Sunday, October 31, 2010

Mario Batali knows his stuff

  So after an exhausting shift in the ER, I came home to be a grandma.  I fell asleep watching The Exorcist (I've gotta get in the Halloween mood somehow) and was woken up by a phone call.  Naveen, who goes to med school with me, is in NYC right now on a cardiothoracic surgery rotation at Mt. Sinai.  We decided to meet up for dinner, and I had researched Eataly, a new restaurant near Madison Square Park created by Mario Batali.  Reading reviews of the restaurant, it was summed up that this place was the closest you can get to Italy without actually being there.  Eataly is a HUGE warehouse full of delicacies.  Seriously, I can't even do the store justice by explaining it to you.  Basically it's divided into different foods and you can stop to eat at each one.  There are standing tables and barstools throughout the entire store.  For example, you can sit down at a table to eat pasta, or you can enjoy an assorted cheese and meat platter with a glass of wine while standing at a tall table.  This place has the most beautiful ambiance.
 I made the decision that if I was going to "Italy", damnit I was going to wear red lipstick.  I am firm believer that lipstick fully completes any outfit.  No one can mess with a woman in red lipstick.

The gelato store is one entrance to Eataly.  Don't worry, I had some before I left.

  Sorry that it's not such a great picture, but this is one of the other many entrances.

  I know that this menu picture is of the greatest quality, but I couldn't resist taking a pic because of all the delicious things on it.  Mind you it was expensive food, but so worth it.

Drumroll please.................we decided to sit at the "vegetable butcher".  Basically you sit at on a barstool at a bar and see right into the kitchen.  The chefs at this station use only the freshest veggies and cheeses around.  It was amazing to observe the quality of produce and ingredients at this place.  I was in love.  On the board I saw a special bruschetta.

  Spaghetti squash garlic bruschetta with brown butter, freshly grated parmiagiano reggiano, and crispy sage.  I wish there was a way for me to portray this dish in real time.  FREAKING PHENOMENAL!!!  The squash was tender and garlicky, the brown butter to die for, and the sage and cheese just melted in your mouth.  Another cool thing is that except for this bruschetta and one other dish, everything else at this station is vegan.

  This was Naveen's entree....grilled eggplant with capers and a fresh mixed green salad with a homemade citrus vinaigrette.  The way they warm up the capers really added a unique touch but without the usual strong peppery bite that capers normally have.
  My entree was the roasted root vegetable salad.  Warm sauteed butternut squash, sweet potato, parsnips and carrots over a bed of cool mixed green lightly dressed in a shallot vinaigrette.  I wanted to lick the plate clean and eat more entrees.  If I was made of money, I would've tried everything on the menu.

  There was no way that I was going to leave without some gelato in my life.  I got the medium 2-flavor cup......hazelnut on one side and vanilla pear on the other.  The hazelnut was so strikingly similar to actual hazelnut flavor I was stunned.  And the pear vanilla was the best and most unusual flavor combination I've seen.  Naveen also got the sweet cream flavor and the amaretto, both of which were additionally astounding.

"I have no more words.  I'm actually speechless.  This has never happened to me before."
-----prize if you can guess the movie this quote is from.  I know that Kati and Heather probably know.


  1. I made the Sweet potato, apple, carrot, lentil soup for dinner. I think we should change the name Fall Soup. It was amazing, but your food looks so much better.