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Eataly, a Torino-Based Mega-Market in Flatiron - 50,000-Square-Foot Italian Store is World's Largest

Italian Chain Flatiron Market Italian 7 Eaterys 2 Caffes Mario Batali Joe Bastianich Lidia Bastianich

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#1 xcanuck

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 08:06 AM

Surprised there hasn't been discussion of Batali's extravagant new venture - Eataly. I'm going to be in NYC next week and it'll be hard not to give this place a visit. This is so over the top but the success of the one in Venice makes one think this could actually work.



#2 MBK

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 06:57 AM

Surprised there hasn't been discussion of Batali's extravagant new venture - Eataly. I'm going to be in NYC next week and it'll be hard not to give this place a visit. This is so over the top but the success of the one in Venice makes one think this could actually work.

I went yesterday. Was underwhelmed - but do think it will probably be lucrative. Just don't really think I'm the target audience. I don't need overpriced Italian snacks/groceries I can find elsewhere. And I don't need mediocre gelato that doesn't hold a candle to Dolcezza. But I do think it will hold an allure for tourists and Batali fans. I mean, many of the workers there wear orange clogs... :(

Will post more details later...
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#3 mdt

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 07:05 AM

I went yesterday. Was underwhelmed - but do think it will probably be lucrative. Just don't really think I'm the target audience. I don't need overpriced Italian snacks/groceries I can find elsewhere. And I don't need mediocre gelato that doesn't hold a candle to Dolcezza. But I do think it will hold an allure for tourists and Batali fans. I mean, many of the workers there wear orange clogs... :(

Will post more details later...

Why does this not surprise me? I am sure that the place will do very well.

#4 mame11

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 09:15 AM

I went yesterday. Was underwhelmed - but do think it will probably be lucrative. Just don't really think I'm the target audience. I don't need overpriced Italian snacks/groceries I can find elsewhere. And I don't need mediocre gelato that doesn't hold a candle to Dolcezza. But I do think it will hold an allure for tourists and Batali fans. I mean, many of the workers there wear orange clogs... :(

Will post more details later...


egads! it's disney world for chef groupies... oy.

#5 weinoo

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 05:03 PM

I was at Eataly opening night, and the prepared food we had was excellent...a couple of pastas were on par with the best of Batali's pastas -which means they were superb; a pizza that some will hate and I really liked (you know, that whole Neapolitan thing) and a salad misticanza.

The assortment of meats and cheese, which comes with 3 condiments, was practically a bargain at $22 and easily feeds 4.

As far as:

overpriced Italian snacks/groceries I can find elsewhere

A: The prices were right in line with what is paid at the other fine Italian importers in NYC.

B: I saw more varieties of imported pasta than I've seen anywhere. Yes, you can buy porcini at your local bodega, but it'll be from China or Poland, not the "A" grade that's being sold here (but that shit is expensive!).

The seafood bar (which we didn't get to sample) looked amazing, and with David Pasternack heading that up it is certain that the quality will be top notch.

Didn't have gelato, but I doubt it could be better than Dolcezza. I did have Il Laboratorio's gelato today, though, and it was damn good.

Of course, I've only spent a few hours so far, and there wasn't much grocery shopping, but I plan on going back tomorrow to really take a look at the grocery offerings. It may become a regular stop.

And beer lovers - some very interesting selections, along with this to come, from Eater:

A microbrewery is planned (not built yet), headed by Teo Musso of Birrificio Le Baladin, Leonardo Di Vincenzo of Birra del Borgo in Rome, and Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Brewery, including, according to Joe Bastianich, "guest brewers every month that come from Italy to brew regionally- and seasonally-specific beers."



#6 weinoo

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 10:32 AM

Since I am in that type of mood, let's start with the bad.

