbo
                                                                                    110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

                                                                                    Salumeria Biellese
                                                                                    376 8th Ave, New York, NY 10001

                                                                                    Acqua at Peck Slip
                                                                                    21 Peck Slip, New York, NY 10038

                                                                                    Bar Pitti
                                                                                    268 6th Ave, New York, NY 10014

                                                                                    Pepolino
                                                                                    281 W Broadway, New York, NY 10013

                                                                                    Joe's Dairy
                                                                                    156 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012

                                                                                    I Sodi
                                                                                    105 Christopher St, New York, NY 10014

                                                                                    Locanda Verde
                                                                                    377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

                                                                                    Petrarca
                                                                                    34 White St, New York, NY 10013

                                                                                    Eataly
                                                                                    200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                    1. re: DavyTheFatBoy

                                                                                      Nice little essay on the romanticized vision of Italy many of us do hold dear (often too dear but that's another conversation!), bu I would say that the Eataly in Torino is thoroughly delightful and worth a visit if you are in Torino for work or play. Let's face it -- many if not most Italian towns now are entirely dependent on their local hypermart, and it can be difficult to find and support the range of artisanal producers that Eataly supports. A Slow Food supermarket may seem a contradiction in terms, until you realize that actual Slow Food and the way of live that gave birth to it is practically an endangered species "even" in Italy and France. YOu've got to find a way to link the urban ,consumer, with a two job family and no time to cook, to those old foodways -- or it becomes somethnig that gets dusted off every summer for the tourist herds. Eataly Torino does that, quite well. It's a destination that Torinese families enjoy together, as well as a source of ingredients and quick meals. Whether Eataly New YOrk can do that remains to be seen.

                                                                                      Did pick up some rocking olive oils -- great regional diversity--got a Sicilian and a LIgurian oil, some pasta, including some in shapes I haven't had since I moved home, lovely Campanian canned tomatos, some cheeses today. It was only half as crowded as last Saturday, which means it is only twice as crowded as it needs to be.

                                                                                      -----
                                                                                      Eataly
                                                                                      200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                      1. re: DavyTheFatBoy

                                                                                        Have you been to an ESSELLUNGA in Italy?

                                                                                        Wake up and smell the espresso - Italians shop this way all the time.

                                                                                        1. re: gutsofsteel

                                                                                          "Wake up and smell the espresso - Italians shop this way all the time"

                                                                                          You make a good point. Shiny soulless competence with a relentless focus on Return on Investment can certainly be found in Italy, as well. And, come to think of it, this place evokes more of an Italian shiny soulless competence than an American one. So, in at least one way of thinking, Eataly, is very authentic.

                                                                                          -----
                                                                                          Eataly
                                                                                          200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                          1. re: gutsofsteel

                                                                                            We frequently shop or browse at supermarkets and hypermarkets in Italy. It's interesting to shop for things in foreign countries, you learn how foreign they are (or are not). And frequently you just need stuff. But it's not those superstores that draw us to Italy regularly. I'll be shopping regularly at Eataly, they have a lot of good stuff that I enjoy. But that doesn't mean that I'll enjoy shopping at Eataly the way I enjoy shopping at more personal stores in New York or in Italy.

                                                                                            -----
                                                                                            Eataly
                                                                                            200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                          2. re: DavyTheFatBoy

                                                                                            I guess you haven't been into the big supermarkets in Italy. Eataly is quite authentic in that regard.

                                                                                            -----
                                                                                            Eataly
                                                                                            200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                            1. re: gutsofsteel

                                                                                              No, I know Davy, and he's been to tons of supermarkets.

                                                                                              The point gustofsteel made is an interesting one, as I said, above. But Davy's point still stands, as well, because Italy's a big country, and there's a wide range to be found there. There's more than one "Italy", and the Italy he loves is not to be found in Eataly.

                                                                                              -----
                                                                                              Eataly
                                                                                              200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                          3. re: Jim Leff

                                                                                            For future reference, the bathrooms are located by the drinks section (I think they think they're being clever by doing this).

                                                                                            1. re: kathryn

                                                                                              Yes, they even have a sign saying something like "Here are the bathrooms; we thoughtfully located them in the beer section!"

                                                                                              I had my first visit yesterday. Like the original in Turin, the goods are heavily slanted towards Piedmont and Liguria. The oil section, and the dried pasta section,, are truly awesome--I jotted down a few prices in case anyone is interested:

                                                                                              Liter ROI Taggiasca extra virgin olive oil $29.80; 1/2 liter, $16.80 (this is not the Carte Noir ROI oil that comes in the straw-encased bottles)
                                                                                              http://www.olioroi.com/Default.aspx?p...

                                                                                              Liter Dinoabbo olive oil, Taggiasca olives, $46.80; Dino Abbo is apparently a respected small producer
                                                                                              http://www.dinoabbo.it/prodotti_2.htm

                                                                                              500 ml Lungaroti DOP Umbrian olive oil, $33.80
                                                                                              http://www.lungarotti.it/en/vino/sch_...

                                                                                              750 ml Avanzi olive oil from Garda, $49.80
                                                                                              http://www.avanzi.net/frantoio?idp=46...

                                                                                              500 gram bag of Ligurian Alta Valle Scrivia crozetti (disc-shaped dried pasta), $4.80
                                                                                              http://www.cybercucina.com/ccdocs/pro...

                                                                                              500 gram bag dried pastas from Gragnano $5.80--vast range of shapes
                                                                                              http://www.lapastadigragnano.com/

                                                                                              Alfieri Tajarin with egg 250-gram bag..$5.20 500 grams..$17.80 http://www.alfierialimentari.com/

                                                                                              But why are there red peppers from Mexico in the vegetable area? It is pepper season right here!?

                                                                                              And no Italian tuna, although I was advised that some is on the way....

                                                                                              1. re: erica

                                                                                                "Liter ROI Taggiasca extra virgin olive oil "

                                                                                                "Return on Investment"? Sorry, couldn't resist.

                                                                                                I find myself yearning for a bit of description and/or rating of some of these things, if you get a sec, cuz I'm not so up on these products. Is there anything we all just HAVE to run out and acquire?

                                                                                                I forgot to take note of the olive oil they drizzled out at the pizza concession for bread dunking (btw, the doled us out like a half a bloody teaspoon each; my tablemate couldn't moisten more than half his first bread slice), but it was pretty good (not great).

                                                                                                1. re: erica

                                                                                                  The beer is well priced for what it is, meaning the prices on the beers they stock are less than they are elsewhere.

                                                                                              2. re: Jim Leff

                                                                                                "spiritually vacant"..."no perceptible love"

                                                                                                are you serious? it's a specialty store that just opened a week ago...out of the thousands and thousands specialty stores all across the country, how many were dripping love and spirituality a week into the game?

                                                                                                and to faulty them for being commercial, those guys just took out 50,000 square feet to sell spaghetti, maybe we should give them more than a week before condemning them for their lack of spirituality....BTW, had a pizza tonight, the bar is bean raised so high for neopolitan pizza in NYC the last few years and I expected Eataly would never compete but based on what I had today they definately do, If Batali had these pizzas (instead of those weird grilled ones) when Otto opened there would have been riots to get in....

                                                                                                -----
                                                                                                Eataly
                                                                                                200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                                1. re: Cpalms

                                                                                                  "dripping love and spirituality?"

                                                                                                  There is a vast grey area between dripping love and cold avarice.

                                                                                                  As for the inevitability of commerciality in a hugely expensive/risky undertaking, I agree, and even made that same point myself - perhaps you missed it in this stampeding thread (I wish there were a way to break it up into sub-threads).

                                                                                                  Finally, I'm condemning no one. I'm merely describing. My description happens to differ from your's, and that's fine. I don't need to be wrong for you to be right. We just all chip in our assessments.

                                                                                                2. re: Jim Leff

                                                                                                  I went to Eataly for the first time yesterday. It was positively exhausting -- the crowds, the lay-out, and the confusion. I was disappointed by many things:

                                                                                                  There were so many redundancies in the condiment selection. If one is concerned about ROI, well entire four-foot shelves stocking only one over-priced, not too exciting pickle or sauce should be re-examined. I loved the pasta aisles, however.

                                                                                                  The produce section has nothing of interest and is small. The meats looked good, though expensive, but the selection seemed very limited.

                                                                                                  No bottarga, my favorite thing in the world.

