The Italian sensation that is Eataly has opened its most recent location in SoHo, Manhattan. It's the third Eataly store in NYC, and the first "medium-sized" one in the city. It's located at 200 Lafayette Street right in the middle of bustling SoHo. When compared to most other city eateries, it's gigantic, being nearly 20,000 square feet large. Eataly, for the unfamiliar, is a hybrid grocery store, restaurant, and to-go Italian food experience with locations all across the U.S., Italy, and many other countries.
This Eataly location in SoHo is the brand's newest store to open, and we got the opportunity to receive a tour of the space, try some of the delicious items on the Eataly restaurant menu, and chat with Global VP Dino Borri and an Eataly PR representative. Here's everything you need to know about the new Eataly location, and how it is different and similar to the other NYC Eataly locations, and other neighborhood Eataly spots in general.
Eataly generously provided us with a tour of the new location and the meals in the restaurant.
Eataly SoHo Is Eataly's Newest Location
When thinking of SoHo, common things that come to mind are its excellent trendy shopping scene and its thriving food scene. Stores like Harry Styles' Pleasing, Glossier, and Baggu are just steps away from the new Eataly spot, as well as NYC restaurant classics like Mediterranean icon Shuka, burger joint Black Tap, and breakfast legend Jack's Wife Freda (best known for its unique duck croque madame recipe). Eataly SoHo only adds to the bustling area, and word on the street is that many neighborhood locals couldn't be more excited about it. "SoHo is a staple [in New York]," Borri said. "It's a great location, and also it's exactly in the middle of the two [other Eataly] locations."
Borri also added that if you take the yellow train line through Manhattan, you can go to any of the current NYC Eataly locations by taking just that one train line. Some of Borri's friends live in SoHo, and they (as well as other local SoHo folks) are excited that Eataly is coming to their neighborhood. They are now more easily able to shop their Italian grocery store favorites and get them back to their apartments, instead of having to carry them from the Flatiron or World Trade Center locations.
This Medium-Sized Location Packs A Punch
If the only type of Eataly location you've been to is a flagship one, you might be surprised when walking into Eataly SoHo for the first time to see there's "only" one restaurant, one grab-and-go counter, and a limited selection of grocery items. These are all relative, of course, to an Eataly flagship, like the Flatiron location. Eataly Flatiron has six restaurants (seven during the warmer months), eight grab-and-go counters (including a gelato stand), cooking classes you can take, and the biggest possible selection of grocery store items that Eataly has to offer.
The concept behind the medium-sized neighborhood locations is that it's a curated version of a flagship Eataly store, with a more focused food selection for folks who live in and around the neighborhood it's in. If the person wants a very specific type of olive oil, they can hop on the train to Eataly Flatiron or Eataly Downtown — and the same thing applies if they want to take a fun cooking class, go to the butcher, or even visit the cheesemonger. But for folks that are looking for a delicious dinner at Eataly (the name of the restaurant in Eataly SoHo), a more local gourmet grocery store in NYC, or even just a quick coffee, sandwich, juice, or pastry in the area, Eataly SoHo is the place to go.
SoHo Is Only The First NYC Neighborhood In Line For A More Local Eataly
With this new NYC location, you're probably now wondering if there are plans for even more Eataly NYC locations. After all, the Flatiron one opened almost 15 years ago in 2010, and the Downtown one opened in 2016. Well, no matter what NYC neighborhood you live in, you should get excited about a neighborhood Eataly store coming closer to you. While no official new locations have been announced yet, Eataly is exploring most neighborhoods in Manhattan for its medium-sized locations. "The footprint is always 50-50 restaurant [and] retailer," Borri said. "When they are bigger, we have more counters where the people can serve you, like the butcher, fishmonger, cheesemonger."
