Eataly! 02/21/2011
 
After much anticipation, I finally made it to the remarkable Batali-Bastianich Italian marketplace, Eataly, in the Chelsea section of NYC, and, despite the long lines due to an unbelievable crowd, it lived up to all the hype. 
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I have truly never seen anything like it, and perhaps the hardest part was simply deciding whether to begin with lunch, snack or shopping.  Lunch won!  Restaurants with seating, some more formal than others, provide fresh pasta, pizza, cured meats, cheeses and verdure, but not a chair was to be found, so I picked up a slice of sauteed onion foccacia to eat while we walked.  It literally melted in my mouth!  

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After we ate, and scoped out the massive and copious displays of all things vegan (and not), I shopped for some produce.  It lines the aisles as you arrive off of the 23rd Street entrance, and it is just a gorgeous sight.  Blood oranges with their lucious green stems, fresh varieties of citrus, plums, sprouts, lettuces, apples, herbs, squashes, green vegetables, mushrooms and tomatoes line small shelved compartments and wicker baskets, and glass jars full of all varieties of nuts and dried fruits were so inviting, serving as book ends to the produce.

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From there, we wandered the aisles full of pastries, coffee, antipasti, gelato and sorbet, oil and vinegar, truffles, pasta, cookbooks, sauces, and fresh bread, picking up some citrus cured olives, egg-free lasagnette pasta, and fresh out-of-the-oven homemade breads.  We were literally there for hours.  I think you could go there weekly and always find something new.  If you have not yet been, visit when you have some time on your hands, and go hungry.  For vegans, there is more to purchase than there is to eat unless you're lucky enough to get seating in one of the restaurants.  The food from table service looked amazing.  Oh, and don't forget the wine...grab a glass and a high top table or sip as you shop!  Everything you try is for sale in Eataly Wine, situtated in a glass-enclosed area of the larger store.  Yes...I'm cooking tonight!

 


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