                                                                                                  Bought a rustic bread. The crust and crumb were great, but I was expecting some tang which was lacking, and I think the dough is under-salted.

                                                                                                  Tried the gelato. The hazelnut was fabulous; the pistachio lacked flavor.

                                                                                                  There were no menus posted anywhere, and that really bugged me because ultimately I couldn't decide where I wanted to eat, nor did I want to be blind-sided by the prices.

                                                                                                  However, every employee I interacted with was very helpful and nice. I know they will be tweaking out the kinks, but man, the lay-out in this place is insane.

                                                                                                  -----
                                                                                                  Eataly
                                                                                                  200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                                  1. re: pitterpatter

                                                                                                    I was there yesterday and saw two types of bottarga in the fish section--mullet (muggine) and tuna (tonno). They also have bottarga in tomato sauce in jars.

                                                                                                    What is surprising is that they had no Italian tuna in cans or jars, but I was assured that this would be arriving soon.

                                                                                                    By ROI do you mean the Ligurian brand?

                                                                                                    The layout and design are very similar to the original in Turin.

                                                                                                    1. re: erica

                                                                                                      I searched and searched for bottarga, and I guess the help was less helpful than I realized. I saw the bottarga in tomato sauce, as well as anchovies, but was not intrigued. I do not know of the brands of condiments that seemed to take up so much space, but there were certainly more than a few. I still will find the layout confusing, no matter what the original model. And no canned or jarred tuna? I wasn't looking for it, but that is also one of my favorite foods from Italy, and more so, from Spain.

                                                                                                      1. re: pitterpatter

                                                                                                        Yes, it is interesting that they have an entire section devoted to Agostino Recca products..they seem to favor a very small coterie of producers, so they have several varieties of the Recca anchovies but no tuna. Again, it is a smaller replica of the shop in Turin.

                                                                                                        The mozzarella is SO pricey! And, although my usual cheese shopping here is limited to a few types so I am not up on prices, I suspect that all of the cheeses are way higher than DiPalo...

                                                                                                        1. re: erica

                                                                                                          As they have many family members in Italy, I can understand their having an over-represented line of companies. In Italy, I think there are only two degrees of separation, not six.

                                                                                                          I wish to re-examine my opinion on the bread. I think they are using the Biga method, combining a sour mother with water activated yeast. The rest of the formula creates a very wet dough. The bread that I bought was better on the second and third day, and has still not staled. While the tang is subtler than a total sourdough, the integrity is very promising and I am still enjoying this bread on day four, kept at room temp, though now I am toasting. Good bread overall.

                                                                                                          Their cheese prices are quite high. I did not buy mozz there because I know I can get a really good one in my neighborhood for $6/lb. What blew me away was their price on Salvador's Ricotta. $8 for 8 oz.? I have the most fantastic fresh ricotta where I live for $4/lb, and people in the neighborhood still think that is too expensive.

                                                                                                          1. re: pitterpatter

                                                                                                            how do the rents compare in your neighborhood versus the Flatiron?

                                                                                                            might explain the ricotta

                                                                                                            1. re: pitterpatter

                                                                                                              I thought the Eataly baguette was awful..Very heavy, doughy and flavorless.
                                                                                                              For compariosn, I love the Tomcat baguette they sell at Balducci's...light and crusty

                                                                                                          2. re: pitterpatter

                                                                                                            I am so surprised to learn how many people here actually know about bottarga...being Sardinian, I consider it a very typical part of my own homeland, which is barely know in most of the country, let alone in NY...but maybe that's why NY is NY after all...
                                                                                                            I do have a couple of things to say about it eventually. First, avoid any kind of bottarga with tomato or anything else like that. Just buy the entire thing or the powder, and stop. It's peculiar enough not to be mixed with other things (in another thread I might give u few recipes for it). Second, if there are so many people interested, why don't u contact some producer here and have the bottarga sent to NY? u might save money, get a good product, and not depend on crazy NYC Italian food sellers...after all, it doesn't take much space or weight, it lasts for ages...just a little hint on this :-)

                                                                                                            1. re: lariam

                                                                                                              Yeah. Have known about bottarga for ages. Never lived in NY. Just saying.

                                                                                                              1. re: lariam

                                                                                                                It is Black Mullet season in S.W Florida, and some "Mullet Men" I know are smoking and drying Mullet Roe, it is very good shaved on Pasta, also they sell fresh roe by the Pound'!!!!, here they prepare it like Shad Roe, sauteed with bacon.

                                                                                                          3. re: pitterpatter

                                                                                                            "There were so many redundancies in the condiment selection."

                                                                                                            I noticed this too. There are two dairy sections for example carrying the same two lines.

                                                                                                      2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                        i'm interested in how you reached that conclusion. there are plenty of positive comments about Eataly. why not stop in and see for yourself? it doesn't cost anything to not buy something.

                                                                                                        1. re: coasts

                                                                                                          It's not nearly as high on my list as when I found out about it. My financial resources for my trip to the city are limited, so I will have to choose wisely as to where to blow my load, so to speak.

                                                                                                          Yes, I will / might still check it out, just to have a look-see. But I'm not nearly as excited as I was before.

                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                            Darn! I'd read about Eataly and my bf and i were planning to visit the place for his birthday trip to NYC from Rochester next week. After the disappointment expressed pretty much across the board, we'll change our plans. Recommendations, anyone, for great Italian restaurants that aren't exorbitantly expensive while we're visiting?

                                                                                                            -----
                                                                                                            Eataly
                                                                                                            200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                                            1. re: cindyf1216

                                                                                                              This thread seems pretty balanced in terms of what's good and what's not so good, I haven't been interpreting the comments as "disappointment across the board."

                                                                                                              It's a huge shopping and dining court that's going to be compared to smaller, specialized purveyors around town; I'm not surprised that CHers are finding both strengths and weaknesses in the different departments. I think it's at least worth a single walk through if you're in the neighborhood.

                                                                                                              If you want great Italian restaurants that aren't expensive, I'd start a new thread with some more details about what you're looking for in terms of price, atmosphere, neighborhood, tolerance for crowds/long lines, etc.

                                                                                                              1. re: cindyf1216

                                                                                                                If you're in town, you might as well stop in and take a look. It's not massive, and you'll know pretty quickly if it's exciting for you. The criticism isn't based on what someone from upstate might experience. Our expectations were probably too high.

                                                                                                                1. re: cindyf1216

                                                                                                                  I really liked Crispo, and it's not expensive at all. It's lively, so it wouldn't be a 'romantic' dinner. But it's really good quality food, at very decent prices.

                                                                                                                  -----
                                                                                                                  Crispo
                                                                                                                  240 W 14th St, New York, NY 10011

                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                    lingua food, what particular dishes are good at crispo? I heard the carbonara was a good choice.

                                                                                                                    1. re: bigjeff

                                                                                                                      hmm. it was quite a while ago when i was there, and we were a larger group, so there was a lot of tasting and sharing going on.... let's see -

                                                                                                                      i remember the sausage-stuffed sage leaves to be great, and i think we did a salumi plate. there was bone marrow that was delish.

                                                                                                                      looking at their website, i can't recall a lot of dishes, so i wonder if their menu has changed in the meantime (i was there 3 or 4 years ago). also, looking at their website, i would like to eat there, like, NOW. the paste all sound great.

                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                        Note that the (alas, young) chef died a year ago. Sounds like your experience was before then.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Jim Leff

                                                                                                                          Oh no. That's sad. So.... is the food still good?

                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                            Don't know. I'd love a report (preferably in a fresh new thread). Or I may just go and try....

                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                              Yes. In fact, it seems the same to me.

                                                                                                            2. I read that Eataly was to include a roof top "Northern Italian" beer hall featuring specialty brews from some Italian craft brewers and Dogfish Head and beer food like sausages, etc. In operation yet?

                                                                                                              -----
                                                                                                              Eataly
                                                                                                              200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. We stopped by last weekend. The place, in the late afternoon, was packed. Packed. They had run out of a number of things, for example fresh mozzarella.

                                                                                                                I agree on the layout comments. It seems more thought could have been put into where various food items are. It seemed easy simply to wander and not get to what you need. There's little feeling of being in a cohesive space, or in a village market. Yet, in truth, this all may have been partly attributable to the crowds.

