NEW YORK — Billed as “the largest artisanal Italian food and wine marketplace in the world,” Eataly, a retail creation from celebrity chef Mario Batali and his partners, has opened in Manhattan's Flatiron District here to bustling crowds.
The 42,500-square-foot space, designed with a modern flair by New York-based TPG Architecture, features a marketplace ambiance offering produce, seafood, meats, cheeses, baked goods, pasta, sauces, condiments and several open kitchens offering prepared foods. The emphasis is on imported Italian fare for the shelf-stable items, along with fresh items, including a limited amount of produce, from local suppliers.
The retail format first opened in Turin, Italy, in 2007, founded by former electronics retail executive Oscar Farinetti. The New York outpost is a joint venture among Farinetti, Batali, and Batali's restaurant partners, Lidia and Joe Bastianich.
The seven prepared-food areas include Le Verdure (vegetable), Il Manzo (meat), Il Pesce (fish), La Pasta (pasta), La Pizza (pizza), I Salumi e I Formaggi (salumi and cheese), and Il Crudo (raw bar).
Other areas include an Italian gelato and pastry counter, and a Lavazza Café offering speciality coffees. Next month, a 4,500-square-foot rooftop beer garden, La Birreria, is slated to open, accessible by elevator from the Eataly main floor. It will offer a range of beers, as well as pizza and sausages.
Shoppers in the main retail space can order items to consume in the store at seating areas, or they can shop the retail displays on short gondolas and endcaps, using carts made of recycled plastic bottles.
Much of the store's focus is on artisanal offerings, such as Pasta di Gragnano — varieties of artisanal pasta made in Gragnano, near Naples. In addition, some mainstream Italian pasta brands such as Barilla, are offered.
Fresh dairy products include local offerings from Battenkill Creamery, Ronnybrook Farm and NY Milk.
A wine store specializing in Italian varieties is located adjacent to one of the store's entrances, and individual prepared-food areas inside the stores offer a selection of wines by the glass.
Eataly also offers cooking classes emphasizing high-quality, artisanal products, and seasonal and local ingredients.