Monday, January 2, 2012

...NYC, Day 2, Part 1: Eataly

For Day 1 of my trip, click here.

I don't mind walking.

I used to HATE walking all over the place.  I remember going to Washington D.C. with my parents and brother when I was 8 years old, and being MISERABLE because all we did all day was walk, walk, walk.  Also, when you're 8, the Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian is NOT fun, even if your dad finds it fascinating.

Even long shopping trips to the outlets or Century III Mall (when it was successful) seemed torturous.  My back hurt, my feet hurt, and the experience itself was not enjoyable.

Now I'm in better shape.

Empire State Building
James and I decided to walk and see things throughout the city, since I hadn't seen anything there at all before.  We weren't too interested in doing tourist-y things, like going to the top of the Empire State Building  or seeing the Statue of Liberty - we were more interested in the unconventional...and food-related.

So our destination was Eataly.  Of course, it wasn't a straight shot right to Eataly - we took in some sights along the way - but Eataly is an epic sight in itself - so much food, so many options, so much to learn.

Eataly opened in August, 2010 in New York City, a replica of another Eataly that opened in Turin, Italy in 2007.  It's a mixture of a fancier supermarket, like Whole Foods, and a European-style eatery, with ethnic foods, hard-to find produce and foodstuffs, and semi-fine dining.  
Outside one of the Eataly entrances
And it's huge.  Enormous.  Gigantic.  You could spend hours in there, if you wanted (and had 10 stomachs).

I could ramble on and on about the foods that we saw, but I'd rather just show you some pictures, then I'll talk about what we actually ate:

Part of the cheese case.  Just part of it.

A "stand-and-dine" area

Processed meats and cheeses

Near an exit - we dined in the left corner at a stand-up table

Beautiful breads

I never knew these existed  - until now

Produce display

Citrus display

Gorgeous seafood

Pasta case

Oh wow.  So tempting (I restrained myself...booooo...)

Panini station with education
After walking around for quite some time, overwhelmed with our options, we decided upon octopus salad, bread, and grapes.  It was lunchtime, and we wanted to find a nice restaurant for dinner, so we didn't want to over-stuff ourselves.  

Octopus Salad
The octopus salad was divine, but deciding upon a bread to go with it was difficult, given the many, many options laid out in the display case.  We decided upon a bread that was dusted in cornmeal - not a cornmeal bread, but covered in the yellow, powdery substance.  It worked well with the flavors of the octopus salad, and I don't know if it was the best choice - but it was different, and as I've said before, different does not equal bad.

Bread dusted in cornmeal
On the downside, we looked like we had been pollinated by bees by the time we were done.  Cornmeal does not stick well to bread.

While eating, we were near a sandwich station, where the meats - chicken, brisket, etc. - are roasted right there.  James and I could not resist trying one, so we split a brisket sandwich.

Brisket Sandwich with Salsa Verde
Honestly, this sandwich did not impress me, and the salsa verde was fine - but no extra salsa verde was necessary.  It was pure parsely - I like parsley, but this was too much; it overwhelmed the taste of the meat, which in itself was a bit dry.  Without any sauce, I'm sure it would have been TOO dry.  I expected a lot more from this sandwich, and was quite disappointed (surprisingly).

If I lived in New York City, lived and/or worked around Madison Square Park in the Flatiron District, and had unlimited funds, I would probably eat at or buy my groceries from Eataly daily.  Unfortunately, none of those are true, as is the case for most of the world, but it's nice to know that places like this exist...for visiting.

Oh, one more thing - look at what you see across the street if you exit Eataly the way that we did:

If you can't tell - that's a Weight Watchers
Oh, the guilt...but there was so much more to eat...

Eataly NYC
200 5th Ave.
New York, NY 10010


Eataly on Urbanspoon

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