                                                                                                                On the product front, yes the prices are high. But, their olive oil selection is superb. Many brands I simply haven't found in the States, and we use a lot of olive oil at home. (Which is good and bad; the place is a good resource for finishing oils, etc., not for standby oils. DiPaolo or Fairway has them easily beat on that. Ditto many other bottled/canned items.) The dry pasta selection is likewise excellent. The mortadella we bought was great. And they have a rotisserie with some beautiful looking roast chicken and pork, where Mario also happened to be standing. We want to try one of those chickens. They looked outstanding.

                                                                                                                If you are in NYC it is worth seeing. Great selection of items. We will return, but it certainly isn't a place to "stock up" so to speak. But in a city like NY, it still may do very well even if regular customers only visit occasionally.

                                                                                                                1. I'm confused: I learned about Eataly NY from the Eataly website, where the project is introduced by Oscar Farinetti, the founder of Eataly, ( philosophy: to create news ways for artisan producers to reach markets, with stores in Turin and Tokyo, etc.) and in the article and video /www.eataly.it/index.php/eataly-a-new-... he mentions the B&B group as being among his several associates in the NY venture---and yet in this CH thread and the NYT review there is no mention of him or of Eataly, as if the whole concept sprung from the brows of Batalli/Bastianich.

                                                                                                                  Did Farinetti's original ideas and ideals get submerged under B&B financial backing and publicity exposure?

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: cassis

                                                                                                                    Don't know what role he played -- press reports had Farinetti there during the press openers -- including improbably claiming in one article I read that the cacio e pepe was better than that to be had in Roma (see my underwhelmed review of the pasta bar above...).

                                                                                                                    The signage, graphics, layout and set up are very very similar to Eataly Torino -- so that is not B&B. The Slow Food ideal does seem honored in the sourcing of what's being sold -- if not in what's being cooked, at the moment.

                                                                                                                    -----
                                                                                                                    Eataly
                                                                                                                    200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                                                  2. Tackiest name ever.

                                                                                                                    Edit: with the possible exception of English is Italian.

                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                                                      Since Eatpisode changed its name to Hi Thai (ack, but not as ack as Eatpisode), the field is once again wide open.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Whit LaCoche

                                                                                                                          Until eGullet becomes a restaurant, it is not eligible in this category. But when it does, it will be a strong contender.

                                                                                                                        2. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                                                          Is this somehow a reply to my post? a comment on Eataly or my name?

                                                                                                                          1. re: cassis

                                                                                                                            This is no more than a Bastianich/Batali "ride the wave and strike while the iron is hot" Do you blame them to capitalize on their favorable name recognition?? Marketing this brand is timely and on target to get to the masses.

                                                                                                                            1. re: cassis

                                                                                                                              No, not your name! Eataly. Cassis is pretty! And tasty!

                                                                                                                              -----
                                                                                                                              Eataly
                                                                                                                              200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                                                          2. I had a decent Pizza Margherita at Eataly on Thursday. Crust from the wood-fired oven had a good char and proper chewiness, the sauce had a pleasant brightness, cheese was ok. They have a nice wine list and Moretti on tap. The pizza was clearly superior to Motorino's East Village location. Having said that, there's room for improvement: bottom crust needs to be a tad thinner; salt can be your friend; cheese needs an upgrade; the pie needs to arrive at the table much hotter. This is no Da Michele but it's a fine start.

                                                                                                                            I'll be back when the rooftop beer garden opens in November.

                                                                                                                            -----
                                                                                                                            Motorino
                                                                                                                            349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

                                                                                                                            Eataly
                                                                                                                            200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                                                            18 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                              Eataly is a fun spot for a wide selection of Italian foods not necessarily available in the US. Don't go for produce but the quality of everything I have tried is really pretty good. It is packed and at some points you may not be able to walk--but for me that was part of the fun. Don't go there if you just want to pick up a few quick things because it won't be quick. Prices (on the whole) are comparable to Whole Foods but probably a notch up in quality. Disagree with previous poster. Think pizza at Motorino is better but the sauce on the Eataly pizza is less salty which I like. He says it is no Da Michele--well I will add it is no Brandi but a fine start! Worth checking out.

                                                                                                                              -----
                                                                                                                              Motorino
                                                                                                                              349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

                                                                                                                              Eataly
                                                                                                                              200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                                                              1. re: samka

                                                                                                                                The Italians use the word “internazionale” to refer to the kind of Italian food you find in Italian hotels and tourist restaurants along with the Italian food served outside of Italy. Mario and Joe (and Joe’s mother) would like to have us think that they have brought genuine regional Italy to us and pretty much can dispense with having to travel to Italy to eat the real McCoy. At best, though, what American chefs like Mario and CIA grads, etc. do is vulgarize regional recipes with either inferior requisite products or adapt the recipes in the nearly-always instances when they can’t get the true and/or impeccable ingredients. What we get for the most part is Italian “internazionale”, closer to what you find in any number of other countries outside Italy than in Italy itself. (The circumstances of this are generally why the Slow Food movement could only have been conceived in Italy and why it doesn’t work anyplace else.) So it’s no wonder that all thus vulgarizing produces what I find vulgar and dishonest in the New York Eataly. An apt analogy is that Eataly is to the culinary landscape of Italy as the Venetian Hotel is Las Vegas is to the City of Venice. This highly-adventurous food undertaking has so much in it, however, that just by law of averages alone will it worth a visit from time to time. However, I still haven’t encountered there or heard from anyone that there is anything fresh or freshly-made at Eataly that isn’t comparable or better elsewhere in town. As for the difference between visiting Eataly and a great Italian produce market such as the one I went to in Modena a few months ago, they’re thousands of miles apart.

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                                                                                                                                Eataly
                                                                                                                                200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                                                                1. re: Robert Brown

                                                                                                                                  I think vulgar and dishonest is very harsh.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Robert Brown

                                                                                                                                    i like it. i like it a lot and have returned several times since my first meal on opening night. i've gone back to sip on a bottle of wine at the vegetable bar, while watching the hordes of shoppers fight their way through the crowd. i've gone back for the reasonably priced lasagna and above-average pizza. i've gone back for the baba limoncello from the bakery. i've gone back for a bag of dry pasta as a gift for my italian grandmother...a variety she likely hasn't seen in ages, if ever.

                                                                                                                                    on my most recent trip, i took home a pound of hot italian sausage, nearly a pound of fresh spaghetti, a block of parmesan, some garlic, an onion, and a handful of shiitake mushrooms, all for less than $20. it made for a delicious dinner. sure, these ingredients could be bought elsewhere, but not without making three or four stops.

                                                                                                                                    is it without its problems? no, absolutely not, but the good far outweighs the bad.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: coasts

                                                                                                                                      Quick initial reaction form a skeptic. Weekday lunch hour: packed with (mostly) young folks eating, not shopping. Lidia demo'ing a beans and escarole soup. Busy, crowded, a little scattered, but no more so than Fairway. Produce, wine, ho-hum. Cheese selection smallish but stylish. Fish is excellent and very competitively priced (viz: Citarella). Salumi looked good; meat, can't say, since we no longer shop for it. Caffe fine and quick. Pasticceria selectiuon very small but looked polished.
                                                                                                                                      Barilla pasta seemed to be imported. and food selection of other smaller producers at, agaion, competitibe prices--especially compared to online asources. Olive oil superbly selected and presented at all price points, inc. a rarity, an amazing Olaria San Giorgio from Reggio Calabria previously unavailable here, at $23.80/750ML. about what Fairway would charge. Had no interest in, nor did I examine condiments and other groceries. More to come, but I was pleasantly surprised at the overall fairness of prices, and if not the enormous breadth in each category, then the quality and, in some cases, rarity of the offerings. Whether they see a steady shopping trade, or just gaggles of tourists and local office folk eating and drinking, to be seen. Hated the busy, look at me, talky graphics.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: bob96

                                                                                                                                        I had a porchetta sandwich there the other day. It was horrible. The pork had little taste, texture was blah and absolutely nothing crunchy, and gobs of fat. At $13 vs Porchetta at $10, there is no comparison. I've also had a rotisserie chicken. The meat was moist, but very very salty. Priced about 50% above Whole Foods or Fairway, it too is a pass. While I love the vibe and scale of Eataly, the food could use some work.

                                                                                                                                        -----
                                                                                                                                        Eataly
                                                                                                                                        200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                                                                        1. re: jcooper

                                                                                                                                          Is that factoring in the potential dental work (kidding...sort of) you might need due to the too crunchy sandwich at Porchetta?