A big F$@% YOU goes to Eataly. I was impressed with the variety of items in that store and the quality, from what I could tell, looked wonderful. All the accolades, however, end there. It is probably the worst laid-out floorplan that I have ever seen in my life, people were walking around confused as hell the entire night. Can you just grab that table or do I need to give my name to the hostess? Do I order at the counter? Is there even the concept of a line? Where do I pay? Man, it is a complete cluster fuck and, to be honest, it wasn't even that crowded when we were there. But, that is not the worst part of it. After walking around aimlessly for about 30 minutes, we decided that we wanted to eat at the pasta/pizza restaurant in the store. There were three tables available and four open bar seats, so we figured we were good to go. We went up to the hostess and said that we wanted a table, to which she replied that it would be a 1 hour and 15 minute wait. I, of course, asked why it would take so long to get seated with all the open tables, and she told me that there was a waiting list. But, I wondered, I didn't see anyone waiting, so I asked how she called people to the table. She told me that she just leaves the table open until they come back to the hostess stand. What!? I inquired further and she told me that if we waited 10 minutes, if there were any seats available, she would seat us. OK, makes no damn sense in the world, but if I get a seat, I really don't care. Two parties came up to the hostess stand in that period of time and got seated, I am assuming that they were on this list. Then, a party of four just walked into the restaurant and sat at the bar. I asked the hostess why they were able to sit at the bar without putting their name on the list, she said that they couldn't, but that they had already ordered drinks from the waiter, so she wasn't going to ask them to move. Nearly at my breaking point, I told her that we wanted to be seated, at the open table, right away, to which she told me that her friends were coming and she was saving that table for them. I walked away, in utter disbelief, and just couldn't even fathom what just happened. Not wanting to be one of those people that just walk away and bitch about it, I walked back to the hostess stand and asked to speak to who was in charge. She sent someone to find this person and the person never returned, ever. During that five minute wait, I noticed about 100 people walking around that worked at Eataly, but none of them seemed to have any purpose or be in charge, they were simply walking around aimlessly like the customers, so my wife encouraged me to leave before I punched someone in the face. So, yes, Eataly, you truly suck ass.

Yep, Eataly is tough, but it keeps the riff raff out. And while I consider myself riff raff, I have never experienced any of the problems that most of the complainers have experienced. Ah well, such is life in NYC.

All counters and tables require a check- in with the host person EXCEPT the bar at Manzo, which is the Piedmontese restaurant. Which, btw, rocks.

#7 sireatsalot

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 10:32 AM

Was in NYC recently and had a opportunity to stop into Eataly and a few occasions. Morning, afternoon and Night, the place was packed. Wall to Wall people. Initially the place overwhelmed the senses and defiantly takes some getting used to. We wandering around, had a glass of wine and desert, and looked at the goods and came away with the sense that it was ok, not great. To me there was nothing that special that would cause me to have to return. Conceptually I see what they were trying to do with the market feel, but I think that these contrived concept places are better served in Vegas or somewhere where people do not know any better.

In the end we skipped out and went to A Voce Madison and had a great meal, (review pending)

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#8 weinoo

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Posted 16 October 2010 - 09:36 AM

Conceptually I see what they were trying to do with the market feel, but I think that these contrived concept places are better served in Vegas or somewhere where people do not know any better.

Yes, like in Turin.

#9 mtpleasanteater

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 12:47 PM

Yes, like in Turin.

I'm sure there are no tourist traps in Italy.

I've been to Eataly four or five times and couldn't agree more with the good sireatsalot. Your comment about the riff-raff above is quite funny, the place seems to be packed with tourists who have seen Batali on the tee-vee.

#10 weinoo

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 01:28 PM

I'm sure there are no tourist traps in Italy.

I've been to Eataly four or five times and couldn't agree more with the good sireatsalot. Your comment about the riff-raff above is quite funny, the place seems to be packed with tourists who have seen Batali on the tee-vee.

I don't really have a problem with tourists who come to NYC to spend their money. After all, aren't most of the posters from DC commenting on Eataly considered tourists?

