Last Sunday found my husband and I home with nothing in particular to do. We decided to visit Eataly in the Flatiron neighborhood of Manhattan. We boarded an express train and were in Manhattan before 11 am. The subway wasn’t crowded at all so we were downtown in no time.
Although it was Sunday morning, Eataly was just beginning to get busy. We wandered through their candy department as I wanted to purchase another bar of Piemonte Classico. It is Gianduja hazelnut milk chocolate with whole hazelnuts that my daughter gave me. The candy bar isn’t firm like American chocolate, but is a bit softer and had a rich creamy texture in the mouth. It’s heavenly.
I was able to walk freely through the pasta and tomato sauce area. There was an over abundance of pasta manufacturers, shapes and varieties to choose from. There was semolina pasta, whole wheat, organic and flavored pastas. You want tomato sauce? The was passata, cans of Italian tomatoes and prepared tomato sauces in jars.
Breads! What an assortment. Focaccia, pizza slices, variety of bread flavors, different shapes and sizes. There is a beef meat section and a pork meat section. The pork meat section had beautiful heritage pork chops for unless $18/lb.
Eataly has refrigerator cases with a wide variety of cheeses such as burrata, mozzarella, Grana Padano, Parmesan Reggiano, Gorgonzola to mention a few. There is also pre-sliced salumi, bresola and other meats.
Next to the cheese you can customize your cannoli or purchase a bomboloni (think jelly donut). Gelato, they have that too. A new area that I haven’t seen before, was an pizza bar. There’s a cheese department where you can select your cheese or watch fresh mozzarella being pulled. Did I mention a small fish section, spices (get your Italian oregano on the stem), housewares, fresh pasta and produce. It’s overwhelming to visit Eataly. I said to my husband, one needs to come here with a clear purpose of what you want to purchase to prepare at home.
Not interested in cooking, you can eat your way through Eataly as they offer casual dining in different areas of their store. My husband and I ate in La Piazza and had the Taglieri on the board which offered an assortment of cheeses and salumi . There was prosciutto DOP, Rovagnati Gran Biscotti Ham, Ferrarini Mortadella, Gorgonzola Dolce DOP, Lizzie Ricotta Fresca to name a few items. They also served the most wonderful honey that is flavored with Amaretto and slivered almonds, fig preserves and an apricot jam.
I could have purchased a lot more than I did, however, my husband didn’t feel like carrying a week’s worth of groceries through Manhattan and home to New Jersey. I did, however, purchase a bag of pasta, oregano on the stem, my chocolate and fresh ravioli filled with peas, mint, ricotta, and Pecorino Romano DOP cheese. I bought a pound for us and a pound for my granddaughter, she loves them!
After Eataly we walk to Maison-Kayser Flatiron, 921 Broadway (at 21st Street). There are approximately 16 locations in Manhattan alone. Maison-Kayser was founded by Eric Kayser in Paris, France. His shops are French Boulangerie, that is bread and assorted baked goods are mixed and baked all day in each store. We adore his almond croissants, especially warm. The croissants are filled with almond frangipane. We purchased two coffees and a croissant and ate them outside at a bistro set in the warm spring air. It was delightful sitting in Flatiron people watching and eating a delicious croissant. I do wish there was something like Maison-Kayser near me.
In the meantime, my daughter picked up for me frozen almond croissants from Trader Joe’s. I’ll have to give them a try one weekend. The croissants have to be removed from the freezer the night before, lightly covered so they can proof for nine hours or overnight before being baked. I can’t wait to try them.
A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.