                                                                                                                                          Thanks for the heads up on the chicken though.

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                                                                                                                                          Porchetta
                                                                                                                                          110 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

                                                                                                                                          1. re: sugartoof

                                                                                                                                            Porchetta can go ahead and crush my molars. I'm ok with that.

                                                                                                                                            -----
                                                                                                                                            Porchetta
                                                                                                                                            110 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

                                                                                                                                2. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                  It was packed when I was there on Wednesday night (Sept 29). It was about 8pm, and every inch of seating was taken, and every restaurant had a 90 minute wait. We walked thru, and picked up a few things (amaretti, and some parmesan) and went down the street for dinner. The place had a great energy and vibe, I was sorry it was so crowded. Also, I saw Mario at the bar (can't miss the pony tail and orange clogs!)....

                                                                                                                                  1. re: jeanmarieok

                                                                                                                                    that place has a bouncer now on busy nights!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: bigjeff

                                                                                                                                      They don't have a bouncer. They've had people staffing the doors since the day they opened.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Blumie

                                                                                                                                        I showed the place to friends on Saturday night. What a zoo! Long lines for everything and they had run out of all gelato (had only sorbetto left) by 8:30 or so. While I think it is a great addition to the area, I was surprised to see quite a few bordering-on-spoiled items in the fish, dessert, and produce areas. And again, why imported red peppers when this is pepper season here?

                                                                                                                                        1. re: erica

                                                                                                                                          "why imported red peppers when this is pepper season here?"

                                                                                                                                          Cuz that's what they do: imports. There are loads of other places to get local fresh peppers. This is where you go when you want imported versions! :)

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Jim Leff

                                                                                                                                            I've seen more and more "local" produce, but I think Jim's missed the point. If they brought in, say, some only in Italian produce, fine; but for normal peppers? If they really wanted to capture the best spirit of Italian foodways, then they'd have piles of the amazing local peppers in season right now, and available, what, 6 blocks away? Who, much less what ideal-type urban Italian gastronome--in whose image the store was created and basks so lavishly--would not want and buy the best seasonal stuff? Who goes to Eataly looking to buy Canadian hothouse anything in September?

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                                                                                                                                            Eataly
                                                                                                                                            200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                                                                            1. re: bob96

                                                                                                                                              Like Torrisi's that sources only American product for all their menu items. Of course, domestic does not equal local but . . . . both places are trying to make a point about the provenance of their product.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: bigjeff

                                                                                                                                                Not just American, but if I'm not mistaken, Local American.

                                                                                                                                                I'm not sure the Poly-O they use to make their Fresh Mozz counts as local however, but uh....

                                                                                                                                                1. re: sugartoof

                                                                                                                                                  Provenance is necessary sometimes, but not always sufficient.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: Jim Leff

                                                                                                                                              But the peppers I saw were from mexico, not from Italy!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                                                                                                  2. The S.O .and I stopped by Eataly yesterday while in Manhattan for a concert (Roger Waters The Wall, which, as a sideline, was the best concert of my LIFE). Sadly that meant we couldn't carry anything bulky out since we'd trained it in from Metropark, but we did spend about two hours exploring, tasting, and picking up some small snacks and treats for later on.

                                                                                                                                    Yes, it is highly confusing and I am ever so thankful I read all the posts here about how to navigate the store before arriving. I was constantly yanking the SO this way and that way so he wasn't walking right into the restaurant areas or trying to check out items at the wrong place. That said, as two folks who have to rely on DiBruno Bros in Philly and mail order for Italian specialties, it was heaven on Earth (and more affordable than DiBruno Bros, for sure.) Going in mid-afternoon, the place wasn't all that crowded, certainly not uncomfortably so. I can imagine how swamped it could get during prime times, however.

                                                                                                                                    We noted that despite it being an off hour (3pm), restaurant service was still going strong at the various "stations" throughout Eataly. However, since we had dinner plans before the concert we stuck to sharing a charcuterie and cheese sampler plate ($22) and two glasses of very nice wines (at $10 each). It was an extremely filling "snack" and I'd go back any time I'm in the area for something similar again.

                                                                                                                                    (Sidenote: I've noticed some folks - I can't recall whether here or on Yelp/Citysearch - complaining that they don't serve olive oil for dipping by default with the bread at Eataly. Um. That's an American thing, not Italian. I've been to Venice, Florence and Rome and can't recall a restaurant in any of those cities that set out olive oil for dipping your bread in unless asked (and typically it was Americans who asked for it). The bread I got with the charcuterie at Eataly reminded me very much of the dry bread favored in Tuscany that yes, was always eaten as such.)

                                                                                                                                    We also spotted Mario and were able to speak with him briefly, which was a nice little surprise.

                                                                                                                                    Anyway, these two out-of-towners give Eataly a thumbs up. We would have loved to have bought more than some chocolates and mints to carry home, but I plan on revisiting when I'm next in the city and have a little more leeway on what I can carry out with me.

                                                                                                                                    -----
                                                                                                                                    Eataly
                                                                                                                                    200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                                                                    1. there's a lot of eataly bashing on this thread, but i have to say i had a snack at il pesce tonight and it was fantastic. wait at 7pm was only about 10 minutes. wines were gently priced and delicious - and definitely not run of the mill. and food was fantastic.

                                                                                                                                      appetizer of grilled razor clams with olive oil, parsley and chili flakes was fantastic, almost as good as the ones at casa mono or at the now-closed inopia in barcelona. the cold seafood stew was also great, was giant pieces of tender octopus, fantastic mussels and clams, and great grilled squid (rings and legs) all in a lemon butter sauce.

                                                                                                                                      and to top it off, a beautiful plate of fritto misto with large pieces of nicely coated and fried shrimp, squid (rings and legs), octopus, clams, and stripped bass and thin strips of lemon rings. is it as good as the fried clam belly plate at bigelow's? no, but it may be the best fritto misto plate in the city right now.

                                                                                                                                      the only problem: for what we considered a snack (2 smallish appetizers, 1 shared entree and 2 glasses of wine), the bill was fairly high - $85 without tip. i'd suggest adding another appetizer or another entree and it would be a filling, yet quick meal, which seems par for the course for casual expensive seafood places in the city (i'm looking at you mary's at pearl). oh, and no coffee or dessert served here, you have to go to the coffee/dessert bar.

                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: jon

                                                                                                                                        Took a walk through the other evening. Is there an "Eataly for Morons" guide book I need to read before entering? I'm still lost and why was my right eye blinking nervously? The two shots of vodka I had at a nearby bar soon after exiting helped though. Maybe next time I'll have the vodka before entering.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: salvati

                                                                                                                                          Wenytby on the weekend, I'll admit I was a bit lost at first and it was very crowded, tried to sit and eat something but the wait was about an hour so instead I walked out of the main entrance around the corner and grabbed a pizza to go....very good flavours, while a bit soggy it was still very enjoyable.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: mlz

                                                                                                                                            Does anyone know if you can buy a gift certificate to Eataly or is it to the individual restaurants/shops?

                                                                                                                                            thanks!

                                                                                                                                            -----
                                                                                                                                            Eataly
                                                                                                                                            200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                                                                      2. Overpriced and WAY too crowded. Yet the staff is uber-friendly, I usually spot 1-2 celeb chefs every time I walk in, and its on my walk home from work. And you can buy Pat Lafrieda duck fat by the quart. I just wish the eating areas were more separate from the shopping areas. I hate having to wade through tourists when I'm buying my groceries.

                                                                                                                                        13 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                            +1. And how does bd know they're all tourists? Do they smell different? J/K.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                              Do you live in Manhattan? Do you really need me to describe a tourist to you? Loud. Flash photography. Slower than molasses in winter walking pace.
                                                                                                                                              Also, these people could in fact be "local" and still be "tourists" in the sense that they are there to wander, stare, and "experience" Eataly, which is fine, I just which those of us who are there to buy groceries didn't have to wade through the melee.