Anyway, I haven't really seen any comments about the food in the restaurants at Eataly, which is where I've spent my visits. Excellent pizza and pasta, great seafood and a fine Piedmontese restaurant all under one roof are what make me like the place. And I can usually go when it's not busy at all - the crowds seem to bother a lot of people as well.

#11 mtpleasanteater

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 09:12 PM

I don't really have a problem with tourists who come to NYC to spend their money. After all, aren't most of the posters from DC commenting on Eataly considered tourists?

The point of my comment is that I think their customers are suckers who are wasting their money on a sub par product. Most of the "tourists" on this board have found the place unpleasant.

#12 weinoo

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 08:40 AM

The point of my comment is that I think their customers are suckers who are wasting their money on a sub par product. Most of the "tourists" on this board have found the place unpleasant.

And I'm waiting to hear from these "tourists" about the food in the restaurants.

And what is sub par about the "product?" As astute shoppers, I'm sure you just don't buy sub par product. 36 month aged parmesan, Piedmontese- style beef raised specifically for the butchery and clams, scallops, oysters, etc. dug from Long Island coastal waters do not sub par products make.

#13 jparrott

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 06:57 AM

And what is sub par about the "product?"

The wine program. Waaaaay below par for both quality of offerings and value for money, compared to Batali/Bastianich restaurants. I have on good authority that most of the wine program is set by Eataly corporate in Torino and primarily focuses on Eataly investors.

And the wine shop is WARM.

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#14 KMango

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 09:09 AM

Hey interesting discussion. Since weinoo has gone into great detail about Eataly here and on his blog, perhaps you or the other poster could be more specific about products/dishes that you actually bought and/or tried that made you find Eataly unacceptable? I am heading to NYC next week and would love some specifics :( Thanks!

You've probably read it already, but yesterday's NY Times Critic's Notebook covered Eataly. The last three paragraphs may be of special note.
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#15 weinoo

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 09:20 AM

The wine program. Waaaaay below par for both quality of offerings and value for money, compared to Batali/Bastianich restaurants. I have on good authority that most of the wine program is set by Eataly corporate in Torino and primarily focuses on Eataly investors.

And the wine shop is WARM.

I don't know if you've eaten at Manzo (I have), but as Sifton notes in his Critic's Notebook:

"The wine list is exceptional... "

He also goes on to say:

"I was able to secure the ingredients for what turned out to be an excellent family pasta-and-meats dinner, with bread, cheese and a flinty, excellent Ligurian vermentino, for about $7 a head, all in. Good value.

So, too, are some of the vegetables available in Eataly’s narrow greengrocer area, particularly a wide and fabulous collection of fresh mushrooms and, at least for these last few moments of early fall, plump, soft tomatoes.
"

Go on...

#16 weinoo

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 09:34 AM


I saw more varieties of imported pasta than I've seen anywhere. Yes, you can buy porcini at your local bodega, but it'll be from China or Poland, not the "A" grade that's being sold here (but that shit is expensive!).

As I posted above, Sifton (with whom I have no connection) seems to agree...

" But the collection of pastas - fresh and dry, much of the latter from Gragnano, outside Naples - is phenomenal, perhaps unparalleled in Manhattan. "

#17 jparrott

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 10:42 AM

I haven't seen the Manzo list. But the list for the "main floor" (all of the stands/stalls share a single wine program) is laughably pedestrian compared to Lupa/Otto/Babbo etc.

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#18 jparrott

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 04:01 PM

I'm sorry but I'm not sure I understand your post. Are you saying that the wine program on the "main floor" is bad? Or are you saying that the wine program is bad compared to the Lupa/Otto/Babbo, etc., wine lists? My understanding is that the wine programs at these restaurants are quite good. So maybe something not quite as good as them might still be excellent, no?

