I had been hearing the hype about Eataly since before it opened and was actually very excited about the concept considering I had studied abroad in Italy (see… everything always goes back to that trip). However, once it opened I started hearing that it was over crowded and full of tourists, something no one living here ever wants to deal with, and honestly I just never had a chance to get over there and check it out. There are 12 different food locations (this includes the dessert locales) within the complex, in addition to the market. This fact also left me feeling overwhelmed and unsure how to really “eataly…” so I just kept putting off my visit.
About two weeks ago a friend decided we should try the newly opened Birreria located on the rooftop of Eataly, and so I finally went; it was during the week and we had more than enough time to deal with the wait I had anticipated.
We got there at 7:00 and waited about an hour. The great thing about waiting there though is you can drink wine, eat bread and explore everything Eataly has to offer while you wait. Though WARNING, it is very tourist heavy!
I thought the breads at Eataly were amazing and possibly what I was most impressed with. During the wait we ordered the focaccia with tomato sauce, parmesan, broccoli rabe and sardines. It was delicious. This goes the same for the bread they served upstairs once we were seated, which was served with some side olive oil for dipping. I didn’t order this, but I’ve since heard that you can get a biergarten-appropriate pretzel as your bread for an extra charge. I’ll have to check that out next time!
Eataly Thyme Pale Ale: This will eventually be the Gina beer, but for now it’s brewed at Dogfish Head while Eataly’s brewery is getting ready. It was delicious and definitely my beer of choice.
Cheese Platter: Here you can get 3 for $11, 5 for $15 or 7 for $17. We got 3 for $11 opting for the Parmigiano Reggiano, the Pecorino Toscano and the Taleggio. I’ve never met a cheese I don’t like, so I thoroughly enjoyed this course. Eataly also brought out some honey, which I was happily surprised about because I’ve always enjoyed the contrast of Parmesan with Honey. Try it, if you haven’t already!
Pork Shoulder: This is braised in beer and apricot and is as good as it sounds like it would be. It’s soft with a slightly sweet and crispy outside. This came with a side of sauerkraut and mustard. The flavor of the spicy mustard with the sweet glaze on the pork shoulder was a spot on combination. Though I obviously enjoyed the dish, I felt that for $20 it required a side. As far as I’m concerned sauerkraut is a garnish.
Next time: I want to try the sausages and I am intrigued by the Quail.
Eataly Birreria: 200 Fifth Ave., New York, NY at 23rd St. ($$)