OH BOY OH BOY OH BOY!
I could hardly contain my excitement yesterday as Eataly FINALLY opened! For several weeks I have been monitoring the opening date as they postponed it and noted various reasons for delays. Finally they announced the grand opening would be yesterday at 4pm. Sadly, I was elbows deep drafting a motion to dismiss and trying to kick a research assignment far enough down the road that one of the incoming associates could take it instead...but I digress.
Luckily 1 out of 3 stated that he would love to dine at one of the restaurants in Eataly and also allow me to feast my eyes on the various offerings. Oh but where do I start?!
Since I had to make a brief pit stop back at the office after I already left, we were quite hungry by the time we got there. We walked in on a mission to find the pizza and pasta place that I knew was in there. Quite the maze but the signage is very helpful.
We were told we had to wait an hour so we roamed around looking for something to eat in the meantime. Luckily the bakery was giving out free samples of bread.
With as many times as we went back, we must have eaten a whole loaf. We continued roaming around and went to the produce market where an employee offered us free figs. Yum! With that little sample I decided to get a fruit salad for $2.50. All the fruit salads are priced the same even though some are mixed fruit and others just contain a single fruit. Why am I dwelling on the fruit you ask?
Well on our way back to Rossopomodoro, the pizza & pasta restaurant, I was stopped by a dirty blond woman in a blue jumpsuit. She asked me whether I had paid for my fruit salad. AS IF?!
What kind of person do you think I am? I asked her if she wanted to see my receipt and she immediately was apologetic and saying something about I would be shocked to see what people have done all day. Not. My. Problem. She told me she would check on the status of our table, but by then I had made eye contact with the hostess and it was obvious we had somewhere to sit.
It took 20 minutes instead of an hour which was good. We sat at the counter where I had a clear view of co-founder Lidia Bastianich and her entourage. Although it took me a while to figure out it was her, and by then it was too late to snap a good picture
The San Marzano Pizza arrived quickly. Since it came out of the monster that allegedly was imported from Italy.
The sauce was delicious. Slightly tangy with a healthy thickness. The mozzarella was heavenly but they did skimp a little.
I really shouldn't have naked slices of pizza.
We also ordered Penne Napoli. Basic penne pasta in tomato sauce sprinkled with fresh mozzarella.
At the time, I thought it took little longer to arrive than I would have liked. In retrospect it didn't actually take that long and having the pizza helped soften the blow of waiting. Since 1 out of 3 had to hurry out, I took my time and walked around to see some of the other offerings. There's a book store with a lot of cookbooks.
Also some housewares with neat little gadgets.
Good thing I took a long time because on my way out, I saw the man himself! Mr. Batali was engaged in a somewhat serious sounding conversation so I resisted the urge to go and ask him for a photo.
Instead I snapped one from afar with my fastphone. Even if it's not super clear, you can tell from those orange clogs exactly who it is.
There’s still a lot to explore at Eataly and I definitely plan on going back when it’s less crowded.