A friend asked one night if I'd been to Eataly. I had no idea what it was. As we didn't have access to the Internet at our apartment for the first 6 days of the 9 days we spent in NYC (we didn't have the password and Niece was travelling in Europe), I couldn't google. I vaguely remembered the word though, but couldn't remember where I saw it. We were to lunch with a friend's son and when we were hurrying to Birreria, the rooftop restaurant that overlooks Madison Square Garden, I looked at the address I had scribbled on my notebook. Anthony's directions were to go up to the "4th floor, above Eataly". That was where I had seen the word.
Birreria, a rooftop restaurant that serves fine food with great beer. Very packed.
Like a broken record, I'm going to repeat this over and over. USA/NYC is not expensive. Entrees (main courses) are between USD15 to 25 usually. In Malaysia, there's no way you can get a meat dish for that price. You shouldn't convert the currency either if you are to make a fair comparison. The only discouraging thing about eating out is the service charge. I can't get used to paying 15 to 18 % service charge. There's also tax of 5 % to pad up your bill.
The bread was just ordinary.
This was very good, whole roasted Maitake mushrooms, but the portion was small. Luckily we just had Puerto Rican food and doughnuts on the way to lunch. USD15.
Beer-braised pork shoulder. Good but again, rather small portion. USD22.
Anthony's chicken with tomato salad and Tuscan bread. The chicken was okay but it was the tomato salad that was outstanding. USD21.
I've since read up on Birreria and learnt that their sausages are the bomb. Dang.
On the ground floor of the building is Eataly, a food emporium owned by Mario Batali and two other Italian chefs. It is 4,600 meter sq (50,000 sq ft) and opened in 2010. A chef stepped in front of me and picked up some tomatoes and walked back to his stall. That is the concept of Eataly, that food should be at its freshest and best. If you love food, walking around and sampling the food in Eataly is heaven. I just had lunch and was ready to have a plate of proscuitto but my daughter protested. I promised myself that I'll be back to eat but never got the chance to pass by the place again.
When you enter the store, you see the most beautiful and colorful display of the freshest choice veggies and fruits.
The store also has a houseware section.
And there's a quality food section where you can find cheeses, chocolates, meat and other high quality food.
There are also food stalls where you can eat gelato, coffee, bread, proscuitto and fine food from Italy standing up.
When your mom tells you to stand next to the artichokes, the best you can do is to look sultry. I think that's her message.
200 5th Avenue
New York City
Birreria is on the fourth floor.