Posts Tagged ‘Mario Batali’

A while back while I was back in New York City for a week, I had the opportunity to visit Mario Batali’s new “Eataly” Food Emporium whose tagline is “We Sell What We Cook & We Cook What We Sell”.  Despite all the buzz, I was not prepared for the enormity of the space, the sights, sounds, smells and people that were packed in like finely cured sardines.

The 50,000 square foot space was originally the “Toy Center Building” housing various toy dealers and showroom as well as a private dining club deep in the bowels of the building.  The dining club, “200 5th Ave”, served elegant food to exclusive members with white glove waiter service.  Eataly was built in 2010 in NYC (but has several other stores around the world) to “taste and take home” delicious food and also to educate the public (they have an extensive class schedule as well).

You don’t need to be a member to dine here at one of the TWELVE food areas/mini-restaurants.  There is a coffee vendor, gelateria, pastries, a sandwich shop, pizza/pasta, fish place, salumi stop, rotisserie and even a vegetable restaurant (my favorite) which only serves vegetable dishes (some with grains, cheese but no meat anywhere) and serves them in high style (beautifully and with wine).

“Le Verdure” mini-restaurant gets its star-of-the-show vegetables from the produce section three feet away. Where tomatoes glisten and rub elbows with exotic neighbors like starfruit and buddha’s hand.   Sharing a corner of the kitchen space for Le Verdure and facing the produce area is a “Vegetable Butcher”.  This lovely person’s job is to prep vegetables in to easy to cook packets (sold at a premium of course) and to enthusiastically explain how to cook with these precious vegetable jewels.  While I was there Mr.Veggie Butcher was prepping baby artichokes (discard out leaves, chop down middle) and pontificating on how to cook them (in skillet with olive oil, salt/pepper and finish with a splash of lemon).

Additionally there are shopping areas for all sorts of other products (cheese, bread, meat, pastries, pasta etc) and the array is outstanding.

You might be wondering what I am doing talking about a high-end grocery/food shop, but I wanted to share the experience and especially the admiration for vegetables that this store has.

So don’t be shy, try a new vegetable today. Even if you don’t have the Veggie Butcher to talk you through it…I am sure you can find something on YouTube.

See a map of Eataly NY here.

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