“For once I can touch what my heart used to dream of…”

by Katie Pizzuto on August 27, 2010

in Cooking Tools,Dining,Imports,Italian Food,Wine

I’m going to go ahead and admit that I’ve fallen victim to the boredom of summer television and have succumbed to watching Master Chef despite the fact that I could just as easily turn the TV off and read a book, gaze at the stars or actually…you know…talk to my husband. The truth is that half the time it’s too buggy to sit outside at night, half the time I don’t wanna read until I’m in bed, half the time my husband is too busy playing the guitar to hold a conversation with, and half the time I’m bad with fractions. And what I discovered after watching a few episodes of the latest Gordon Ramsay escapade is that either Joe Bastianich is a total douche, or he’s coming off like one because of very clever and intentional editing—the goal perhaps being to make Ramsay look slightly more compassionate. And this all took me by surprise because I’m quite possibly the #1 fan of the Batali/Bastianich empire here in New York City, and given what a cool, approachable (i.e. non-douche) Batali has always been, I didn’t figure he’d be partners with someone who comes across like the human version of a thick, green, mucousy snot you can’t wait to rid yourself of, but then can’t help but stare at once you get it out.

But I’m babbling because technically this isn’t a review of the show…it’s about the child-like, uncontainable anticipation I’ve got for the latest Batali/Bastianich endeavor—an emporium called Eataly. The name alone is genius. I have countless daydreams of eating Italy, and there’s absolutely no downside to that. Glorious, still-warm buffalo mozzarella melting in my mouth, chased by a slice of guanciale and a sip of wine; skipping like a stone on the water’s surface, from butcher to baker to…uhh…Italian beer maker. Yeah, from what I understand, there’s going to be a rooftop beer garden on this place with skyline views year round, apparently a collaboration with brew masters from Dogfish Head, Russian River Brewing, Birrifico Le Baladin and Birra del Borgo. 50,000 square feet of Italian goodness, including a steakhouse, a pizzeria, a cooking school, a wine bar, a bookshop, and stores that sell everything from porcini to prosciutto. Excuse me while I wipe the very unlady-like drool from my chin.

Here’s some of what you’ll be able to find there, if you get there (200 Fifth Avenue, between 23rd and 24th). Frankly, if you’re half the foodie you think you are, a small road trip should never be out of the question for a slice of Italian gluttony. It opens this coming Tuesday, and I’m planning on waiting a week or so and then heading in with an empty stomach, a loaded wallet and a map—a more precarious position to put myself in than leaving Rush Limbaugh alone behind a pharmacy counter…

Café – A Lavazza coffee bar, and other counters specializing in panini, Venchi chocolate, house-made gelato and desserts by popular pastry chef Luca Montersino, who will whip up everything from apple strudel to “mini dolci” like amaretto mousse with moscato.

Miscellaneous Marketplace – There will be sections dedicated to jarred Italian specialty items like olive oils, tomato sauces and antipasti, dairy, cookies and snacks, tea and coffee, chocolate, fruits and jams and Italian water and beer.

Le Verdure (vegetables) – The dishes at this eatery will showcase locally sourced produce at the height of the season, including stinging nettle lasagna with pesto and bechamel, pappa al pomodoro (tomato and bread soup) and warm vegetable salad with chicory, radicchio and escarole.

Vegetable Butcher – Jennifer Rubell will wash, cut and clean vegetables that you purchase at no charge. The produce section will feature only seasonal, locally grown vegetables.

Salumi e Formaggi (salumi and cheese) – Everything from prosciutto di Parma to grana padano, sliced at the counter or packaged to grab and go.

Il Pesce (fish) – Esca chef David Pasternack’s daily-changing menu will be driven by the best the market has to offer—from fish cooked simply with olive oil and lemon to a Ligurian-style seafood salad, rounded out by seasonal sides. There will also be a fish monger.

Manzo (meat) – The only restaurant in Eataly with a reservation policy (and an official name) this Italian steakhouse helmed by former Babbo sous-chef Michael Toscano will offer antipasti, dry-aged steaks and American-sourced La Razza Piemontese, a unique breed of cattle low in saturated fat. A specialty of the house is carne crudo. There will also be a beef tasting menu, a full bar and outdoor seating.

La Scuola – A small school headed up by dean Lidia Bastianich, who will occasionally teach classes. There will be seminars with artisans, chefs and winemakers that culminate in special dinners, as well as those that focus on the nutrition, sociology and chemistry of food. Classes will begin in October.

Butcher – Both American and Italian cuts of meat will be available. There is also a section for roasted meats.

