Last Friday Alex (one of my dearest culinary companions) and I enjoyed a delightful midday repast at Pranzo, one of the seven restaurants at Eataly. Started in Turin in 2007, Eataly now has multiple locations worldwide, each celebrating Italian cuisine with seasonal ingredients and an eye to perfection. Famed restaurateurs Mario Batali, Lidia Bastianich and her son Joe Bastianich have taken the New York location under their wing, with a massive and flawlessly curated shrine to la cucina Italiana.
Some celebratory (and not too sweet) Riesling.
Housed in “La Scuola” (Eataly’s in-house cooking school) Pranzo serves lunch Monday through Friday, and specializes in a different Italian region each month. We sampled delicacies from the Piemonte region including:
Torta di Riso — Risotto cake topped with marinated cherry tomatoes in red wine vinaigrette. While the outside of the cake was crisp, the perfectly cooked risotto inside was utterly creamy, tempered by the acidity of the cherry tomatoes and red wine vinaigrette.
from farthest to nearest: Toma Piedmonte (unpasteurized cows milk), Carboncino (sheep, cow and goats milk cheese with an ash coated rind), Robiola Tre Latte (sheep, cow and goats milk, pungent and that ideal middle ground between soft and hard)
Agnolotti del Plin — Succulent pockets of veal, pork, mortadella and grana padano cheese inside tender pasta. The pea purée kept the dish lighter, and crispy Prosciutto added some crunch on top. Alex and I couldn’t help wondering why our pasta never tastes this way…
Baccalá — Pan-fried cured cod topped with fresh chickpeas (the little green things!), zucchini and Piquillo pepper salsa. Although I’m not a huge fan of peppers, this light and fresh salad below the cod was a great foil to the fish. Also, the warm colors of the early summer vegetables couldn’t have been more appealing, especially the zucchini flower on top!Torta di Nocciole e Zabajone — The crumbly nutty cake was complemented really well by the boozy and creamy pool of Zabaglione and rich gelato. Not bad for noontime…
Eating in La Scuola provided an added interactive aspect, as while we leisurely consumed our lunch, we were able to see our food prepared both in the open kitchen and on two screens near our table.Afterwards we had an in-depth tour of the entire building, from the bountiful vegetable area to the beauty section (the majority of the products have some sort of food component in them) and the expansive rooftop restaurant, Birreria. I appreciated the incredible quality of all of the products, and that all of the items used in the various restaurants are available for purchase as well.
Most of the produce is locally sourced
Beauty products The fish mongers wares
Quite the olive oil selection. There’s even an olive oil sommelier!
One of the restaurants
A superior Friday luncheon could not have been had.