November 7, 2010

Eataly Visit/Arnaldo Caprai Montefalco Rosso

I recently visited Eataly in NYC, the closest you can get to all things Italian without hopping on an airplane.  A combination of Italian market and food hall, Eataly is located at 200 5th Avenue between 23rd and 24th Street.  The  creation of celebrity chefs Mario Batali, Lidia Matticchio Bastianich, and her son Joe Bastianich is a first for the US but their concept already exists in Italy as well as Japan.  There is so much to feast your eyes on and feast you will-literally!  There is 50,000 square feet to explore  for produce, meat, fish, pasta, or cheese to take home or you can dine in at one of the many seating areas all separated according to what type of Italian delites you are craving.  You can choose among Il Pesce (fish), Le Verdure (all vegetarian), La Pizza & Pasta, or Manzo which is the closest to a full on restaurant and reservations are recommended.  We chose to eat in the La Piazza section which is on a first come first serve basis.  You stand at countertop tables but have full waitress service for wines by the bottle or glass, as well as cheeses, meats, and small plates.  Our wine was a delicious bottle of Arnaldo Caprai Montefalco Rosso 2007 from Umbria.  This medium bodied red is a blend of 70% sangiovese, 15% sagrantino, and 15% merlot grapes.  Dark ruby in color with full plum and spice flavors which then give way to light vanilla notes.  Soft tannins are present and this wine has a pleasant, long finish.  To accompany our Montefalco Rosso we ordered 3 cheeses: grana padano (my favorite of the three), castelmagno, and bra tenero, prosciutto san daniele with figs, and mixed olives.  For after dinner treats there is a coffee bar and gelato counter.  The hazelnut gelato was the best I have ever had!  On your way out pop in next door to the separate wine shop where they have a decent selection of Italian wines at a wide variety of price points.  I may not be able to get to Italy as soon as I would like but now it has been brought to me!  I was so impressed by Eataly and I cannot wait to go back and try it all!!

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