May 9, 2011

Italy is Eataly - Or is It?

Opened in August 2010, Eataly, the brainchild of Mario Batali and the Bastianich's is located on 23rd and 5th.Modeled after a similar store in Turino, Italy, there has been major buzz about this Italian food mecca so I decided to stop by and check it out.

I quickly found out that it would be much less expensive to visit Italy than to shop at Eataly.

Upon entering on 23rd Street, I was immediately hit with gorgeous veggies.Not only was I hit with gorgeous vegetables, I was immediately shocked with how dang EXPENSIVE every single thing was!

The store is separated into different sections. Besides veggies, there was aisle after aisle of cheese.Followed by meats both fresh and cured.Fresh and dried pasta at prices that would make my Nonna (bless her soul) turn over in her grave.Beans and spices and chocolate and gelato.Mouthwatering breads.Samples of bread were offered so I knew I had better eat some as I would not be opening my wallet for anything inside Eataly.

There is also a section of kitchen items.Having been blessed to visit Italy several times, I didn't get the rush that some people might get from visiting Eataly. I found that most of the people inside were Italian tourists.

A rather rude man whom I assume was an employee although he wasn't wearing a name tag asked me why I was taking pictures of the prices. I told him that similar to when I am at the museum, I take pictures of the artwork and then the plaque next to the artwork so I know the name and artist of the piece. I couldn't quite understand him and vice versa as he did not speak English well. If he were Italian, I could've conversed with him more accurately. He was not.

There were many people taking photos. So I am not sure what he was thinking. Maybe he thought I would be opening my own Eataly. Not a chance.

I then spoke to a very nice customer service person who told me that the reason the prices were so high is because the producers are small. I much prefer supporting local producers than ones across the Atlantic.

Not that big inside or maybe it was the lines of people who were waiting for a tiny seat in a tiny section, to eat tiny, expensive fair, I couldn't wait to leave.

I proceeded to head to Whole Foods on 7th for a lovely prosciutto and mozarella pannini that was of course, reasonably priced.

15 comments:

{ kelly jo } said...

wow- the pictures are great, so take that rude guy...

so funny, next to the great photography, the next thing I noticed were the prices- dang!!

EmptyNester said...

Awesome pictures- pretty sure that I won't be complaining about the prices down here any more! Our grocers use local produce when they can and the prices are still reasonable. Whole Foods here is EXPENSIVE!

Ellen said...

And then of course, you must pay for the ego's of Mario and Lidia.

Our friend's daughter worked there for a few weeks - awful hours and pressure made her last only a few weeks!

Patricia said...

Great pictures!
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Ann said...

Wow! Eggplant 5.00 a pound? Asparagus 10.00/lb?? Tomatoes 6.00/lb???No self-respecting Italian would ever spend that! Beautiful displays, though. Wonder if anyone buys that stuff or if it just goes to waste?

Elli D. said...

Wow, the place looks like heaven almost. But yeah, it is extremely expensive. I have a little (much smaller and much less attractive than this) Italian store close to my house too and I was really surprised by the prices - I do believe the quality of the goods is high but only very few non-Italians will do their shopping there regularly.

Kelly said...

Looks just beautiful but holy cow the prices!!!!!!!!!!
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Michaela said...

That bread looks delicious! I'm a bread guru (:

NYC, Style and a little Cannoli said...

great photos..not surprised of the prices..the stuff looks amazing however...you pay a lot for the quality...I don't think you could get a bad thing in here!! funny you went to whole foods for a pannini, I would have tried the food in Eataly!!
Do stop by my blog again to enter the giveaway for the Keurig - those things are amazing coffee/tea makers!!
Have a great night!!

Jill of all Trades said...

Oh gawd! So now "eating local" is some kind of trend for which we must all pay top dollar. I spit on that!! We have local farmer's markets in Milwaukee - including meat, cheese, and bread producers. Their prices are LOWER than what we pay at the local big grocer. Methinks Eataly's prices have little to do with "small producer" and more to do with "big famous name on the door". Ugh! Thanks for the laugh!

Jen said...

Beautiful photos!

FABBY'S LIVING said...

I can just see my hubby in this place, as he loves Italian food cooking! He's really good at it too, sometimes we make pasta ourselves in the pasta machine! I'm from Astoria-Queens and grew up in an Italian-Irish neighborhood, so this is why our gusto for Italian! Thank you for the wonderful pics, really terrific! Have a great week.
Hugs
FABBY

Brandi said...

Beautiful pictures. but oh my those prices are outrageous! Makes me appreciate my local farmers market even more!

Cathy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jaillan said...

How funny, I visited the branch in Genoa not knowing they had so many stores including one in New York and was also astounded by some of the prices although I think the prices in the Italian store were a little less shocking by the sounds of it!

I did like it, and actually went twice for lunch but I was in physical pain when I got my credit card bill! I actually wrote a really similar post about it here - http://www.savoirthere.com/5368/italy-is-eataly/

Jai :-)

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