I'm saying that the wine program on the main floor is at very much a lower level, both value-wise and quality-of-offering-wise, compared to the (similarly price) Lupa and Otto. I'm surprised Bastianich signed up for this much Torino (Eataly corporate) control.

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#19 jparrott

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 06:10 PM

Do you think the store was warm enough to damage the wines? Sounds like it!

Two different issues. One is the by-the-glass offerings "on the floor," which are pedestrian and overpriced compared to the innovative approach at Lupa and Otto. Second is a similarly pedestrian (with many notable exceptions) setup at the wine shop (off-premise)...but with far too warm a setting on the climate control.

I get the sense the latter problem will be easier to remedy. And it might've been an anomaly.

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#20 weinoo

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 09:06 PM

Two different issues. One is the by-the-glass offerings "on the floor," which are pedestrian and overpriced compared to the innovative approach at Lupa and Otto. Second is a similarly pedestrian (with many notable exceptions) setup at the wine shop (off-premise)...but with far too warm a setting on the climate control.

But "on the floor" is different than Lupa and Otto. Lupa and Otto are real, sit-down restaurants, not positioned in a giant supermarket. Where, by the way, you can drink a glass of wine or have a negroni - while shopping.

Before any sweeping generalizations are made, a perusal of the list at Manzo should be on the agenda.

And fwiw, neither Bastianich nor Batali is what I would consider a bad business person.

I sense a bit of jealousy on the part of DC dwellers here.

#21 jparrott

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 05:01 AM

But "on the floor" is different than Lupa and Otto. Lupa and Otto are real, sit-down restaurants.

The food price points at Lupa and Otto are basically the same as the food price points at the eat-in counters at Eataly. In many cases, less. And I can drink a hell of a lot better for $12 a quartino (versus $12 a glass at Eataly) at either one, and a hell of a hell of a hell of a lot better by the bottle. Smaller producers, more obscure and food-friendly varieties, etc.

Eataly's by the glass list includes both Martini&Rossi AND Cinzano "Asti Spumante." (At around $10 a glass!) Numerous items are offered "with a refreshing glass of Asti Spumante." Now don't get me wrong. There are lovely, reasonably-priced sparkling wines made in Piemonte (you know how I know? I've drunk them at Lupa and Otto!). None of them are made by Cinzano or Martini.

Several more of the by-the-glass offerings (and a significant number of offerings at the Eataly Wine Shop) are from Fontanafredda, a pedestrian Piemonte producer that happens to be owned by Eataly's owners. I've been perusing B&B restaurant wine lists for years, and other than the odd re-released VERY OLD Barolo, I've never seen a Fontanafredda wine on any B&B list. According to reports I've read, the Manzo list (neither it or the main Eataly list is online) has plenty of Fontanafredda.

The retail food offerings at Eataly are impressive. I had a good coffee. I asked for an amaro at one of the bars that sold coffee, wine, and amaro, and the barista said something to the effect of "oh, we don't know anything about those, the night bartenders sell them." But the wine offerings are insulting.

WineChap has more on the pricing and selection at Eataly.

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#22 ktmoomau

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 02:32 PM

So I was so excited about Eataly. I had so many different people tell me how cool it was, how phenomenally great it was, and how much I would LOVE it. Well I just don't know. If it was nearby I could see it being a cool resource as they had a really nice butcher and fishmongers section, some good food and etc, and I would probably go from time to time. But I just wasn't wowed and amazed by its greatness. First it would be much cooler if you could get cheese and meats from the deli counter without needing to get a little bar table and being waited on. In fact that made it near impossible to do while having to wait for a table at the pizza and pasta section. I could also only find one spot to buy a glass of wine without being seated, and they just had like a wine or two, maybe I just missed this.

The dessert counter was amazing, the passion cake I had was really delicious as was the orange canoli and you could buy that right there at the counter, which was perfect. I don't know why more sections aren't like this. If all the sections were like that I could see the appeal. But what if one person wants fish and the other pizza? Well don't plan on sitting together or even in the same area. I just wish you could pick up plates at a counter and then find a table.