                                                                                                                                              -----
                                                                                                                                              Eataly
                                                                                                                                              200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                                                                              1. re: babydoctor

                                                                                                                                                OK, so people who are there to wander, stare, and experience. That would probably drive me nuts, too. But I have no patience. I'd make a great New Yorker.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                  There really are people who just go there to "experience" it, they come in and just wander, stare and touch things and probably crane their necks looking for Batali or Bastianich. Add them to the crowded restaurants which all usually have waits, and the maze like set up which adds to a bunch of lost people trying to figure out what restaurant is what and how to get a table and it actually makes for a fairly annoying experience if you go anywhere near peak hours.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: babydoctor

                                                                                                                                                  When I visit NY, then I'm a tourist but don't do any of those things you describe. Maybe compare Eataly to a museum where I DO "wanders, stare and 'experience'".

                                                                                                                                                  -----
                                                                                                                                                  Eataly
                                                                                                                                                  200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                                                                            2. re: babydoctor

                                                                                                                                              Anyone know how much the duck fat costs?

                                                                                                                                              1. re: MVNYC

                                                                                                                                                $17.80 for what LOOKS like a quart (I have 2 in my freezer as we speak, and I just checked, and there's no weight on the carton)

                                                                                                                                                1. re: babydoctor

                                                                                                                                                  Wading through anything is a problem. Do we need boots?

                                                                                                                                                2. re: MVNYC

                                                                                                                                                  Even at D'Artagnan, it's $5.99 for 7 oz. But I find it in SF (also an expensive city) for $10/pt. Sounds like a decent price.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                    Wish I could give you a better idea of the volume/weight that you get for that price, but it does kinda look like a quart-sized ice cream container.

                                                                                                                                                    And to all you tourists who took offense, my apologies. It's not fair for daily shoppers to be surrounded my meandering hordes, just like its unfair for tourists to be jousled by those in a hurry. I just regret that the planners of Eataly didn't plan a little better to minimize the annoyances for both groups.

                                                                                                                                                    -----
                                                                                                                                                    Eataly
                                                                                                                                                    200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                                                                                3. re: babydoctor

                                                                                                                                                  Sorry, NY is about tourists these days, esp. in places like this. The crowds I had to wade through--at lunch and at dinner hours--were mostly local working girls and boys, texting and eating and drinking and all talking at once. Not likely shopping for baccala or vongole verace, though.
                                                                                                                                                  Except for meats (which I don't buy), I found the prices fairly equivalent to those of other similar places, with equal or better quality and variety.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: bob96

                                                                                                                                                    Agreed. This is a daily Manhattan dilemma. I try to achieve zen.
                                                                                                                                                    Prices are about equal, but it is nice to have all these quality products in one place. And as an Italian girl, it does tug at the heartstrings. I guess you pay for that convenience.

                                                                                                                                                4. it is now open - 23rd St and 5th Ave - A big emporium , crowded - overpriced - nice to visit but then go shopping for same stapples at Fairways or Zabar...or Arthur Avenue in the Bronx ! at half the price at least ! The gelato was really very good, worth the expense if you're into it ! had a seafood salad.(.tiny for the price), 1 shrimp, 3 mussels, 2 rounds of calamari, 2 cockles - my partner had the fritto misto, fish breaded and fried to the hilt, dry - not worth the price charged -
                                                                                                                                                  anyway, been there, done that...no more

                                                                                                                                                  1. The razor clam special I had at the seafood counter/restaurant last week was excellent. Plump, juicy, fresh, briny, finished with olive oil and parsley. Lovely clammy juices!

                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kathryn

                                                                                                                                                      "Lovely clammy juices!" What's not to love, Kathryn?

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: fm1963

                                                                                                                                                        I think Sifton is spon on in his article in describing what simultaneously is wonderful and maddening about Eataly.

                                                                                                                                                        -----
                                                                                                                                                        Eataly
                                                                                                                                                        200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                                                                                        1. The place has a major traffic flow problem, that can be pretty crazy-making, especially when its busy. The standing tables are in the middle of the main aisle, so I was constantly being brushed while trying to eat. There are some reserved tables, but the hostess station is not anywhere close to the tables, and there were people trying to just sit at tables, not realizing that there was indeed someone seating them. The products were a bit meh. It didn't have really anything that I couldn't get at other Italian markets, and I found the mozzarella better at Costco. Its a nice space, but really poorly laid out.

                                                                                                                                                          11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: nolanm

                                                                                                                                                            So are there still crazy long lines just to get into the store?

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: pizzajunkie

                                                                                                                                                              there were no lines whatsoever on a fri afternoon a couple weeks ago.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: pizzajunkie

                                                                                                                                                                I've been a bunch and have never seen a line to get into Eataly, so I'm not sure what you are referring too. A more maddening aspect is that tables seem to be sprouting everywhere, i think the stand up salumi/cheese tables have just about doubled since they first opened, which is making it more and more difficult to navigate.

                                                                                                                                                                -----
                                                                                                                                                                Eataly
                                                                                                                                                                200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ESNY

                                                                                                                                                                    I went in today (my 5th or 6th time) just to get a rotisserie chicken (and I agree with
                                                                                                                                                                    an earlier post that it was way too salty.... this is the 4th one I've had from there and
                                                                                                                                                                    the first two were not so bad, but they seem to be getting progessively saltier -- don't
                                                                                                                                                                    think we'll be finishing this chicken).... anyway, they angled the stand-up tables, so that if you enter on 23rd, you can (almost, sorta) walk right through to the rotisserie area despite the crowds. I love some of the Scyavuru jams I've tried, and many of the
                                                                                                                                                                    packaged pastas and cookies have been really, really good as well. Not crazy about
                                                                                                                                                                    the wine store.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: nolanm

                                                                                                                                                                  We went there as tourists (all the way from Brooklyn) on the Sunday the week after it opened. We didn't intend to buy anything and given the disorder and the crowds, we were glad that was our intention. We then wandered through Chelsea and the West Village. On the way we took a walk through the Chelsea Market. What a difference! Their layout works for circulation. Places to eat; places to shop; and a space to walk between them. It was just so civilized after having been through Eataly.

                                                                                                                                                                  -----
                                                                                                                                                                  Eataly
                                                                                                                                                                  200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: nolanm

                                                                                                                                                                    You can;'t be serious about the product line--it's wide ranging, high quality, and full of pleasant surprises. Sure, there's always a meh corner, but the mozzarella's better at Costco? The large and carefully selected olive oil section includes at least one I've been waiting years to find in the US. The small-producer pastas are also excellent--and the price lines for both are fair. The fish and seafood are expensive where need be, but superb in quality and range. The wines are disappointing, and I won't eat there because of the maddening crowd and wait time. But there are many real gems to buy and cook with. How much of the crowd cares to do anything but chat and chew, only time will tell.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: bob96

                                                                                                                                                                      bob96 - what is the olive oil that you found at Eataly that you like so much? That sounds like a great gift for me to bring home to someone!

                                                                                                                                                                      -----
                                                                                                                                                                      Eataly
                                                                                                                                                                      200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: pizzajunkie

                                                                                                                                                                        It's from Olearia San Giorgio, produced in the province of Reggio Calabria about 10 km form my dad's hometown, about $24/.75Ltr. Available are 2 versions: Aspromontano, a blend of Carolea snd Ottobriatico olives; and a solo Ottobriatico. A winner of numerous awards, the Aspromontano it's a mid-weight, fresh, fruity, fragrant oil, with some green notes but also the soft warmth of some ripe olives. The varietal Ottobriatico is greener and spikier, but still very polished and balanced. I love it, and had been getting it (not regularly) from its previous N American distributor in Canada. The price at Eataly is very fair. See more at www.olearia.it.

                                                                                                                                                                        -----
                                                                                                                                                                        Eataly
                                                                                                                                                                        200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: bob96

                                                                                                                                                                          cool! Thanks so much for the info!

                                                                                                                                                                    2. What's up with the bierhall? Are they brewing? I need to experience a Italian Alpine bierhall before the weather changes!

                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Chinon00

                                                                                                                                                                        They're now shooting for March ... http://newyork.grubstreet.com/2010/10...

