TV chefs Lidia Bastianich and Mario Batali joined forces with the help of financier Oscar Farinetti to open “Eataly”. Resembling a traditional Italian market in appearance, every food item for sale is either imported from Italy or made on location using purely Italian ingredients, with the only exception the NY water used to boil the pasta.
The impressively-stocked store hosts a range of places to eat, whether you want a quick nibble or to sit down for a three-course dinner. While there are plenty of edible options there ranging from pizza to meat & cheese platters to full-course meals, I dropped by on my first visit to grab a sandwich. While there were many beautiful-looking options to try, I went with the simplest of the bunch, a baguette with prosciutto di parma. Italian food is all about celebrating simplicity and freshness, so if “Eataly” can turn something as basic as this into something amazing, you know we are in good hands.
“Alidoro” is notorious for many things. The first thing this tiny Italian sandwich joint is known for is their long line, typically one that is out the door whenever I pass by at lunch time. I lucked out on the day I decided to walk in, as I had just missed the big lunch rush. I also lucked out as this place runs out of food quick, and that does not bode well for a rumbling tummy.
With around 40 sandwiches that you could have, the menu is daunting at first glance. The list of things you can not have is equally scary, which commands you not to order things such as mayo, ketchup, tomato sauce, lettuce, pickles, utensils, and other no-no’s that would make The Soup Nazi smile. Aside from their reputation of awesome sandwiches, I heard they can be ferocious to customers who dared to ask for things on that banned list, even kicking people out for their insolence!
Having browsed the menu of what I could have outside (convenient for the folks stuck waiting on line when it is out the door), I wasted no time in ordering a “Matthew” sandwich. How could I resist a sandwich named after me? The answer is – I could not, nor will I ever.