The selection of goods was really nice and I didn't get a chance to go up to the roof bierria (sp?)

However, the pizza and pasta we did eat was really good, as was the wine we had at the pizza and pasta section. The crust of the pizza was excellent, cheese was good not overly done and toppings were nice. We had just plain spaghetti with pomodoro sauce, which was nice in it's simplicity, I tried to talk Mom into pork ragu but she wasn't going for it. Anyway the food was very good, just not mind blowing. We have some Neapolitan pizzas here that are just as good. It was good food, the whole experience just could have been better.

And I was a little miffed that I didn't see any meatballs anywhere. I didn't expect spaghetti and meatballs, that isn't really Italian after all, but I was hoping for a meatball separately or perhaps with a little polenta. They had a special meatball sandwich one day a week... Maybe I just missed some stuff, but I really wasn't overwhelmed.

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#23 genericeric

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 10:15 AM

This is definitely an establishment that could benefit by a small handout for first time customers. Maybe they have one and I just didn't see it in the epic chaos that is Eataly on a Saturday midday. Perhaps a layout and brief overview on seating policies on a small card with description of dining areas?

Was here on Saturday around 11:30am - hoping the early time would facilitate being able to grab a seat without too much hassle. After reading this thread, I did my best to find someone, ANYONE who worked there as to not just squat in a seat and cut off a line system but this good intent was quickly replaced by frustration. Finally saw two seats at a bar which the staff behind confirmed was open seating, so we grabbed the spots.

I didn't know it at the time, but we'd unintentionally placed our selves in the Le Verdure space - so a completely vegetarian menu. I had the special of the day - roasted fennel with parmesan over a tomato sauce. At 16$ for a small portion this wasn't a great value but was delicious. My SO had the fresh mozzerella with arugula, but since the tomato caper relish wasn't listed as a component on the menu, I was the beneficiary of her dislike of capers. She also had a wonderful bruschetta topped with a goat cheese spread and large chunks of fresh squash - easily our favorite dish of the day.

With two glasses of wine, this light lunch came to 82$ including tip. Not exactly a bargain, but after we moved past the chaos and confusion, we both really enjoyed our lunch.

#24 Simon

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 04:59 PM

I bought some great Bettelmatt cheese here, which I've never before seen available in the U.S.

#25 Mark Dedrick

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 02:21 PM

Eataly can be an absolute pain to navigate through, and I sometimes feel like I'm in a weird amusement park of some sort when I'm there. It is pretty much always crowded (with the caveat that I'm essentially only in New York on weekends). That said, there are times when all I really want is a simply grilled piece of fish and a glass of wine. Sometimes, such as a Monday afternoon when I feel stuffed to the gills after a weekend of eating, this is more of a necessity than a desire. And the seafood counter at Eataly fills this niche. It isn’t cheap, and the food isn’t groundbreaking, but my grilled Montauk squid was fresh and delicious, and the wine was crisp and refreshing, and it was really a great way to finish our trip to New York.

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#26 weinoo

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 07:45 AM

Eataly can be an absolute pain to navigate through, and I sometimes feel like I'm in a weird amusement park of some sort when I'm there. It is pretty much always crowded (with the caveat that I'm essentially only in New York on weekends). That said, there are times when all I really want is a simply grilled piece of fish and a glass of wine. Sometimes, such as a Monday afternoon when I feel stuffed to the gills after a weekend of eating, this is more of a necessity than a desire. And the seafood counter at Eataly fills this niche. It isn’t cheap, and the food isn’t groundbreaking, but my grilled Montauk squid was fresh and delicious, and the wine was crisp and refreshing, and it was really a great way to finish our trip to New York.