                                                                                                                                                                        -----
                                                                                                                                                                        Eataly
                                                                                                                                                                        200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                                                                                                      2. When I got to Eataly (after eating at Bar Boulud) there was line just to get into the store! Eataly is right next to Shake Shack and Eleven Madison Park. Batali and Bastianich vs. Danny Meyer and Daniel Humm. Who is going to win? I was wondering if I should even wait, but I decided to and am very happy that I did. Eataly is massive. There is so much inside. The shellfish they had was absolutely stunning. They had live sea urchin, live prawns, razor clams, cockles, etc. There meat selection was also incredible. They had whole rabbits, quail, squab, sweet breads, tongue, livers, and ducks. The Salumeri looked incredible. They were prosciuttos, bresolas, hams, and salamis. They all looked ambrosial. The cheeses were also awesome. There were fresh mozzarellas, 36 month old aged parmesians wheels that smelt great. Then out in the open there about 20 BLACK TRUFFLES!! They were under a glass dome. I wish I could hasve smelt them. There was a pizza place that had two gold pizza ovens, like Donatella's new place. There was fresh pasta being made. There was a pasta restaurant and a fine dining restaurant by Lidia Bastianich. There was also a pastry and gelato shop that looked and smelt great. I cannot wait to come back to Eataly hungry.

                                                                                                                                                                        For pictures go here http://teenchefteddy.blogspot.com/201...

                                                                                                                                                                        -----
                                                                                                                                                                        Eleven Madison Park
                                                                                                                                                                        11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

                                                                                                                                                                        Bar Boulud
                                                                                                                                                                        1900 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

                                                                                                                                                                        Eataly
                                                                                                                                                                        200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                                                                                                        Donatella
                                                                                                                                                                        184 8th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                                                                                                                                                                        21 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: tldmatrix

                                                                                                                                                                          Eataly, NYC,...hmmm, finally made it there this evening. Pretentious and Expensive. Not my scene at all. Worst of all, is seeing all these rich people who enjoy overpaying for things. The place really turned me off. And for all the money they are charging for everything, they could have put down a new clean floor don't you think? Or is that just part of the charm?

                                                                                                                                                                          Good for tourists, rich people, and Italians who are homesick. I'll stick with the small little Italian mom and pop shops, they are just fine.

                                                                                                                                                                          -----
                                                                                                                                                                          Eataly
                                                                                                                                                                          200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: janie

                                                                                                                                                                            Based on my experiences I've got to disagree. Having spent decades (all my Italian-American NYC life) shopping in Italian mom and pop stores, there's a very huge area where Eataly and these lovely alimentari simply do not overlap. Apples to oranges. For example: meat and, fish, the variety and quality of groceries like olive oil and vinegar, pasta, and other items. You need to compare product level to product level--that $5 bag of (relatively) small production dried pasta costs just about the same in a smaller speciality shop. Same for oils. I know--I've priced em. Fish and seafood are the same price range as Citarella (high, yeah), and better value than at Fairway. The olive oils are well chosen, fresh, and fairly priced for what they are, with many unavailable anywhere else. The meat counter (for those who eat meat) can be expensive, but cuts and quality appear to be first rate. There's no reason to buy produce or commodity staples in Eataly, and the breads can be a bit steep--but not everyone has access to a bakery like the Bronx's Terranova, with old world gems at steal prices. I don't know who all these rich people are--bump into most local office workers having lunch and, yes, tourists. May not be your scene, and I grant you the signage and crowding and self-promotion can be a pain, but on a product price/value level, they compare with stores of similar scope (Agata, Citarella, Todaro, DiPalo, Murrays, but not necesarily a Tony's salumeria on a Bay Ridge corner) and come through more often than not. And I really expected to hate the place. I wish I had an Italian mom and pop of even partial range and quality nearby. I don't, and most of us don't anymore. I don't buy $30/lb cheese, but did buy excellent competitively priced pecorinos there, all in much better condition than I usually find. Would love to know which mom and pop's worth seeking out., though.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: bob96

                                                                                                                                                                              I went out of curiosity a couple of weeks ago while I was in town. I loved the place but not the crowd. the selection is amazing, the porchetta sandwich was absolutely delicious, but I have to agree that some prices are steep. $20 bucks for a few pieces of nougat? Come on. And the daily olive oil I use at home is almost twice the price I pay for it back home in Montreal. I know everything is more expensive in NYC but still.

                                                                                                                                                                              But you know what? I'm coming back in town on friday and guess what will be the first thing I do once I've checked in at the hotel? Walk seven blocks to Eataly to have lunch and buy treats for the girlfriend.

                                                                                                                                                                              -----
                                                                                                                                                                              Eataly
                                                                                                                                                                              200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Campofiorin

                                                                                                                                                                                Yes the crowds can be overwhelming (not to mention frustratingly stationary) but Eataly has great product and serves a great purpose. Sure there are things that seem to be absurdly priced (the ricotta and desserts among other things jumps out at me) but the butcher counter and seafood selection are great. I also like the produce there too. I haven't shopped for oils or specialty pastas there, nor have I eaten at the restaurants, so I can't comment on those things.

                                                                                                                                                                                Provided you can handle the crowds, it is a great place to shop. I went there this past Friday shortly after 5 and it was as empty as I've ever seen it. Very refreshing. Hopefully some of the initial curiosity and crowds has faded and it will be a more manageable scene going forward. Immediately knocking things as over-touristy is sadly a NY pastime.

                                                                                                                                                                                -----
                                                                                                                                                                                Eataly
                                                                                                                                                                                200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: bob96

                                                                                                                                                                                Yes, there were some hard things to find there, and that's nice if that's what you need or are after--but as a place to load your cart up with and buy things ...if you've got money to burn, well then...When I see fresh mozzarella priced at $11 for a piece about the size of an egg--it's a turn off. It's sitting on ice in a plastic container with water--rather go to Casa Della Mozzarella in the Bronx on 187th and get some for half the price and I bet much better--All the candy stuff in the front, is going to sit there--it's not flying off the shelves at those prices...I do not believe this place will last more than 2 years, the novelty will wear off. The pizzas looked pedestrian, they were taking back out the samples of bread and putting them into plastic containers to reuse them for the next day...I couldn't believe it, but I asked the guy and he said, yeah, kinda gross huh?

                                                                                                                                                                                The place just rubbed me the wrong way....And the seafood looking so great? I don't know, I looked at it, and nothing struck me as any more special than Citarella's--or some better fish places in the city----and the pastries...I've had better for half the price at many other places....I guess it's good that the economic hardships aren't affecting many in Manhattan, but I can tell you in the outer boroughs we're a lot more thrifty about our food--and this is coming from someone who loves to cook and appreciates fine ingredients. I just found the place unsettling and it had a bad vibe to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: janie

                                                                                                                                                                                  wow, you must be getting some different mozzarella then i'm getting at Eataly. I get a 10 oz ball for $6. Not the cheapest in the city but far from $11 for an egg sized piece.

                                                                                                                                                                                  But hey, maybe I should compare it to a place in a different borough, not easily accessible by subway as a substitute.

                                                                                                                                                                                  -----
                                                                                                                                                                                  Eataly
                                                                                                                                                                                  200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ESNY

                                                                                                                                                                                    I wasn't sure what that $11 egg-shaped piece of mozzarella was either. When I was at Eataly the other day, I found the prices of the mozzarella (which is made right there) to be comparable to the salumeria near me in Hoboken.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ESNY

                                                                                                                                                                                      The $11 must be one of the imported Buffalino. The Fresh mozz in the tubs can really very in price, and I think they've lowered it ... the first time I looked, it was untouchable, but not it's about the same as DiPaolo's or Murray's. Not the cheapest, but not out of line.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: janie

                                                                                                                                                                                      Not everybody has the time to go to that part of the Bronx (where rents are a fraction of what they are in Flatiron) to buy their mozzarella. Time is money to many.

                                                                                                                                                                                      As somebody who has lived in the outer boroughs and in Manhattan, I think you're making quite a lot of generalizations. And as I have stated earlier in this thread, I thought the shishito peppers were a good deal -- better than I have seen in other stores.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: janie

                                                                                                                                                                                        i picked up a whole 4 lb chicken, a bundle of white asparagus (which i always have a hard time finding), some awesome shishito peppers, great baby potatoes in different colors, cippollini onions, a loaf of a sourdough baguette, a 1/4 lb of phenomenal piave cheese, and about 1/4 lb of prosciutto all for less than (a) what it would have cost me if i bought it all at whole foods/citarella/gristedes and (b) the time it would have taken me to go up to arthur avenue or sheepshead bay or wherever.

                                                                                                                                                                                        eataly may be filled to the brim with tourists and gawkers, but once you figure out how to negotiate the place, it's not terrible to run in, pick up some protein, pick up some pasta, grab some cheese and meat and get out of there in 30 minutes or less. the problem is that the restaurants are set up in such a way that it's hard to get around quicker than that because of congestion.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: bob96

                                                                                                                                                                                        Excellent post bob96. I agree with you 100%. I have to admit my first visit left me wondering what all the fuss was about, but many subsequent visits have been lovely and I have grown to rally like shopping at Eataly.

