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200 Fifth Ave., nr. 23rd St. (Flatiron)
New York, NY
(1) 212-229-2560 | www.eatalyny.com
HOURSMon.-Sat.: 11:00am-10:30pm; Sun.: 11:00am-10:00pm
BEST FORLunch; dinner
PRICE (PIZZA; PASTA)USD 13-22; USD 13-19
FAMOUS PLATESFresh pasta; Neapolitan pizzas
DRINKS AND WINEWines by the glass and bottle; organic soft drinks
# OF SEATS50-100
PRIVATE ROOM AVAILABLE?No
SUBWAY23rd St.-6th Ave. (F, M); 23rd St.-Broadway (N, R); 23rd St.-Park Ave. S.(6)
You might want to leave yourself a bit of time to get to your table at La Pizza & La Pasta, buried as it is in an industrial-sized Italian food hall brought to you by Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich. Besides the fact that you will likely be distracted by the high-end groceries at the boutique butcher, fish monger, wine shop, and green market, you’ll also have to navigate around the plethora of other eateries on site. Oh yeah, and then, even when you make it there, be prepared to wait for a table in the no-reservations-accepted open plan dining area. But it’s worth the hustle to get in–the wood fired pizzas (cooked in Neapolitan ovens by real Neapolitans, no less) are delicious, and the pastas are prepared perfectly al dente. To maintain variety and the freshest ingredients, the menu changes regularly, so ask your server for recommendations.
Very diverse: snobby gourmets sourcing hard-to-find ingredients mingle with everyone from overawed tourists to locals out for a casual meal. It’s always packed.
WHAT WE WOULD WEAR
It’s really casual–go with flats, jeans, and a relaxed blouse. (And just make sure there’s some give in your waistband if you’re planning on munching your way through Eataly’s many shops and restaurants on your way to La Pizza & La Pasta.)
GO HERE WITH
Foodies; friends; fans of Batali and Bastianich
WHY WE LIKE IT
Batali definitely knows how to put together a kitchen–the pizzas and the pastas (go with whatever’s freshest) are gorgeous. Oh yeah, and the reasonably priced wine list packed with great Italian picks, many selected by Bastianich, is a big bonus, too. (The man himself has been known to make appearances here–one of our staffers spotted him!) Plus, even though it’s always jammed, the service is consistently pleasant, if a bit fast paced. If you’re still hungry after your meal, nosh your way over to the gelato bar and order something decadent.
WHAT WE WOULD CHANGE
The massive, crowded space can be overwhelming and tricky to navigate, especially for newbies. (Keep your eyes peeled for the staff handing out maps and offering directions if you’re feeling lost.) Also, at peak times waits can be pretty long (often over one hour).
GOOD TO KNOW
If you want to minimize waits, avoid peak meal times. Note that this eatery is open to the market (i.e., it’s not its own closed door space), so it’s casual and very high energy. If you’re not in the mood to cope with the crowds at all, get your meal to go or, even better, phone it in. New York’s Eataly is the little sister of a mega-grocer/restaurant of the same name in Turin, Italy. (The chain was started in 2003 by Italian Oscar Farinetti.)
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