La Pizza/La Pasta – A corner of Eataly will be dedicated to pasta and pizza, with mezzanine seating to accommodate overflow. Rossopomodoro, a Naples-based restaurant group, is importing two wood-burning pizza ovens—and the pizzaiolos to run them—to turn out authentic, wood-fired Neapolitan pies using fresh mozzarella made daily in-house. There will also be traditional preparations of pasta, both dried and fresh, a smattering of salads and appetizers, and a takeout window on East 24th Street.

Piazza – This wine bar will serve dishes from stations dedicated to raw seafood, Italian cured meats and cheeses and fresh mozzarella made daily on the premises using milk from Battenkill Valley Creamery.

Bread – “We’re going to have the best bread in Manhattan,” says Joe Bastianich of the loaves baked daily in a wood-fired oven. American baker Nancy Silverton will oversee an array of foccacia.

Crudo (raw bar) – Stock up on raw delights, while getting a front-row seat to the chef as he prepares dishes.

Bookstore – A partnership with Rizzoli, this culinary corner is primarily dedicated to cookbooks focusing on Italian food and wine.

Housewares – Expect shelves stocked with high-design household items from Alessi and Guzzini, cookware from Sambonet, espresso makers from Bialetti and more.

Wine Store – This shop will sell only Italian wine, including those from the Bastianich vineyards.

*All photos property of Serious Eats.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 linsey August 27, 2010

count me in – droooooling already just looking at that joint of rolled pork mmmmmmmm1

If i slobber on the keyboard you will know it lol

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2 Jim August 29, 2010

That sounds pretty amazing. Wish I lived in NYC.

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3 Katie Pizzuto August 30, 2010

“ROAD TRIP” Jim…..ROAD TRIP!!

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4 linsey August 30, 2010

Rubs it in – I now live not that far away now … yay, Grins at my new sis-in-law

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5 Don August 30, 2010

I know where I’m making Jim take me the next time I come out. When will this place be opening? Do they ship to Idaho?

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6 Katie Pizzuto August 30, 2010

They open tomorrow, Don….it’s gonna be complete chaos there tomorrow (and every weekend for the next few months) so that’s why I’m going to head in during a weekday. Will find out if they ship, though it’s really something to be experienced 🙂

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7 Jim August 30, 2010

You didn’t mention apartments, which is a good thing. Imagine how huge you’d get if you could live there. They’d have to cut a hole in the building to get my bloated remains out!

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8 Katie Pizzuto August 30, 2010

Holy crap, could you imagine? They SHOULD’VE had apartments there….rent would help cut down on overhead costs, LOL. But yeah, I’d soon find myself on an episode of World’s Largest Woman.

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9 Coupe 60 August 31, 2010

I hear that they are filming Season 4 of the Jersey Shore there…

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10 Katie Pizzuto September 1, 2010

Ugh, he disappears for a while and THIS is what he comes back with?! 🙂

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11 Gloria Horowitz September 7, 2010

Hello,

My friend and I would like to attend the school in October…How do we enroll?

I did not see anywhere to enroll on your website.

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12 Katie Pizzuto September 7, 2010

Gloria,
I’m not sure yet which is why I didn’t include a link. Your best bet is to either follow them on Twitter at @EatalyNYC or on their Facebook page here: http://bit.ly/a6CoRz

They also have a site/blog but there isn’t much up there yet: http://www.newyork.eataly.it/

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13 linsey September 10, 2010

Great going with you to Eataly today – now got yummy food to try out – already tried the pistachio spread ooooooooooooooooh! mmmmm

and the lunch … omg!

Thanks Katie

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14 Katie Pizzuto September 10, 2010

Much fun, and plenty of “brain food” for an upcoming post 🙂

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15 Charlie July 5, 2011

I haven’t seen any editing or cuts indicating that Joe Bastianich’s incredible arrogance is anything but his true douche bag self. I worked for him a few years ago in nyc, the man is unbearable to work with. Even if you send out great food and he can’t come up with a single legitimate complain about it, Joe Bastard will almost always resort to personal insults. He sincerely believes that his blank stare and inability to express emotions makes him appear very, very serious and more knowledgeable than you could ever hope to be. I was fired for laughing at his “intense” blank stare after about 20 seconds of very awkward eye contact while he tries so hard to intimidate. He holds it for like 20 seconds, shakes his head, sighs, then “pfffts”, like a little kid, then walks away very dramatically without actually saying anything. (If you’ve seen Masterchef you know what I’m talking about.) The only reason Bastard’s on the show is because he’s such an entertaining joke on TV.

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16 Katie Pizzuto July 6, 2011

Mind sharing which establishment you worked at? His blank stare that you describe is exactly what drives me nuts on the show.

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