(house made mozzarella, prosciutto cotto and crusty bread)
(the Piazza in the center of the market)
I was skeptical about Eataly. After all, I lived in Italy for four months and just didn't think that anywhere on this side of the pond would really be an exact replicate. I was happily surprised that Eataly came pretty close. It's a giant indoor market in Manhattan that sells authentic Italian cheeses, coffees, snacks and just so much more. There are a bunch of different food stands that you can sit down at and try what they have to offer. We stood at one of the bars in the middle of the Piazza and tried the mozzarella, which was some of the best that I've had [in this country].
(homemade pasta for sale)
And because my boyfriend and I are bottomless pits (it's actually absurd), we went to dinner after (we did do some shopping in between, we're not that chubby). After a lot of research we decided upon Alta, which is right on the edge of the West Village. It is strictly a tapas restaurant, though they call their menu, "a menu of small plates." With 47 dishes to choose from (not including desserts), we were able to customize our meals to exactly our tastes. And, even better, we got to try a lot of different dishes because they were small (and not like usual-sharing-plates-small, they were pretty teeny).
(lamb meatballs in a sweet tomato sauce topped with a yogurt sauce and an egg yolk)
We ordered four dishes and a dessert, and we I was stuffed by the end (my boyfriend probably could have had one or two more plates). We started with the lamb meatballs because so many reviews raved about them. I personally don't like lamb and I loved these, so I guess that says it all. Also, I love yolky runny egg yolks, so that's always a plus in my book. After, we had "the best appetizer of all time," according to the bf. That mighttt be a bit of an exaggeration, but it really was unbelievable. It was a bruschetta with cream, braised artichokes and tomato jam. It was sweet and crunchy, smoky and cooling, and all together the perfect bite.
(the picture doesn't do it justice, but I was rushing to shove the whole thing in my mouth)
(avocado relleno with with crabmeat and shrimp, frisee and orange)
That looks weird, I know. It's a little nugget of crabmeat and shrimp, diced together, surrounded by avocado slices. I loved this, but we ranked it the lowest out of our four dishes because the others were just so good. To round out the meal, our last savory dish was a grilled shrimp and chorizo skewer with avocado cream. I didn't take a picture because we inhaled it. Oops.
(angel food cake with bananas and ice cream)
And because we always save room for dessert, we ended with a sweet and tart angel food cake confection. The malted milk ice cream was to die for. Maybe I'll try that next in my ice cream machine (although since everyone in my apartment is dieting, they might kill me). I promise I'll be blogging more often, I have to make up for lost time!