Thursday, June 30, 2011

Eataly. Get Lost In An Italian Marketplace

Fifth Avenue entrance.

(images credit: Eataly NYC)
What a concept. A retail and culinary experience designed to be completely immersive that visitors get lost at every corner and wonder in admiration at the merchandise most of which are unlikely to be found anywhere else but in Italy. I was excited to visit Eataly and after a visit to the High Line and lunch at Cafeteria, Marc was kind enough to give me a tour of the sprawling store.

Eataly is a 50-square-foot emporium devoted to Italian dining and shopping. Opened in August 2010 and located on 5th Avenue across from Madison Square Park and near the iconic Flatiron Building, Eataly is a sister location of the original located in Turin, Italy. Co-founders include Chef Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich (co-host of Fox television's "Master Chef") and Bastianich's chef/TV personality mother, Lidia.

My single purchase from Eataly: Almond Wafers for $10.80.
0Eataly sets a new standard for Italian food and products in the USA as it hopes to attract four to six million customers a year. News reports indicate three wood-burning ovens were brought from Italy in addition to six pizza chefs from Naples. The market covers twenty different categories devoted to wine, cured meats, cheeses, fruits and vegetables, fresh meats, fresh fish, handmade pasta, desserts, baked goods and coffees. The five restaurants seats 600 which includes a rooftop microbrewery/beer garden called La Birreria.

Despite the high prices for the imported Italian products, Eataly becomes another shopping attraction in Manhattan. Even though some visitors may not buy anything, it's always fun to look. With everything at Eataly so delectably displayed, you can't help without at least wanting to make one purchase even it might be a coffee from its Cafe Lavazza. If I had not had lunch, I probably would have consumed not one but maybe two pastries or slices of cake.

Visit for more information. Click HERE for the hours of the market, restaurants and to-go eateries and HERE for a store map. The main entrance to Eataly is on 23rd Street with a second entrance on Fifth Avenue.

Main entrance on 23rd Street.


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