                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                        Eataly sparks passionate responses: some love it, some hate it, others return time-after-time because they've cracked the code (it's a timing thing). Eataly is worth a visit. Do a little reconnaissance first and then figure out your plan of attack.

                                                                                                                                                                                        edited to add: it's gawkers and tourists vs. shoppers and diners - an interesting dynamic that is all-good. Again, timing is everything.

                                                                                                                                                                                        -----
                                                                                                                                                                                        Eataly
                                                                                                                                                                                        200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                          we continue to go back for their fresh pasta, herbs and produce. for under $15, we walk out with a pound of fresh butternut squash raviolis and sage, which when combined with a stick of butter from home, makes an excellent, inexpensive and easy to prepare dish. it's becoming a staple for us.

                                                                                                                                                                                          from the butcher, we've tried the burgers and sausages, both which were fairly priced and of excellent quality. someone above said that they don't think it'll last two years. i disagree, but do think they'll make some major adjustments in the dry goods departments. the candies, jams and honeys do seem too highly priced to move in a way that would justify the shelf space. i can see them expanding some of the restaurant seating or even creating a proper cafe.

                                                                                                                                                                                          any word on the beer garden?

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: coasts

                                                                                                                                                                                            ahh, the beer garden.
                                                                                                                                                                                            I haven't made serious inquiries since late November. Thanks for waking me up. I'll get back to you.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Update on the beer garden:
                                                                                                                                                                                              The website says "Spring." I've sent off a message asking for an update. I don't know if I'll get an answer but I thought it was worth a try.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Edited to add: Eataly responded to my e-mail with great alacrity. "Sometime in the Spring" was the answer. I'll check back in April sometime. An Italian beer garden holds great appeal.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: coasts

                                                                                                                                                                                              some adjustments have already been made, most notably in the dessert/coffee area. the espresso bar has nearly doubled in size and there's now a common table near the pastries.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: coasts

                                                                                                                                                                                                "some adjustments have already been made"

                                                                                                                                                                                                They've also added security dividers to some table areas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sugartoof

                                                                                                                                                                                                  What is a security divider, I'm wondering.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I would guess that it's the opposite of a security multiplier.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                                      The ropes you see to make line divisions at airports and movie theaters. They're using them to quarter off sections for dining now, so that shoppers are less prone to disrupting people at tables.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sugartoof

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks, good to know the real name of those "ropes"!

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Went by around 8:30pm last week on a weekday -- crowds weren't bad at all. They had added lots of additional signage. It was actually pretty pleasant to walk around. Perhaps it's the weather (brrrr) and the initial curiosity factor has worn off?

                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kathryn

                                                                                                                                                                                            i was there on Sunday at 3:30 and it was a mad house. the only quiet section was the "steakhouse". still, i was in and out with relative ease. i'm snacking on their parmesan as i write this.

                                                                                                                                                                                            bought one pound of fresh porcini fettucini, chantrelles, maitakes, and some heavy cream. total cost was below $20 and made for an excellent dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Crowded generic mall culture. Nothing unique about it at all. Looks like a giant 80's Magic Pan creperie!!
                                                                                                                                                                                            I really felt like I was back in 1980 at the Water Tower mall in Chicago eating at Hemingway's Movable Feast or a Magic Pan. Except designed for NOT more than 20 people at a time.
                                                                                                                                                                                            Your better off getting buying some fresh Raffetto's pasta and sauce. Stay home.
                                                                                                                                                                                            Unless you have no taste and always fall for this usual over-hyped nonsense.

                                                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: goodfooddood

                                                                                                                                                                                              i haven't been yet, but given my opinion of all other Batali traps, what you described is exactly what i'd be expecting...

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Simon

                                                                                                                                                                                                Not really. The swirling eating and drinking scene is a compressed mall, and thoroughly unpleasant. But the food for sale--esp. fish, pasta, olive oil, and meat--are of superb quality, choice, and all things considered, fairly priced. Trouble is, it's not just impossible to browse and shop for products to take home, but downright difficult when crowded, which is most of the time. I did manage to have a quick salumi plate and a glass of Tocai, eaten in a rush, but delicious as I remember it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: bob96

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I haven't really spent much time in the restaurants but I find grocery shopping in the morning on the weekdays right when it opens is quite pleasant. Weekday evenings can be a bear but not always. It's nowhere near as bad as, say, the Union Square Whole Foods.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  It's fairly easy to just get produce and leave (a bit harder to navigate to the meat counter I agree). Kaffir lime leaves for $4 for about 25 of them. White asparagus. Morels, fava beans, shell peas. Shishito peppers for $8/lb, same price as the Union Square Greenmarket. Same for heirloom tomatoes when they are in season--same price at the USGM. I bought some perfectly ripe avocados a few days ago. $2 each. To compare, FreshDirect is selling them for $2.50 each. You can find some fair prices if you look, at Eataly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  -----
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Union Square Greenmarket
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Broadway and E 17th St, New York, NY 10003

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Eataly
                                                                                                                                                                                                  200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Eataly is, indeed, a supermarket first and foremost. I live in the Village and work in Times Square, so tourists, while annoying, are part of my everyday life. But I still prefer "gastro-tourists" to the ones lining up for the Hard Rock or Bubba Gumps. While I get my mozzarella at Joe's, my salumi at DiPalo's, my Italian sausages at Faicco's-all of which are superior quality and cheaper than Eataly-I have had some wonderful experiences at Eataly. When you can avoid the crowds, I recommend that you start with a bicerin at the espresso bar (a layered espresso, hot chocolate and cold heavy cream drink that tastes like heaven and which was invented in Turino, the city where Eataly was also invented). Next grab a wonderfully salty mortadella or proscuitto or speck panino perhaps topped with some melted gooey stinky taleggio from the panini bar. The Rosticerria features whole chickens which do not tempt me, but their rare porcini rubbed prime rib with some balsamic and sea salt either on a plate or in a sandwich may be the

                                                                                                                                                                                              best eats in the place. The charcuterie features Armandino Batali's (Mario's Dad) products imported from his Salumi laboratory in Seattle and which are unique (try his various salumi flavored with chocolate or orange zest). The pizza is solid Neopolitan style, if not the best of the recent Neopolitan pizzeria invasion, and the lasagna with béchamel is outtasight. Il Pesche, Eataly's seafood restaurant, is a quick casual clone of Esca complete with crudo-Mario and Pasternack's coined term for Italian style sashimi. Manzo, which takes reservations, offers an incredible nose to tail tasting menu or the best veal chop (smoked with

                                                                                                                                                                                              hay) imaginable. On the way out, look admiringly at the folks making fresh mozzarella and they'll likely reward you with a kiss of a still warm bocconcini.

                                                                                                                                                                                              -----
                                                                                                                                                                                              Faicco's
                                                                                                                                                                                              260 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

                                                                                                                                                                                              Di Palo's Fine Foods
                                                                                                                                                                                              200 Grand St, New York, NY 10013

                                                                                                                                                                                              Esca
                                                                                                                                                                                              402 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036

                                                                                                                                                                                              Joe's Dairy
                                                                                                                                                                                              156 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012

                                                                                                                                                                                              Eataly
                                                                                                                                                                                              200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                                                                                                                              Manzo
                                                                                                                                                                                              200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                                                                                                                              Il Pesce
                                                                                                                                                                                              200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: guttergourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                OK, this made me want to eat there again. Went there once & got the fresh mozza & charcuterie plate at the (presumably) formaggio & meats station. Not bad, but didn't blow my mind.

