Restaurant: Eataly – Gelateria
Last visited: September 11, 2011
Location: Manhattan, NY (Gramercy/Flatiron)
Address: 200 5th Ave
Nearby subway stops: 23 St
Price Range: $10 or less for gelato, $20-30+ for Eataly
1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!
Food: 5 for gelato, 4 based on Eataly
Service: 3 at gelateria
- Marketplace restaurant
- Chef Luca Montersino (Gelato)
- Chef Mario Batali (Eataly)
- Made in house
- Organic whole milk from NY
- Nuts from Italy
- Fresh fruit delivered every morning
- Daily 11am-11pm
- Marketplace hours: 9am-11pm
- To see Eataly’s seafood restaurant Il Pesce – see here
- To see Eataly’s meat restaurant Manzo – see here
**Recommendations: Any gelato, especially the nut ones
To quickly recap my recent posts, they have been about the restaurants at Eataly. Eataly is the largest artisanal Italian wine and food marketplace from Turin, Italy. It was brought to New York by a group of individuals including Food Network’s Iron Chef America’s Chef Mario Batali. It’s basically an Italian fine foods supermarket with retail centres, a gift shop, book store and boutique style restaurants. It actually reminds me of a less high end Harrod’s. For more details on Eataly see my first post on it here.
There are 12 restaurants to choose from in Eataly and about five or so are sit down boutique style restaurants with servers and hosts. A couple are more like counter service restaurants, and then the rest are retail centres where things are made to-go, or to be enjoyed in the communal free seating area at the front of the marketplace. With so many options, I had no choice but to restaurant hop. It’s a bit hard to do if you want to try their sit down restaurants, which is what I had my heart set on, so plan and order carefully.
My first course was no, not dessert! It was the first thing I saw walking in and you had to walk by all the deliciousness in order to get to the boutique restaurants in the back. But my first course was actually seafood! I have to go savoury to sweet, and I had to pace myself since I was restaurant hopping. Therefore I skipped the appetizers and headed straight for Il Pesce, which is Eataly’s seafood restaurant. I ended up having more than one course there too – see here.
I was more than satisfied and quite full at this point, but I couldn’t ignore the amazing desserts that I knew I would pass by walking out. I already saw them walking in, so there was no turning back. Instead, I looked forward to what was ahead! So I did my exercise by waddling over to the sweeter portion of the marketplace.
But at last, I ended where I started, which is at the Eataly Gelateria entrance. With so many dessert options gelato seemed like the “boring” and “obvious” choice, but I was looking forward to something cold, clean and refreshing. The “ice cream” category is also my favourite category for desserts, so naturally my cravings will always direct me here.
In Italy, gelato is comparable to a coffee break. It’s everywhere and people don’t have it only for dessert. When I was there I had a minimum of 4 scoops a day and maximum of 8 scoops a day. When in Italy do as the Italians right? And technically they weren’t “scoops”, as gelato should never be a “scoop”. Ice cream is a scoop. Anyways the gelato at Eataly is house made in small batches daily with fresh fruits and imported nuts from Italy. The quality is comparable to fine gelaterias in Italy.
I tried about 3 gelato places in New York including Il Laboratorio Del Gelato and L’Arte Del Gelato, and overall I liked Eataly’s the best. L’Arte Del Gelato is also an excellent choice, but the intensity of flavours and texture was just slightly better here. I also liked how they kept all the gelato covered so that it wasn’t exposed to any air. For the Vancouver readers, Bella Gelateria is marginally better than the listed, but if you’re craving gelato, I think these places are the best it gets in New York. So once again Vancouver, we should consider ourselves very lucky!
On the table:
- Small cup (1 flavour): $4.90 Medium cup (2 flavours): $5.90 Large cup (3 flavours): $6.90
- Small cone: $3.90 Medium cone: $4.90 Large cone: $5.90
- I was surprised the cones were $1 cheaper, but I had the large cup with 3 flavours. *Oink*.
- The consistency was pretty perfect and that of authentic fresh made gelato.
- The gelatos are made with organic whole milk from Rochester, New York.
- As I said, gelato shouldn’t be a scoop and this was not a scoop. Check!
- Authentic Italian gelato should be creamy, rich and thick like this. Check!
- The pistachio was made with Bronte, Sicilian pistachios and the nuttiness was apparent with a buttery texture and intense flavour of freshly ground pistachio paste.
- There weren’t pieces of pistachio in it and I actually like when pistachio gelatos have that, but this was still excellent.
Lemon Sorbetto – 4/6
- This was the palate cleanser.
- It was bright with a lemony tang, refreshing and not too sweet.
- It was a bit icy and I prefer it creamier, but it was made with fresh lemons, which I think were American (Myer) lemons. The tang was a bit sharper than Italian ones.
- I actually liked the Sorento Lemon Sorbetto better at Bella Gelateria in Vancouver.
- The hazelnuts are from the Piedmont area of Italy and the flavour was just as rich and flavourful as the pistachio. I personally just prefer pistachio.
- It was creamy, rich, and thick, and again not like a scoop, which was great.
- Just like the pistachio I wouldn’t have minded actual pieces of hazelnuts, but this was still very enjoyable.