What happens when three of New York’s most beloved Italian-American restaurateurs team up with the founder of a gourmet food and wine market in Turin, Italy? The result is the grand, ambitious, sprawling Eataly, opening Tuesday in the Toy Building at 200 Fifth Ave. between 23rd and 24th streets.The complex features areas for shopping, learning and — of course — eating, as you might expect from a multimillion-dollar project dreamed up by culinary bigwigs Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich, Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and Eataly founder Oscar Farinetti.
The 50,000-square-foot space will feature multiple restaurants, including a fine-dining Italian steakhouse called Manzo, a Neapolitan pizzeria and a year-round rooftop beer garden and microbrewery, not to mention a cooking school and retail sections for everything from Italian housewares to prosciutto di Parma. “Italian cooking is less elaborate in Italy [than in the US] and that’s one of its greatnesses,” says Batali, who notes that outside of Manzo, preparations will be very traditional in spirit. “The ideology behind the restaurants is more about enticing the customer to take [the ingredients] home and make it themselves.”