Inside Eataly, an Italian marketplace specializing in the most exquisite pastas, cheeses, chocolates, and wines, everything looks and smells like heaven. And what really makes it so extraordinary for shoppers is that—to quote one of Eataly’s owners, Mario Batali—it’s meant to be “a grocery store with tasting rooms.” Indeed it is. You can easily purchase drinks and snacks inside and walk around with your shopping cart. To make the most of your visit, start at Caffè Lavazza, where you can purchase beer, cocktails, or wine (prices for a drink range from $6 to $12). If you want something to munch on, like an Italian pastry or porchetta, the professional staff is happy to suggest the right wine to pair with it. For those in need of a pick-me-up, try the Gran Torino, which includes vodka, coffee liqueur, and two shots of espresso. But beware: The more you drink, the likelier you are to splurge. But who cares? It’s not like you’ll go to Eataly every day, so, when in Rome!
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 16, 2013