Eating At Eataly

The press has been buzzing about Eataly, the new market and restaurant on the ground level of the Toy Building in the Flatiron District. As a resident of this neighborhood, I’ve tried venturing in a couple of times but the lines were so long, I thought I’d wait a bit until the excitement died down.

My friend and I, who haven’t seen each other in forever, decided to get together for an early dinner recently and catch up. OK Miss Cheapeats…where should we go? After some discussion, we decide to check out Eataly. Let’s meet at 5:30 to avoid the crowds. Perfect…see you then.

Well, there are always crowds, just different levels. We browse the restaurants. Manzo (meat) , La Pizza & La Pasta, Il Pesce  (seafood), La Piazza (tapas) and Le Verdure (vegetables). Simple enough. Can you sit in one spot but order from another? No. Bummer. So I have to make my decision count. We’re both healthy eaters, so we try Le Verdure.

We grab 2 spots at the counter, order a glass of wine and catch up. Wow, these lights are bright. Note to manager, soft dim lights please. Our server was amazing. Shared some recommendations for wine and gave us a taste until we each found something we liked….and we did. On the blackboard were listed the bruschetta specials of the day. We ordered one to  get us started while we looked over the menu.

A plate with 2 large pieces of grilled country bread covered in broccoli rabe, ricotta salada and olive oil were set down in front of us. Looks good, I think I’m going to be happy. I could have picked it up with my hands, but was sure if I did, it would end up in my lap and not in my mouth. I choose a knife and fork instead. Crunchy bread, slight bitterness of the rabe, sweetness of the garlic, peppery olive oil and creamy & salty ricotta salada = DELICOUS. So simple and yet so tasty. Quite a meal in itself.

Next comes our entree. Fritto Misto….a fancy word for fried vegetables. The batter was light and the veggies were crunchy. With a little squeeze of lemon….perfecto!

Eataly is quite an experience. Gadgets, products, produce and people everywhere. I do wish you could sample all the menus at the different stations instead of having to commit to just one. What can I say? I like options. I do recommend trying to go during off hours because it does get crazy there.

Good food, good wine, good friends and a gelato for the walk home. It doesn’t get better than that.

Happiness, $25 and under.

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About The Author

A fierce love of food and twin careers in real estate and fashion taught Rose to look for the hottest item and the hottest deal. Perfect attributes for creating Cheapeatsinc.com. When friends and clients needed a great meal at a great price, she could rattle off restaurant names the way a sports nut ticks off batting averages—but with a lot more home runs. Now it’s all at Cheapeats, where you’ll find “Happiness, $25 and under.”

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