If all roads lead to Rome, then no wonder Eataly is busier than ever. In the past four years this mecca of all things delicious has pumped, poured, expressed and served a relentless crowd of visitors and locals. The restaurants are always full, people with overflowing shopping baskets linger over cheese and crusty bread, freshly inked pasta rivals the butcher’s osso bucco for freshness, and the rotisserie, despite sizzling fillets of beef and pork, still sees 250 whole chickens fly out the door every day. It is impossible to get a coffee from the perpetually queued cafe at the front ( service is a little lento ) but fortunately there is an exclusive expresso bar that serves a serious brew next to the torta temptations. In our case it was limone mousse cake.
Last week when I introduced my Australian cousins to this continental extravaganza, the patriarch of Little Collins was there doing the same. It was a tough choice at La Piazza, but in the end we went with the Grand Piatto Misto di Salumi & Formaggio served with paper parcels of bread. The prosciutto and ripe cheese were delicious but the pairing of almond honey with fresh ricotta was sublime.
The evening of shared memories and the creating of new ones was fun. I do like to show off the best of New York. But one of the best of Italy also gave us her blessing. Since that night I have bought a healthy supply of fresh pasta without any guilt. Despite my many indulgences, if it worked for Sophia Loren, it may still work for me….