Last weekend, I was at the New Amsterdam Market, which takes place right outside what was once the Fulton Fish Market. They happened to be featuring seafood, and as I was navigating through the stands, I saw David Pasternack (Esca's chef and Eataly's fish chef) manning a stand selling basically a seafood salad. We chatted (I asked him what the hell he was doing working on a Sunday), I bought a bowl of his frutti di mare, and it was great. The man knows his fish, and if the fish is local, he probably knows the fisherman. A quick bite at the seafood counter at Eataly is a good thing.

#27 RWBooneJr.

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 09:55 AM

A quick bite at the seafood counter at Eataly is a good thing.

Birreria is a nice outdoor place to grab a pint if you're in the neighborhood as well. The beers won't wow you, but they're fairly solid. I'm not sure what it's like on the weekends, but it hasn't been crowded when I've gone for "lunch" during the week.

#28 Mark Dedrick

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 10:33 AM

Birreria is a nice outdoor place to grab a pint if you're in the neighborhood as well. The beers won't wow you, but they're fairly solid. I'm not sure what it's like on the weekends, but it hasn't been crowded when I've gone for "lunch" during the week.


Bierreria was actually our goal on Monday, as we were tired of walking and just wanted a place where we could hang out, have a couple of drinks and a little bit of food before catching the train back to DC. Unfortunately we were looking at about a 45 minute wait when we arrived at around 3 pm. Hence, the seafood counter.

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#29 sandynva

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 10:34 AM

I enjoyed my visit. i thought the selection of dried pasta was fabulous, and better than i've seen anywhere else. and many of them were reasonably priced.
Split a pizza margharita and an order of pasta (cant' remember what kind) cacio i pepe. The pasta was simple but very delicious and cooked well. the Pizza was also very good, on par with the best i've ever had in dc.
As others have commented, it was beyond crowded and the floor plan was confusing. and the wait for a table at the restaurant was long. but once we were seated it was substantially quieter, we didn't feel rushed, and the pasta was great.

#30 Gary Tanigawa

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 06:31 AM

NY Times says today is the second anniversary of the Manhattan Eataly. No mention of expansion to DC.

#31 MsDiPesto

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 09:19 AM

NY Times says today is the second anniversary of the Manhattan Eataly. No mention of expansion to DC.


I noticed that, Chicago was sounding like the next city for a branch. Perhaps they realized (as has been pointed out before) that DC simply doesn't have the density and incomes to support a mega-food emporium.

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#32 ktmoomau

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 11:13 AM

Well Hubby and I ventured to Eataly over the weekend. As I have said before I like this place, I just don't love it, obsess about it like others do. But Hubby seemed to really like it. He is much more into Italian food than I am though. He was quite happy we drove to NYC, but I think next time he will bring a cooler. We stocked up on some dried and canned goods while waiting for a seat at the pizza and pasta station. I would like to have checked out the rooftop or the fish area, but I think I may have seafooded Hubby out already.

We had an order of salume which was a nice varied selection and decent amount for splitting between the two of us. Then I had the parapadelle with pancetta and mushrooms. The parapadelle was really wide, nicely made and sauced with a creamy red sauce. The hen of the woods mushrooms were excellent and with just a bit but not an overwhelming amount of pancetta it gave the dish a really good flavor. Hubby had the angliotti, which I wish you could find in more places. It was really well made with I believe a beef filling and veal reduction, just amazingly good, you would think it was richer than it was, but it was just simple enough to be really good.

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#33 dinoue

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 10:20 PM

Spent the 4th weekend in NYC nd made this the stop for our lunch on the 4th. As others have mentioned it is overwhelming with the sheer masses of people milling around, though it wasn't too bad when we first arrived a little before the big lunch rush. First stop was at Rosticceria. As we stood there looking at the menu, one of the people behind the counter asked if we had any questions, we said we were just looking around to see what they had so he offered a sample of the porchetta, roast pork tenderloin, which was the day's special. He actually cut off two generous slices and cut it into smaller bite size pieces for the kids to eat too. Decided that a sandwich would be part of our lunch choices.

