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NYC: Eataly, an Italian Dream

By on June 15, 2014 in Dining, New York Travel with 7 Comments

Eataly, New York City“I love places that have an incredible history. I love the Italian way of life, I love the food, I love the people, I love the attitudes of Italians.” – Sir Elton John

When I was a junior at Syracuse University, I spent a semester abroad in Florence, Italy. I loved everything about the experience — my friends, the wine, the food, the art, dancing all night, the cobbled-stoned streets, the Duomo di Firenze. Living in Florence was one of the best times of my life.

Fast forward to nearly two decades later. Business took me to Manhattan for Google Analytics and Tag Manager training. I’ve been to the city many times before, but there is always something new to explore.

The last time I was in New York for training, I went with one of my co-workers, Mandi. We spent some time together and some time apart. One of the venues she had ventured off to was Eataly, an Italian marketplace. She couldn’t travel with me this time, but she advised me to check it out. I told her I wasn’t sure if I would have time. Her response was, “make the time.”

After my training was done, I hopped on the subway and off I went to find this Italian marketplace. EvenEataly in NYC though Mandi had told me all about the amazing food – gelato, cheeses, paninis and everything else Italian, I was blown away when I arrived.

I saw people walking by me with cappuccinos to die for. The gelato  and paninis looked amazing and authentic. My mouth was salivating. Where to begin? I had to check out the entire marketplace before making a decision. I wanted it all, but of course that was unrealistic. Thus, I needed to consider all my options before deciding.

Il Crudo at EatalyI wanted mozzarella. I wanted nutella. After checking out the market, I was going to find myself a little panini shop and purchase a tomato, mozzarella and basil panini. But, I found something even better — a fresh ball of mozzarella. I marched myself up to the counter at Il Crudo and ordered mozzarella and tomatoes. I hardly change my mind, but I had been thinking about the prosciutto. Since I was in the most Italian place I could possibly be at in the States, I decided to go all out. There were two types of prosciutto – the kind I usually get and a cooked version. Since I had never had the latter, I ordered the proscuitto cotto.

Olive Oil and Italian Bread at Eataly     Mozzarella and Prosciutto at Eataly

When the olive oil and bread came out, I felt like I was back in Florence. I am not a huge bread person, but ever since my semester abroad, I cannot resist dipping my bread in pure, fresh olive oil. Next came the mozzarella and prosciutto. I thought to myself, “this may be the best mozzarella I’ve ever had in my entire life.” And then I realized it was probably just as good if not better in Italy, but it was the best cheese I’ve had in a very, very long time. I do prefer the uncooked prosciutto instead of what I ordered, but I enjoy trying new things.

I walked around a little more. How could I not? Eataly brought me back to my youth. I was reminded of walking down the cobble-stoned streets of Florence at all hours of the day and night. I thought about my carefree days learning Italian in the little backyard of my college. I remembered how amazing pizza was and how you could eat a whole pie. The food was always fresh, just as it was at Eataly.

Eataly in New York City

My friend, Deb, told me to check out the nutella store. Of course, it was at Eataly. (Thanks, Deb!) Dessert was a toss up between gelato and nutella. The nutella crepe won. It was amazing — pure heaven in my mouth.

Nutella Crepe at Eataly

 

Nutella, New York City  Nutella, Eataly in NYC

Nutella, Eataly   Nutella, Eataly, NYC

My stomach was more than full; my taste buds were delighted. On I went to my next adventure, very happy I listened to Mandi’s words of wisdom. Thanks, Mandi!

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