So, while other new neighborhood Eatalys won't look exactly the same as SoHo (and Eataly wouldn't want them to anyway, as it always strives to create a unique experience for its visitors at each location), you can expect at least a similar vibe to Eataly SoHo. But Manhattan isn't the only place Eataly has its sights on expanding to. Currently, the company is focusing on all of North America for its expansion in the next few years, with three new locations opening in the first half of 2024 alone. But only one of those locations has been confirmed. "We will be opening a third store in Toronto, so it's kind of similar to New York," the PR representative we spoke with added. "So, that's the next one."
Walking Through Eataly SoHo Is A Smooth, Winding Journey
Less maximalist than the flagship stores, Eataly SoHo is an oasis for folks wanting to dip a toe into the Eataly lifestyle, who don't want to get swept up in the food frenzy of a flagship location. Walking in through the grab-and-go counter entrance, you'll find high-top tables for folks who opted for the grab-and-go items, and a line forming on your right to place your to-go orders. Colorful lines of freshly made paninis, pastries, and Roman-style slices of pizza await your choice. Right next to it is the Lavazza coffee bar, where you can get an afternoon coffee.
Straight ahead, you'll find pre-packaged items, like seltzer waters, salads, and seasonal items you can take to-go. Turn left, and you'll see the restaurant called Eataly, with diners chatting in booths, at tables, and at the spacious bar. At the end of the Lavazza coffee bar, you can continue straight to discover the cold grocery section, featuring specialty meats, cheeses, antipasti, and more refrigerated Italian food items. Keep traveling down the ramp to find the bountiful fruits and veggies, the flower stand to buy and make bouquets, and all the shelf-stable Italian grocery items like olive oil and dried pasta. Then, you'll see the Eataly to-go pickup counter, and you can turn left down the stairs (though there's also an elevator) to find the pop-up area (more on that soon).
Take Your Bite Of Italy To-Go
The first thing you see when walking into Eataly — the grab-and-go counter — is a treasure trove of delicious Italian bites that can satisfy your hunger in a heartbeat. At very fair prices, there are sandwiches with fresh meats like mortadella and prosciutto, slices of Roman-style pizza with unique toppings like caramelized onions and roasted red peppers, and rows and rows of delicately crafted pastries to cure your sweet tooth.
You can purchase what you want and take it with you to eat at home, at the office, or maybe at a picnic in the park, but you could also buy what you want and eat it there in the café. Several high-top tables line the area, as well as a long bar-esque seating section where the tall divider between the dining room and to-go area is. Along with tasty bites, you can grab a coffee from the Lavazza coffee bar. Get Italian classics like a plain shot of espresso or a cappuccino, or divert from the directly Italian theme and grab whatever coffee concoction you want, adding the flavors you desire.
Authentic Parmesan, Prosciutto, A Flower Stand, And More
Shop till you drop at Eataly, then take it all home and cook the night away. Something we find incredible about Eataly is that you can make any item on the restaurant menu at home, using the ingredients bought right there in the market. So, if you loved that certain pizza or the cacio e pepe, you can head to the market section to buy the exact ingredients to recreate it yourself at home. Though the neighborhood-level Eataly has a less expansive market section than a flagship Eataly store, it's still incredibly impressive and has much more Italian food variety than at any major grocer.
Smell the cheeses from various regions in Italy, and select one to your liking. Check out the cured meats for your ultimate charcuterie board, then shop the produce section, where you'll find the most vibrant local fruits and veggies. Pop over to the flower stand and create a bouquet to put on your table next to your homemade meal, and then go over to the shelf-stable section where chocolate, extra virgin olive oil, dried pasta, various pasta sauces, and more await you.
The Lower Level Is All About The Pop-Ups
The lower level houses the homeware section (including ornate glassware, coffee pots, and more), but it's also the source of the ever-rotating pop-ups that Eataly hosts in accordance with the seasons. "Not only here, but in every store where we have some space, we do those pop-ups," Borri said. Until February 4, Eataly is currently at the tail end of panettone season (typically eaten during Christmastime, but finishing up now). The main event is the huge sale, called Sale-A-Brate, a play on the word "celebrate."
