Nothing Little about Eataly

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My trip to New York City last week rocked, period. End of statement. As you read, I visited my friend Rachel and the San Gennaro Festival in Little Italy. This was of course after a trip to Eataly, Mario Batali’s mammoth indoor Italian marketplace. If you haven’t been, go there. Now. It will change your life. Below, find a list of 5 things I loved about Eataly.

1. Meat, anyone?
Hey, there’s nothing wrong with a girl with a little meat on her bones, am I right? Far from vegetarian, I scour the world over for meat: cured, brined, pulled, confit, roasted, toasted, grilled, you name it. Eataly did not disappoint. If soppressata could talk, it would say, “I love you, Jill. Eat me.” Hey, no problem, you delicious Italian sausage, you. And maybe I’ll snag a bite of your friend prosciutto while I’m at it. Pick your spot at the salami bar and get your taste on!

2.  Plates of pasta
My, what an extensive and impressive spread of pastas you have, Eataly! The glowing deli case illuminates some old favorites and newly discovered finds simultaneously. Gnocchi? Don’t mind if I do, so long as I could save room for Tagliolini, Pea Raviolis and Fettucce Romane. Never heard of half of these? Neither have I, but that’s the beauty of Eataly, you see. You can get next to ANYTHING from any region of Italy, all under one roof!

3. One word: Gelato
There’s nothing quite like quieting your insatiable sweet tooth. What better way to do it than with a scoop of homemade gelato in a little waffle cone? Damn! I could have walked the aisles of Eataly forever given enough chocolate chip cookie gelato.

4. Bread and cheese

Perfect lunch

I have had to lump these into one category because I just can’t bear to leave out number 5. There is an entire CORNER of Eataly dedicated to Focaccia bread alone. What more do I have to do other than reach my arms through the computer screen, grab you by the neck and shake until you understand how awesome that is? It’s said that beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. Wrong. It’s focaccia. Not to mention cheese. Sorry lactose-intolerants; pass the stinky stuff this way! I made out like a bandit for lunch: a slice of Parmigiano Reggiano, Asiago and Gorgonzola dolce later (all for $11, by the way!), I was in a cheese coma.

5. Birreria
Oh, the rooftop restaurant. I hardly knew you existed, but when I arrived, via elevator, only to see the Empire State Building as the backdrop to my microbrews and cheese plate lunch, it was then I wondered if I had died and gone to heaven. Casks of wine line the bar, and a friendly and knowledgeable bar staff  lets you try any beer they have on tap before committing to a pint. My particular bartender hooked me up because it was my birthday. I was able to sample tons of different beers and somehow even stumbled out of there with a few shots of tequila in my system. This restaurant’s a no-brainer. You just show up and they do the rest, unleashing you into the night feeling pleasantly fed and happy.

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