There’s an old adage that says the third time’s a charm. For Italian-American restaurateurs Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich and Lidia Bastianich, that’s the hope.
The trio teamed up with Oscar Farinetti, mastermind behind gourmet food and wine market, Eataly, with locations in Italy and Japan, to create a third sprawling space in New York City’s Toy Building at 200 Fifth Ave. The complex, which opens on Tuesday, will feature more than 20 retail departments─cured meats, cheeses, vegetables, fish, breads, and pastas are just a few─plus multiple culinary stations, a cooking school (headed up by Lidia Bastianich), as well as places to eat.
“The most fundamental building blocks of making good foods are the ingredients, and at Eataly, you not only get to buy them, but also taste them and learn about them,” Mario Batali told Wine Enthusiast, adding, “The idea is to eliminate the obstacles between you and your natural greatness as a cook, so that you are equipped to go home and prepare food.”
But Eataly doesn’t just stop there; The 47,000-square-foot space features a bookstore, café, wine shop, bakery and, top it off, seven full-service eateries, including the fine-dining Italian steakhouse, Manzo. It’s the only restaurant with a reservation policy. They also collaborated with Dogfish Head, Birra del Borgo and Birrifico Le Baladin to open a year-round rooftop beer garden in November, La Birreria, which will serve made-on-site brews and a variety of Italian sausages.
“You can make it an everyday grocery shopping trip, or stop by to learn a new cutting or cooking technique, and you can even have a sit-down lunch or dinner,” says Batali.
Here’s a closer look at the Eataly’s departments:
Wine and Beer
Wine director Dan Amatuzzi worked with Batali, Bastianich and Farinetti to stock Eataly’s shelves with more than 1,000 Italian wines, including Antinori, Ferrari and La Mozza. Meanwhile, beer lovers can take the elevator up to the rooftop to indulge in La Birreria‘s house brews.
Le Verdure (vegetable) will serve fried veggies, fresh salads and other vegetarian-only options.
Manzo (meat) will have a menu that features raw beef, steak and anti-pasti dishes.
Il Pesce (fish), headed up by Esca chef David Pasternack, will sell everything from lemon-cooked fish to seafood salads and contorni.
La Pizza (pizza) will dish out delicious fresh mozzarella pies made daily in wood-burning ovens.
La Pasta (pasta), La Pizza ‘s nearest neighbor, will serve dried and fresh pasta dishes, some of which you can find on the store shelves.
Salumi e Formaggi (salumi and cheese) will offer delectable cold-cuts, with favorites like prosciutto di Parma and an array of aged cheeses. At the mozzarella bar, you can watch the cheese being handmade before buying a chunk.
Crudo (raw bar) is where you can stock up on raw delights, while getting a front-row seat to the chef as he prepares dishes.
Eataly’s shelves are rife with imported Italian olive oils (prices range from $8- $40), dried pastas ($1.75-$20), balsamic vinegars, tomato sauces, honey, and jams. There’s also a selection of linens, kitchen equipment, houseware products, and a bookstore dedicated to wine, food and Italian culture. And if you’re thinking about visiting Italy, talk to AlpiTours and Liberi Tutti, the in-house travel agencies available to help you plan your next trip.
Culinary Stations and School
The stations spread throughout the store will offer food and wine courses, lectures and demonstrations. You can learn everything from how to make fresh mozzarella, to how to roll out pasta dough and bake focaccia bread. At La Scuola (the school), you can take classes with Eataly’s founders, who’ll teach you about artisanal products, seasonal ingredients, as well as healthy cooking.