The sale is up to 50% off of market products, including items like bucatini, white truffle olive oil, and more. The items on sale rotate weekly, and once this pop-up season is done, Eataly will be moving into Valentine's Day, Borri noted. After Valentine's, the pop-up of the moment will be centered around Easter (a very important holiday in Italy), then in the summer, it's all about the pistachio items (including gelato), and then it goes from there. The pop-up section downstairs at Eataly Soho offers something new all the time for you to explore, so you'll never get bored when coming here.
The Eataly Restaurant Decor Sets The Tone For Your Meal
Now, let's dive a bit further into the nuances of the one restaurant in Eataly Soho, aptly named just Eataly. "This one is unique because it's the first time we have an Eataly restaurant," Borri commented. "You see something here that you don't see anywhere else." This restaurant is unique to the Eataly empire and offers a little bit of everything from the other Eataly restaurants you might know and love, like La Pizza & La Pasta in Eataly Flatiron and Vino & ... in the Eataly Downtown location. The Eataly restaurant in SoHo offers a wide range of menu items, which we'll break down even further in a bit.
The atmosphere of the restaurant is bright, warm, and familiar. It's inviting but also an elevated experience, with large plants dotted around, soft yellow accents and colorful booths, beautiful light fixtures, and a sprawling bar that showcases the tall ceilings. Come dressed in something a bit nicer (leave the sweatpants at home), but no need to adhere to any type of dress code. Open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., the folks there just want your experience to be enjoyable — and this is evident, even down to the coat racks placed in the corners for you.
There'll Be Something New On The Menu Every Time You Go
The Eataly restaurant at Eataly SoHo is serving up a curated menu of appetizers, pizza, pasta, other entrées, desserts, drinks, and an extensive wine list. Like all the different restaurants at different Eataly locations, some things are on the menu pretty much year-round, and other things rotate in and out seasonally. For instance, the panettone on the dessert section of the menu is a seasonal item around December and January, as it's a traditional Italian Christmastime dessert. We got the chance to try this seasonal item, and it's so light and airy, but also comforting yet substantial at the same time.
The seasonal item came with an array of toppings, including chocolate sauce that was graciously poured on by the server, and various nuts that could go on top. As the seasons change, the seasonal menu items at the Eataly restaurant will as well, and it's based on the ingredients that are in season at the minute. Truffle, caviar, summer vegetables, and more are just a few examples of seasonal ingredients that will influence the menu items.
Kick Things Off With High-Quality Cured Meats And Cheeses
The first thing we sampled during our delicious meal with Borri was the fresh, homemade focaccia bread with olive oil and herbs on the side to dip it in. This focaccia is definitely one of the many Italian dishes you need to try at least once. Eatlay's focaccia could make even Paul Hollywood sing its praises, as it's light in all the right places. The bread rose correctly, and every step of the focaccia process was executed masterfully.
Other appetizers we had the chance to sample included the Il Gran Tagliere, which consisted of classic Italian cured meats and cheeses, and the Il Carpaccio, which was raw sliced beef eye round, mushrooms, truffles, and blocks of 24-month-aged Parmigiano Reggiano. Something we noticed was that even ingredients that we don't typically gravitate towards, like mushrooms, became delightful in these dishes. We recommend not asking for any modifications if you can help it, and just let the dishes be presented as they're meant to be. You can't go wrong with any of the appetizers here, as all the meats and cheeses (and everything else) are fresh and real. You won't find anything less than great quality.
Cacio E Pepe, Pugliese-Style Skewers, And More Are The Ultimate Entrées
We also had the incredible opportunity to sample some of the beloved entrées, and all of these were equally delicious. The fan-favorite cacio e pepe pasta is available year-round (thankfully), and is a staple at Eataly. Other entrées we indulged in included Le Lasagne, which was a deconstructed lasagna made out of spinach with a béchamel sauce, mushrooms, and sausage ragù inside, and the Gli Agnolotti, which was pork and veal-filled pasta balls coated in a sugo d'arrosto sauce.