                                                                                                                                                                                                The porcini-rubbed prime rib sounds out of this world.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: guttergourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                  The lower end offering at the Eataly mozzarella stand is $3.80 if I recall. I don't know what Joe's sells it for, or if it's a larger ball, but I can't imagine anyone is cheaper for a freshly made, in house cheese where you can watch them pulling it. It's smooth and melts nicely on pizza.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  -----
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Eataly
                                                                                                                                                                                                  200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. While I dislike the insanity of Eataly, I visit quite frequently for a quick dinner on my way home. Le Verdure is my favorite and I love the bruschetta specials but am a bit baffled. There are 2 bruschetta specials each day. Each order is 2 large pieces for $12. You can also order one of each as an 'order.' As I frequently dine alone I would love to have just 1 bruschetta as 2 is too much as a side to a salad. Today I finally asked if I could have just a half order and was told no. I would understand if the toppings were portioned to make 2 pieces, but as I could order one of each as a full order, that is not the reason. I've actually never tried to order just 1 bruschetta at Otto so I'm not sure if this is a larger policy of some sort. Any thoughts? Its rare that I feel discriminated against as a solo diner in NY.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  Eataly
                                                                                                                                                                                                  200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Le Verdure
                                                                                                                                                                                                  200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                                                                                                                                  17 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mari mac

                                                                                                                                                                                                    it's just another example of Batali restaurants' lack of concern for the customer -- rigid, arrogant policies designed to wring an extra couple bucks out of the customer...

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Simon

                                                                                                                                                                                                      come on. that's just hate. i'm not familiar with any restaurant that would sell half a dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ms. Coasts loves ribs, but she can't eat a half rack alone. should she expect to order a quarter rack?

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: coasts

                                                                                                                                                                                                        You're not familliar w/ "any restaurant that would sell half a dish"?...really?...

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Half orders are quite common (especially in things like pastas) and many restaurants serve appetizer and entree portions of the same dish...they certainly aren't required to do so, but it certainly makes it easier and more pleasant for customer, especially for solo diners...i think mari mac's wish that they would serve single side orders of bruschetta is reasonable: if you are already getting a big salad or other dish and are dining solo, why be forced to pay 12 dollars for more bread&topping than most people would want to eat?...it's just another of countless examples of the Batali restaurant culture, in which displeasing the customer for a couple extra bucks is the norm...why?...because they can get away with it because of their fame, hype, and tourist-client base...

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Simon

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm a pretty non-demanding restaurant customer and have never asked for a modification to a dish and completely understand that many things cannot be made in a 1/2 order. But in this case they can indeed make a 1/2 portion, but they just won't sell it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Simon

                                                                                                                                                                                                            NYC overall (not just Batali) seems unfriendly to half-orders unless it is already listed on the menu as such. In my experience, most places here don't advertise that they do them, and turn you down upon request.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I don't think Scarpetta does half-orders on request either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Having just returned to NYC from Milwaukee/Chicago, I saw a LOT more servers offering (unbidden) and menus there advertising that you could do half orders (Chicago especially for brunch items).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            Scarpetta
                                                                                                                                                                                                            355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kathryn

                                                                                                                                                                                                              “…advertising that you could do half orders” and trying to order one “off menu” is quite a different thing though no?
                                                                                                                                                                                                              I think half orders are a phenomenal way to get to try multiple menu items, but I agree that I don’t see the trend catching on so much in NYC unless you are at a place geared specifically as “small plate”.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Although I agree that a simple bruschetta seems like a reasonable request. I don’t think we should assume it’s the restaurants policy to discriminate against solo diners, it might have been a lazy cook or a greedy waiter, and you can never be sure.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              The OP didn’t specify if there was a reason given or who and how he/she was told “no”.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              No restaurant HAS to modify any item if they chose not to, items are costed out and are put on the menu a specific way, and yes making a profit is one reason for that. I do not really have a problem with them saying no to a modification of a menu item.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              With that said personally I was very disappointed by the customer service I received on my own venture to Eataly in Manhattan. What made it worse is my total love of the Torino version I was so hoping to see a duplicate version of closer to home.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              I found this one phony, overpriced and overcrowded.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              Eataly
                                                                                                                                                                                                              200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Asumnuthin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                > “…advertising that you could do half orders” and trying to order one “off menu” is quite a different thing though no?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yes, that's exactly what I was saying (were you replying to me or someone else?). Other cities' restaurants seem to bend over backwards to let you do it; here, it seems like business policy to not offer them or do them when asked.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: kathryn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Kathryn I was just trying to elaborate on your thought…
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sorry for the confusion

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Simon

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm going to disagree with you, Simon. Half orders are most certainly not common, at least not the places I go to...

                                                                                                                                                                                                              In fact, I've always thought Babbo (one of Batali's) was very good in accomodating my orders when I order a few pasta dishes to share with another person and they split the dishes up in 2 (we like to create our own tasting menu). I've been to other restaurants where they refuse to do that.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              Babbo
                                                                                                                                                                                                              110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Simon

                                                                                                                                                                                                            The folks there would like you to believe, as the signage claims, "Eataly is Italy". But it really is "Eataly is Italy the way Joe and Mario would like you to believe it is". Eataly has as much similarity to Italy as the Venetian in Las Vegas has to Venice. Of all the attributes that make eating in Italy are non-existent at Eataly. Italy is an agglomeration of small, highly-specific regions and even hamlets where every one has its way of handlings traditions and the local culinary landscape through recipes, traditions, and families who hand down their restaurants, farms, and food production enterprises from one generation to the next. Therefore what is purveyed at Eataly is overpriced packaged products (most of which seem to lack for buyers); fruits and vegetables handled by Baldor, a large commercial specialty foods company in the Bronx; cheese that has to conform to the restrictions promulgated by the USDA which bars cheesedom’s most profound varieties, the young raw milk ones you need to go to Europe to eat; fish that in terms of variety and freshness don’t come close to what one finds along the Mediterranean and Adriatic coasts, to name just a few of Eataly’s area of endeavors. Perhaps, the main ingredient the real Italy has that Eataly doesn’t is a spirit of generosity. Be it pastries, gelato, pizza, cheese and just about anything you be, so much of it is either chintzy in proportion or more expensive than what other shops in New York City charge..

                                                                                                                                                                                                            In all fairness I am a frequent customer for their fresh pasta, inferior and limited as it is to what I get in Italy, and the rotisserie chickens and roast beef (the latter of which had been eliminated last I looked in May). Other than that, I’m happier shopping at DiPalo’s where the intimacy, generosity (you can snack there on the free samples they give you) and mild prices still make it the best for buying imported Italian food. It will be interesting to see if and how Eataly starts cutting back if revenues diminish. In fact there are tentative signs of both according to my anecdotal perceptions

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            Eataly
                                                                                                                                                                                                            200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Robert Brown

                                                                                                                                                                                                              definitely, authenticity has as much to do with the spirit in which it's consumed--eataly was a turnoff to me, not so much for the food, but because of all the attitude--I'll take the Italian mom and pop stores who make everything with love any day of the week, over the pretentiousness that I saw.......because to me, that just makes anything taste bad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Robert Brown

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I think it's inevitable that the store will re-work its merchandise, esp. in the package goods area (the mostarda museum and home of way too much pasta asciutta, even if it;s good stuff, that confuses by brand and price level). Look for more eating and less foodstuff buying. I love and cook Italian food, and would always give Lou DiPalo first dibs, but there are some things Eatlay does well (oils). The overall atmosphere I find claustrophobic, chaotic, and unfriendly. As for it being the Batali/Bastianich verison of Italy, well, every such enterprise is someone's interpretation--even in Italy. Volpetti in Rome, say, tries to cover the country, but has to be selective. Even in provincial towns, chain markets have standardized fare, although some local products are still very localized. It would be hard to represent them all. Finally, and I've made this point before, it's not that simple comparing prices with other shops--except for, say, produce and packaged goods--since meats are cut and sourced differently, and the pastries, for exmaple, bear no resemblance to any others of the city's pasticcerie. For fish/seafood, meats, olive oil, and many cheeses, Eataly seems competitively priced, and often its quality/freshness is better than other places.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                Eataly
                                                                                                                                                                                                                200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: bob96

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The jarred and tinned items, especially, seem to originate mostly from the North--I wish they would add more products from Southern Italy. Senise peppers, for starters but there could be so much more variety than what exists today.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: bob96

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "Look for more eating and less foodstuff buying."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    On that note, check out their 1-year anniversary "dine around." The menu looks amazing. Just made a reservation for my sweetie and me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.regonline.com/Register/Che...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Simon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "yeah, there is a good reason: they want to set it up so people have to pay for more food than they'd want to eat"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That's one aspect of it and I dare say not just of the B/B establishments but many, many restaurants. It is a business after all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1/2 orders are actually a higher profit ratio--look at CPK and other chains, and see that the price structure for a 1/2 order is usually about 20-30% less not 50% less and you're getting 50% less food..........1/2 orders are generally priced as a rip off.