It’s a no brainer, New York City is a haven for foodies. But one thing that I had to go visit was Eataly. When I went to Chicago, I went to the Eataly store there and I was in heaven. So I had to try the original store at the big apple. Eataly is a high-end Italian food market/mall chain comprising a variety of restaurants, food and beverage stations, bakery, and retail items. Literally paradise for food lovers.
If it’s your first time going, it can be chaotic. But once you’ve gone in, there’s no going back. The New York store isn’t as crowded as the Chicago store. While the Chicago store seems to be more modern and clean designed, the chaos of the original New York (which seems slightly smaller compared to its sister in Chicago) store gives you that warm and fuzzy feeling. You are immediately greeted with a plethora of Italian groceries. Now mind you, when you come here, be prepared to rob the bank. Products here are not cheap. Yes, you can certainly go window shopping, but that’s torture. You will most likely end up getting atlas something. You will find everything from sweets to desserts to fresh produce to fine Italian utensils to dry ingredients.
What makes Eataly so unique is that the products you will find in the store is authentic with their original Italian labels. You will rarely find a product from the US. Actually, I don’t think I saw an American made product. You have to try out their sodas, especially the chinotto. Once you try some chinotto, Coke and whatever soda you fancy will never taste the same again.
When you manage to make it through the chaos and find the food court, you will realize you’re in heaven. There’s several dining options and there’s bound to be something to your heart’s desire from meats to vegetables to fish. It’s open kitchen so you can see what you the chefs are doing.
We decided to try out Il Pesce, the seafood restaurant. We went to Il Pesce at the Eataly in Chicago so we decided to try it here and it did not disappoint!
We tried to the calamari and the raw fish sampler. I love that they have a unique take on their dishes. It’s fresh and healthy. You will not see the fried calamari that we are used to, but instead unbreaded squid that absolutely tastes amazing. When we first ordered the raw fish sampler in Chicago’s Eataly, I was skeptical. But the minute I tried it…it melts in your mouth and the seasoning is just perfect. The New York version is just as amazing. You have to try it.
Their seared scallops were cooked to perfection, but I’m not sure about the tomato based sauce. I would’ve preferred it without the sauce to be honest, but it wasn’t bad.
And of course I had to order the chinotto. I could literally drink this all day long.
And of course, if you aren’t full (which you probably won’t be full, the servings are just right and you won’t have an unhealthy food induced coma afterwards), you need to head over to the desserts stations. There’s a Nutella bar that everyone obsesses over (it’s just anything and everything you can imagine with Nutella, oh you know, no big deal), but the main star in my opinion is the pastry and gelato bars. We tried the pistachio and chocolate mint gelatos…YAS! And honestly, you cannot go wrong with any of these pastry/desserts. Eating these will give you a food induced coma, but I’m not complaining!
I can go to Eataly over and over again still not get to see everything! I came in with the intentions of going to Il Pesce, and I ended up buying several Italian cookies and an egg holder. Eataly is definitely a treat for anyone who loves food whether you love to cook or just eat! You’ll see a lot of familiar things and then also get to experience so much new stuff. It’s definitely pricey as it’s an upscale store (but it’s casual so don’t come in all dressed up), but trust me, it’s worth anything you get!
For more information on Eataly, click here.
Bonus: Of course I had to represent UCF at Times Square!