We exchanged some brief greetings (it was past her bedtime) and then I climbed into my temporary bed (aka... the air mattress). Obviously still being on California time meant I was awake watching Law and Order: SVU on Hulu until about 4 am... despite the fact that I had an interview the next morning at 9:30 am.
I returned from the interview the next morning and immediately fell into a sleep coma until about 4 pm when I finally decided to wake myself up and order some delivery. This consisted of wings from Dominos. Enough said. When my sister finally returned home around 7 pm I felt like her cat.... starved for attention and craving a nice bowl of pasta and a big class of red wine (her cat clearly has drinking problems and a love for Italian food... I try not to judge). Kayla and I mulled over where to go, and eventually she suggested that we walk to Eataly, located around the corner from her apartment.
Eataly is amazing. Literally if I die and go to heaven... heaven will be Eataly. Eataly marries the idea of a specialty supermarket with the enjoyment of taking your time and enjoying good food (and wine). Communal tables allow for customers to purchase wine, cheese, gelato, and just enjoy the food before they continue shopping.
Our walk was quick, and we were actually able to secure two seats at the bar of Manzo. Manzo, which literally translates to beef, is a Mario Batali restaurant that centers around the sustainability of meat, but also offers a plethora of other Italian items.
I wish I had done my homework a little more before going here because I definitely would have ordered a meat dish instead... unfortunately my decision to order pasta was an incorrect one.... at least the one I ended up ordering.
Kayla and I decided to start with an appetizer, which was delicious. We began with the Mozzarella with pea pesto, guanciale & fresno chile oil for $17. (I had wanted the veal sweetbreads... but Kayla was craving some Mozzarella). This antipasti came with three large chunks of fresh mozzarella cheese, as well as a beautiful and vibrant pea pesto, sprinkled with pine nuts and topped with crispy pancetta.
|Mozzarella with Pea Pesto|
After we placed the order for the appetizer, the waitress came back and asked us what we were thinking about for wine. I said I was looking for a pinot noir. She asked me a few questions about the kind of pinot I like, and then brought over something for me to try. I will say.... after being in California for so long and dealing with such terrible restaurant service (because everyone is actually an actor, not waiter), it was nice to see someone act professional and take their time with a customer. The wine was great and my sister and I polished off the bread, and the appetizer, and waited for our main courses. We both ordered the "Vesuvio" under the Primi section of the menu. This was vesuvio pasta, with peas, soft shell crab & pancetta for $19.
|Vesuvio with soft shell crab|
The texture of the pasta was perfectly al dente, however I wasn't really a fan of everything else. The sauce was slightly oily, and there was an off putting aftertaste that I couldn't quite figure out what it was. Also, I just didn't really understand how soft shell crab matched with this entree. It felt like the pasta, crab, and pancetta were just separate, non-harmoneous components. I was disappointed, but since everyone around us seemed to be thoroughly enjoying what they were eating, I will definitely be giving Eataly, and Manzo, a second chance.
All and all I enjoyed the opportunity to catch up with my sister an our favorite environment... an Italian restaurant! I can't wait until my next NYC food experience. Stay tuned!