Eataly - in NY

With a culinary dream team with three of New York’s most beloved Italian-American restaurateurs behind this project and the the founder of a gourmet food and wine market in Turin, Italy, Eataly has the right ingredients to make this place the 'it' place for Italian dining.  This is a 50,000 square foot Italian food emporium with a variety of restaurants, Italian cafe, a roof top beer garden, retail sections for anything and everything Italian and even a cooking school. 
I know this venue, 200 5th Avenue, well as it's the former site of the toy building so the neighborhood brings back many memories of the different toy fairs and toy company showrooms.  I am glad to see that it's use is now home to something else that I am passionate about!

Walking into this gigantic place, I am immediately fascinated and get lost in the many sections and start to wander through the produce and cheese section while my friends organize a table at the Fish restaurant (Il Pesce)  It's busy for a Friday night but not crazy and we get seated in 5 minutes, cutting my exploration short. 
This place is more reminiscent of a high end food court instead of a restaurant dining experience. The fish section is right near the fresh pasta bar and the truffle display.  There are both the gourmet black and the decadent and rare white truffles on display where you can get a whiff of the ingredient.  The man behind the counter, Monsieur le Truffle says that he has sold up to 15k worth of truffles in a day and doesn't go a day without a sale!
In the fish section, there is a raw bar and daily catches of the day served as whole fish in the 'al forno' (oven baked) style and the 'alla piastra' (pan seared) - Dave and Andrew opted each for one of these.  I choose the trio of pesce crudo (as I adore anything raw) and the fish soup.  We also select the frutto misto which is a lightly breaded seafood appetizer with juicy pieces of scallops, shrimp and calamari  and the spaghetti squash as a side dish.  We were starving when we were ordering!
Although my crudo plate was an extremely small serving for $18, it was very  fresh,  light and flavourful.  The jury is still out on whether it was worth the money but we had ordered an obscene amount of food so I knew I would be alright.  The whole fishes flake right off and we all enjoy and fight to have the fish cheeks which we know are the most coveted and tender pieces! 
The fish soup is amazing.  Probably one of the best fish soups I've ever had and I would definitely recommend it. I lapped up every spoon full.
Our server was very friendly and had a huge grin on his face at all times.  He even indulged us in a product that fascinated him - he brought over a set of green eggs... yes, Sam I am.. These are rare eggs that the chickens feed on a ton of vegetation to make them come out this colour.  Very unique!
Afterwards, we went to the Italian cafe section for a glass of prosecco to celebrate friendships and beginning new chapters in our lives and an espresso with a hazelnut dessert.  You could really spend hours here wandering the different isles for Italian delights. 
Salute!! Viva!!  Chin Chin!!

**** Stars
200 5th Avenue
New York
Entrances on 5th Avenue and 23rd Street

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