the other day, hubs and i wandered up to eataly, mario batali’s mammoth italian food hall concept in the flatiron district. we went at 10 am when it opened, and zigzagged around the place pin-balling all around the place to get the lay of the land. we saw some gorgeously arranged vegetables, waited online for sliced prosciutto, checked out the unicredit ATM kiosk, and listened to the mozzarella man explain the freshness of his mozzarella. we bought a sample, popped it into our mouths, and yes, he was right, his mozzarella was indeed very fresh and creamy and elastic. it smelled nice too.
most of the food counters serving prepared food did not open until 11am. we tried to get a coffee at the lavazza espresso counter while we waited for things to open, but the line was daunting. instead, we sat outside in grammercy square park for a bit and then ducked inside. i quickly grabbed a gelato with two flavors: fig and pear-ginger. the fig gelato tasted like pink flesh of italian figs; however, i realised that i didn’t much like the taste of that particular type of fig configured into gelato. (i’m not quite sure what type of fig il laboratorio del gelato uses; their fig gelato is divine). i quite enjoyed the pear-ginger flavor.
our friend J showed up (we planned to meet him there for lunch) and after quickly walking around in a circle, decided to eat lunch at La Pasta, the pasta and neapolitian pizza restaurant. apparently, lines can get up to 90 minutes long at peak times; although there was no wait when we showed up at 11:05am. we ordered a mixed appetizers plate, a pizza and a pasta. the mixed plate contained about 6-7 tiny servings of roasted vegetables, cured meats and mozzarella. best shared between two people with smallish appetites. the pizza, a margherita, arrived rather burnt on the edges with a soggy center — we really weren’t very impressed. however, the fusilli was omg! the best fusilli i’ve ever had. La Pasta served the fusilli with a hearty ragu (J identified it as duck, but i thought it tasted more like an aged beef). i probably could have consumed a plate of the stuff without any sauce.
i ended up purchasing a package of the fusilli to take home with me ($7.50/each). it’s a bit pricey for dried pasta, but a pack has got 5-6 servings, so not too bad. a few days later, i boiled about half a pack of the pasta, reaching al dente perfection in about 11 minutes. i served it with my own version of a hearty ragu made from ground turkey, san marzano tomatoes, and a few tomatoes thrown in from my garden.
200 Fifth Ave (@ 23rd Street)
New York, NY 10010
Lavazza Espresso Bar 9a-10p