You can tell as soon as they sit down in the lucite chairs that they are Eataly virgins. They can’t be blamed, I muse, as I smile knowingly. Being that the restaurants of Eataly are seemingly carelessly scattered about with no velvet ropes or half walls to distinguish their perimeter from the rest of the megastore, people tend to wander right up to a table and seat themselves. Eataly is a 50,000 square foot emporium of everything that is wonderful about Italian food and everyone, it seems, wants to be here. It charms both tourists and jaded New Yorkers alike. It is approachable, so much so, that people just walk right up to the tables in the many restaurants and seat themselves, instead of going to one of the “seating points” scattered throughout the floor. These virgins will be kindly told to go to a seating point (aka hostess) to secure their spot. I’ve been to Eataly at least 6 times and it never disappoints.
Eataly is not:
- a bargain meal
- mundane, tired food choices
- expensive, but worth it
- loud and bustling
- creative, seasonal, simply cooked food
Eataly’s seven “restaurants” are scattered throughout the food products and counter areas where one can get bread, meat, fish, dairy,candy, pasta and much more. There are several seating points and that is where you request a table. Le Verdure, or really just “vegetable” as it is called, is a vegetarian paradise and a cure for your taste buds. There are no mock meats, no tofu pups, no soy, really not even that much pasta! Shining brightly instead are the vegetables which are made into all sorts of creative and filling salads, soups, bruschetta and sandwiches.
Something to know before you go-it is always crowded. I went on an overcast Tuesday afternoon in February and it was crowded. Just roll with it and have a good time!