Aiming to get a rounded view of the menu at Eataly, we were glad to have tried so many varieties of pasta, meats, and sauces, so we could really see what this Italian restaurant could do. Everything was fresh, well-cooked, and beautifully presented. We would be remiss to forget to mention what was our star of the entrée show: The Fornello Pugliese. This dish was meant to be shared among about four people (more or less, depending on if you order other things), and the grilled Pugliese-style skewers were plated on the best potatoes we've ever had in our life, no joke. There was an herb and oil mixture on the side, and Borri skillfully took the bundle of herbs — meant to act as a brush — dipped it into the sauce, and draped it back and forth over both the meat skewers and the potatoes.
Pizza Your Italian Nonna Would Love
Going to any Italian restaurant, there will always be that one person in your party who is there for the pizza and nothing else. Luckily, there always seems to be pizza on the menu at most Italian restaurants; but unlike some other ones, Eataly takes its pizza seriously and prides itself on creative topping combos and "wood-fired" pizzas. (Note: NYC laws don't allow wood ovens in restaurants, but Eataly found a way to use other ovens to achieve the wood-fired flavor.)
We tried the Burrata and Basilico Pizza Integral and were blown away by the fact that the balls of burrata on top of the pizza didn't become messy and drip everywhere when we bit into our slices. Rather, the burrata was warm and melty without being too runny, so it was a pretty mess-free experience. The dough on the pizza was thinner but solid enough to hold up the toppings, and we would order that flavor again. Other pizza flavors currently offered include the classic Margherita, the Tartufella (with urbani white truffle cream, buffalo mozzarella, chives, and extra virgin olive oil), and the Proscuitto e Rucola (with buffalo mozzarella, prosciutto, shaved grana padano cheese, baby wild arugula, and extra virgin olive oil). Any of the pizza options are winners here.
Order The Heavenly Tiramisu Every Time
We talked at length about the Il Panettone di Eataly earlier — and that is just one of the incredible dessert options — so now let's focus our attention on the rest of the dessert offerings. First things first: The tiramisu here is unbeatable. It has a reputation for being amazing at Eataly for a reason, and if you order one dessert, we'd vouch for this one. This tiramisu is the moistest one we've ever tried, so much so that it came wrapped in a plastic cover that the server unwrapped for us while we watched the top of the dessert melt down the sides in a beautiful unveiling.
Aside from the heavenly tiramisu (we're still dreaming about it), you can try classic Italian desserts like homemade gelato (just keep in mind that flavors change seasonally), Il Budino (a semi-sweet chocolate mousse with a dark chocolate glaze, topped with whipped cream and chocolate crumbles), and La Panna Cotta (a sweet milk panna cotta with mixed berries, raspberry gelée, and an almond streusel crumble). Like all the savory items, the desserts here are chosen and made with care. If you dine at Eataly SoHo, don't skip the dessert.
Over 300 Wine Selections Mean There's Something For Everyone
With all of these delectable food items, you should pair them with a nice glass of wine (if you're of age). "We have more than 300 labels of wine," Borri noted. The folks at Eataly work with hundreds of winemakers throughout different regions of Italy to pick the finest wines, and they work with different businesses and families to find the best wines to offer at Eataly.
We tasted the Gavi (white wine variety) and the Nebbiolo (red wine variety), and Borri taught us a lot about them. "Gavi, as well, is another grape. The grape is Cortese that is typical from the Piedmont region," Borri explained. "Nebbiolo is considered, in Italia, one of the most important wines and grapes. The reason is the production is pretty small, and those wines can age a lot of years." Borri noted that Nebbiolo wines can age for up to 20 years. The thoughtful wine selections really make the entire Eataly experience that much more memorable, and Eataly SoHo is a great new location to check out.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.