 

Made our way around to the fish restaurant and found that if we got a table there, we could not bring a sandwich in from the other location. A little annoying, but I figured I could go back after our fish lunch for some meat dessert. Never made it back.

 

Lunch at Pesce consisted of a dozen oysters served simply with vinegar and garlic. Very nice and clean tasting. Kids still wouldn't eat them though. Main courses were salmon, whole fish, flatfish that  I forget what kind, and squid. All were simply prepared and really let the freshness of the fish shine through. Salmon was a simple grill with some herb seasoning. Squid was also grilled and a very generous serving of 5 whole squid. The highlight though was the whole fish. Pan seared with a really nice crust on the outside and flaked right off the bone. This was the favorite of the kids, well except for the grilled watermelon. Other sides were a grilled lettuce and roasted potatoes.

 

Food was really good because of the quality and freshness of the fish and simplicity of preparation to really highlight the fish itself. For eating in what really is like a high end food court, this was pretty good.

 

The other advantage of eating at a place like Eataly, especially with kids is the plethora of things to keep kids occupied while waiting for the food. Kids loved watching the bread dough being prepared for baking and the cooks enjoyed entertaining as well. That seems to be part of the schtick of Eataly in that the preparation of the foods for sale is as much of the draw as the food itself.

 

The only other samples out were some peaches in the produce section that were disappointingly not very good. Prices were definitely higher thsan the average grocery store and even a little more than Whole Foods, but probably somewhere in between the two in quality for the peaches at least.

 

I think some people have mentioned this as a possibility for development here in DC. I don't think we have enough volume of people to support this, but then with the way people travelled to Wegman's when there were only a couple in the area, maybe it could survive. I don't see tourists in DC going there like they do in NYC. I know for my mother who was with us from Cincinnati, this was a stop well worth our time.



#34 Cook In / Dine Out

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 07:25 PM

I also had lunch at Eataly while in New York for the 4th. We ate in the vegetable section (Le Verdure), and it was also really good. My favorite dish was the grilled peach salad with mixed beans but I also liked the polenta pizza squares. Our server was very friendly too, which I wasn't necessarily expecting at a place like Eataly, but she was one of the best servers we had that weekend. I wrote about our trip to Eataly in my post about where to lunch while shopping in Manhattan.



#35 TrelayneNYC

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 03:09 PM

I've never been to Eataly to eat.

I go there about once or twice a month to shop.

My biggest gripe with the place is that the vast majority of people are there to look, not to buy. The crowds have not lessened at all.

It can get quite annoying when you're waiting patiently at the cheese counter, for example, and the help is chatting away with one or two people, giving them free samples and what not ... and all you want is someone to acknowledge you and take your order so you can get on with your day.

Their products are great, but it's basically a glorified Kings food emporium (folks who live in suburban NJ might know what I'm talking about) with hordes of obnoxious tourists.

Edit: I live in NYC -- been here since 1988, so at this point, I've earned the right to call visitors to the City "tourists". They become "obnoxious tourists" when they form a critical mass large enough to prevent me from walking. Besides Eataly, there are the People Who Have Never Seen A Tree before (a/k/a out-of-towners who flock enmasse to Rockefeller Center during the entire month of December). :angry: :angry: :angry:


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#36 Tujague

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 12:47 PM

Lunch at Eataly last Friday, at La Pizza and La Pasta. Kept it simple, with just a bowl of cacio e pepe and a glass of white wine. The pasta was really amazing--perfectly al dente with a just that touch of firmness in the middle that makes that sort of dish irresistable. Rich, creamy, rustic. The fruity yet not-too-sweet white--I want to say it was the Gavi del comune di gavi 2010--was a perfect partner. The rest of the place is a bit too hectic and chaotic for my taste, but I had a good time nevertheless, and it fed me well for a long day of walking and the bus ride home.


