It’s just like the real thing, but even better. Why? Because I get to explore Italy on a $10 bus ticket, not an $800 flight. Because I don’t have to weigh each shopping choice against my baggage allowance. Because its design evokes a sense of place far stronger than Buon Italia in Chelsea Market or Penn Mac ‘dahn the Strip. Most of all it’s better than the real thing because I can share it with my American friends! Marni bought her husband a pound of plin, her children grissini and Guido Gobino chocolate hazelnut spread, some bread, some salame, and a few sacs of pasta gragnano. They all loved it!
We ate a light dinner in the pasta and pizza restaurant. The margherita pizza was perfect, in every way. I blushed with pleasure. The tatooed pizzaioli posed for pictures and spoke in a dialect I could not understand. The butter-parmesan sauce on the plin had a funky metallic taste, but the pasta otherwise tasted like home. The waitress was cute and perky. The scene was casual. I’m sure I’ll share many more meals there.
Since starting this blog three years ago, I’ve been dreaming of Eataly NYC, following the news items about its opening, and wondering if it would really happen. Now I’m simply dreaming of my next trip. I’ll ensure my camera battery is charged next time.
Thank you so much to the Bastianich family and to Mario Batali for figuring out a way to bring this project to fruition!