Eataly sounds like the Manhattan Project of Italian food. UniEuro’s Oscar Farinetti, PBS’s Lidia Bastianich and celebrity chef Mario Batali unite forces to create an all-Italian community of stores, restaurants and bars under (and on top of) one roof. Eataly offers everything you could possibly need—Have a dinner party? Swing by one of the butcher shops, fresh seafood kiosks, or grocery stores located throughout the facility. Looking for a quick dinner for your party before a night on the town or a romantic, intimate corner for you and your loved one? Eataly has NINE restaurants ranging from sandwiches to gourmet vegetarian to pizza and pasta. Looking for a nightcap after hitting it hard downtown? The rooftop bar offers late night food and libations AND a peerless view of the Manhattan skyline—and on the rainy or snowy nights, they have a retractable roof.
Usually, a 45-minute wait for a table can be annoying because you’re confined to the bar or around the host’s booth until a spot opens up. But here, you can put your name down, grab a glass (or bottle) of vino and shop for some groceries or find the bar upstairs until they text you that your table is ready. The minutes fly by as you acquaint yourself with imported pastas, meats, cheeses and wines that you never knew existed.
Whether you’re with your partner or in a large group, finding a restaurant that can please everyone can be a Herculean task. One person might want a simple sandwich, while another wants scallops, except someone else is allergic to shellfish or gluten (eliminating both options). Except at Eataly, where everyone’s persnickety food habits can be met. Find a common table and your sandwich-wanting friend can get a panini at Panini, while your seafood-loving friend goes to Il Pesce and the allergic can get a gluten-free meal at La Pizza and La Pasta.
Trying to impress on a first date instead of feeding a group? Then sign up for one of Eataly’s six classes which range from a walking tour to cooking with simple ingredients like mozzarella or olive oil.
Eataly is open from 10 am to 11 pm (yes, even the rooftop bar). Give yourself some time at Eataly. Wonderful things should not be rushed and like a fine wine or a hearty meal, they’re meant to be lingered over and enjoyed.
Eataly has a ten-part manifesto. Number four is “Our target audience: Everyone”. And they truly adhere to that tenet.