You can’t really plan a trip to NYC without hearing about Eataly. Heck, I’ve been hearing rave reviews about even before I had my trip planned. When Chrissy Teigen hilariously wrote about it, that pretty much decided it for me. If and when I go to NYC, I was visiting Eataly.
And so I did.
First things, first. It’s chaotic in there. It’s a mess. It’s crowded. It’s noisy. You’re always at risk of running your cart into someone or, worse, a shelf full of glass jars filled with olives. Conversely, you’re always at risk of someone’s cart or stroller (seriously, parents, leave the kids at home) ramming into your ankle. Eataly is cray, y’all.
But if you’re patient/brave/determined enough to face the crowds and risk possible ankle sprain, then you will be amply rewarded. Because Eataly is Italian food heaven.
It probably doesn’t have everything as in EVERYTHING, but I daresay it has enough to make you forget about that thing that they don’t have. A fishmonger, a beautiful produce section, a bakery, multiple aisles of dry pasta, a section for fresh pasta, and enough cheeses and cured meats to make you weep (or at the very least, stop and stare).
It really was quite overwhelming, as I didn’t know what to look at, touch and smell first. And it’s not like I was looking to buy anything specific, but it was just thrilling to be around so much wonderful, glorious food.
Of course, I didn’t just ogle at the food. Naturally, I had to have some too. It wasn’t easy choosing between the loooong list of options in Eataly. My friend and I considered eating at La Piazza, but we wanted something more substantial than cheese and cured meats. Rosticceria was also an option but, really, sandwiches? You don’t go to Eataly for the first time for sandwiches. You come for the most Italian of foods: pizza and pasta. So La Pizza & Pasta it is.
After perusing the menu, we decided on the day’s special: pizza with tomato, buffalo mozzarella, basil and prosciutto. Basically the best of Italy on a plate. And it tastes as mouthwatering as it looks. Drooooooool.
We didn’t order a pasta dish because we wanted to save room for dessert. We bypassed the pastries and went for gelato. It won’t come as a surprise to anyone that I went for the salted caramel:
I guess it should come as no surprise as well that this was delicious. The flavors may not be as bold as in a Pierre Hermé macaron, but that’s not necessarily bad thing. I was worried that it would be too sweet but it wasn’t at all. The saltiness isn’t as pronounced as well, so the flavors still balance each other out nicely. Definitely worth passing up on pasta.
I still want to try that pasta though. And the sandwiches from both I Panini and Rosticceria. And have some cheese and meats in La Piazza. And to buy and eat some burrata.
Yeah, I guess I’m going to have to go back to NYC and Eataly.