And finally, yesterday after work I had time to venture to the food market just about every foodie has heard about on more than one occasion: Eataly.
Welcome to Mario Batali’s upscale grocery empire, an expanse of stocked fridges and overflowing baskets of all things Italian: cheeses galore, fresh and dried pastas, a meat counter, a gelateria, an espresso bar, oils, cafes, produce, the ever-important wine bar. The market buzzed with business people happy to be starting their weekends, families on a gelato exursion, and exhausted suited folks making a beeline to grab a few last ingredients for the night’s dinner.
And then there was me, the unpaid food magazine intern, admiring, but trying not to fall in love with all the things I couldn’t afford. But I couldn’t leave with nothing–the signs around the market did a great job of reminding me “you are what you eataly,” and I decided I just really wanted to purchase, eat, and be fresh spring pea ravioli. A half pound sits perched in the fridge, waiting to be boiled.
But right across the street was another food mecca all its own–the outdoor Madison Square Park Eats festival. Think of your typical food festival, step it’s classiness up a notch or two, condense its size to one block and add beverages being served in watermelon shell halves, and you’re there. I basically wanted one of everything, but the item I couldn’t pass up was a handmade cannoli from a business who drew customers in by advertising their restaurants are only located in Italy. Which made me wonder what they were doing in Madison Square Park, but hey, they had me a cannoli. I think, after that “meal,” I might be going through a bit of a cannoli obsession. Watch out Little Italy.