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#37 darkstar965

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 02:43 AM

Seeing this pop up reminded me I was here a week or so ago (first time) and even referred to it in another topic, maybe on the DC board, but I've now forgotten which topic that was so can't provide a link.

 

Interesting mix of high-quality and more mediocre items in most departments.  I walked all of it to explore but, on my way to Penn Central to catch a train, wanted to grab something to have onboard.

 

To takeaway, I first tried to get a sandwich from the counter that serves prime rib and other meats. They were out of nearly everything at 4pm or so on a weekday so went to Plan B, the panino counter.

 

There, I asked for a listed sandwich with Italian sopresatta, prosciutto maybe and provolone, requesting that they increase the normal portion of meat by half and charge me as necessary.  it wasn't busy.  When I got on the train and opened the sandwich, I realized that the ordinary bread overwhelmed the filling. I checked the receipt and hadn't been charged extra. They hadn't added any. And, I'm pretty sure the inclusion of the provolone was my request also.  A sandwich from Arlington, VA's "Italian Store" would have been vastly superior.

 

On the way out, I stopped at the gelato counter (shop?) right by the entrance. As I considered the selection, one member of the young staff must have thought I looked confused and cheerily began to explain the difference between ice cream and gelato to me.  I politely let him know that wasn't necessary, ordered and, as I paid, the following exchange, which I started purely for amusement, ensued:

 

Me: "Do you get many requests for sprinkles?"  

Earnest staffers: "We don't have sprinkles. gelato doesn't get sprinkles."

Me: "Right. I know. Just asking if you get many requests for them.  From kids maybe? This place is like a circus without dancing bears"

Earnest staffers:  "Oh, yes, we do. But we tell them that's not how you enjoy gelato. It's not like ice cream."

Me: "I bet you make some of them cry."

 

Then, getting bored, I headed out to my train.

 

Verdict: very ordinary gelato.  Maybe two light years' difference from Dolcezza in Washington, DC. 

 

Eataly is a sort of food emporium version of Batali's orange crocs. And that, I suppose, is as it should be.



#38 Pool Boy

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 08:37 PM

You know, been here a few times. It's fun to wander through food porn land. We occasionally buy stuff to slog home (salt pack anchovies most recently) and often eat at the seafood bar (usually very good, but we're also usually early for lunch, too). And it'd be great to have the option of this kind of place in DC, but you do need to be picky about what they have on the shelf and how much they want to charge for it. There are a few easter eggs throughout the whole place, you just need to pay attention to that and find them.


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#39 weinoo

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 06:27 AM

The draws here for me are the salumi and cheeses in that section (other than DiPalo's, they're one of the few places that really knows how to slice and wrap stuff), the butcher department, some often very hard-to-find produce, and some true bargains in various canned/packaged goods.  But - you can get ripped off too.



#40 genericeric

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 07:56 AM

As a meat-eater, Le Verdure continues to put out some of the best vegetarian food I've come across.  Lunch here on Friday consisted of the Scarpetta ($9) which was incredibly simple, yet one of the best dishes I've had this year.  Grilled bread, heirloom tomatoes, 'milk of mozzerella', olive oil and salt - a great starter and a relative bargain at the 9$ price tag.  My +1 had the Enslata di Estiva ($16) which was a grilled summer vegetable salad with ricotta, fried polenta cubes and almonds.  Other than the polenta (which was pre-fried and a bit soggy) this was a great mix of hot, grilled summer squashes balanced by cool cucumber and heirloom tomatoes surrounding the ricotta - summer squashes aren't my top choice but this was a pleasant salad that ate like an entree. 

 

My rule based on previous experiences is to always get the Bruschetta del Giorno, which on this day was roasted artichoke with fresno peppers ($14) and was the first disappointing dish I've had here - it wasn't bad per se, but could have used more peppers as the blended artichoke ended up mushy and bland.

 

Pre-tax bill for three dishes and a shared bottle of Prosecco was $78







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