Thursday, May 2, 2013
If going to Le Cirque was the temple of culinary excellence, then Eataly would most aptly be described as heaven. It is an overwhelmingly brilliant culinary abbodanza of epicurean delights. If you love food the way I do, it kind of makes your brain explode a little when you first walk in....and then it keeps going and going. It is ridiculously amazing; the breadth of selection, the quality of just simply everything and the minutia is not forgotten. Eataly has the feel of European marketplace but at the same time has the distinct intensity that is uniquely New York.
In my two trips to Eataly I've managed to visit Il Verdure, Il Pesce, La Pizza & La Pasta, Manzo for cocktails and Caffe Verganano....yes I know, it's awesome...then there is the cheese section which is just out of control. So this is game plan, and kind of an insiders tip that I was was given by my companion who holds bragging rights as regular, you take a little tour before you choose a restaurant. Take a look at the market place, see what speaks to you, check out the fish counter, the produce, the pasta...and then go look at the boards at each of the restaurants. For example, when shisito peppers are at Il Verdure, well that's where we are going to start first, it's just the way it is. Or when razor clams are at Il Pesce or I have a hankering for crudo, well that's where we have to go, but not necessarily first. You don't have to commit to just one either, you can hop from restaurant to restaurant. That' s what we do, ordering a few things from each menu and drinking great wine.
I think the beauty of the whole concept is in it's simplicity. It's simple food done well...wait let me correct that...done, really, really well. What I love about Eataly, and the restaurants within, is that the whole place oozes love of food. It is so akin to the way I think and the way I cook, not that I cook anywhere close to these folks, but the theory is the same. Make it simple. If it's a pepper, it should taste like the best pepper you ever ate. It should be beautiful, fresh, perfect, simply prepared. It's like they recognize that the Earth gave us the best, most dynamic, flavorful ingredients we have; that those ingredients prepared with proper technique are vibrant, sometimes bursting forth, somethings subtly enticing, yet always unique and powerful in their own right. Far more then the over contrived plates and sauces of some restaurants. As I think about it, I'd say it takes a certain amount of confidence, of knowing who you are as and the quality that you have, to do what they do.
For the complete album of photos my visits, check out my Facebook Photos