Sunday, March 10, 2013

Le Verdure at Eataly NYC

Verdure Alla Piastra

I remember when I first noticed Eataly listed near the top of a number of Zagat lists, I dismissed it because I figured that it was just another Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich place (i.e., Mozza is easily accessible in Singapore, so I might as well fill my precious stomach space with something else while I was in New York). But then I noticed these guys across the street from Shake Shack yesterday, so I went in for a minute just to see what it was like (200 5th Avenue, 212-229-2560).

What I saw totally blew me away, so much that I immediately changed my plans to make sure that I had a chance to come here before I left. It turns out that this is actually a market from Turin, and the Batali-Bastianich folks brought this stateside. It wasn't just a huge gourmet market, but they also had multiple food stations, many of which were counterside or even standing tables only. Awesome! It was basically a food playground: Whole Foods meets Williams-Sonoma and set like in a market in Italy, all in midtown Manhattan. That is why I came back today.

And while there were some very interesting fish and pasta-focused restaurants, I went for the vegetable station, in large part because I've been eating nothing but meat in the past few days. This platter suited me just fine, especially given the good dose of olive oil that they put into this thing. Granted, when I finished, it left me with the same feeling that I had at Ubuntu: full but not satisfied. Still, I'm glad I ate here, and am definitely coming back. Let's hope that those rumors about Eataly opening at Beverly Center become true!

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