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Turning Tables: Eataly Opens Second New York Location Downtown

Plus, the City Winery team opens City Vineyard in Manhattan and Hell's Kitchen winner Ariel Malone takes over the kitchen at BLT Las Vegas
Photo by: Pablo Enriquez
At the entrance to Eataly Downtown, the wine bar doubles as a to-go coffee bar in the mornings.

Ben O'Donnell, Owen Dugan, Sara Heegaard
Posted: August 4, 2016

COMING TO NEW YORK: EATALY LANDS IN THE FINANCIAL DISTRICT

Eataly, the retail-and-restaurant temple to Italy’s gastronomy, will open its second New York location—its 28th globally—on Aug. 11. On the third floor of the new World Trade Center Tower Four, it has a slightly smaller footprint then the Flatiron branch but, with windows on all sides, it feels open and roomy.

While this location doesn't include a wine shop, upwards of 200 selections will be available for consumption on-site. At the entrance are a display of bread—the theme of Eataly Downtown—and a wine bar: At a recent tour, Eataly partner Alex Saper said, “The No. 1 feedback from shoppers uptown was that they loved having a glass of wine while they were shopping.” (Other partners include Adam Saper and restaurateurs Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich and his mother, Lidia, of Grand Award winner Del Posto and other Restaurant Award holders. Nicola Farinetti is CEO of Eataly USA.)

The retail section is more distinct from the sit-down dining, an improvement over the Flatiron branch, but the selection of meat, cheese, produce and oil remains staggeringly broad and high quality. The open kitchens have been retained, so that shoppers can see fresh pastas, mozzarella and an impressive array of breads—from a team led by miller and baker Fulvio Marino—being made by hand. Waving his arm in front of the pasta makers, founder Oscar Farinetti declaimed, “American flour; American eggs; American workers; Italian know-how. You can’t tax know-how.”

Another departure is that Eataly Downtown will serve breakfast; that wine bar doubles as a to-go coffee bar in the morning, with a more typically Italian coffee bar set up in back. The Orto e Mare counter provides sit-down breakfast, switching to produce and seafood later in the day. Nearby is a piadina bar serving grilled flatbreads, plus stations for juices and smoothies, salads, roast chicken, pastries and chocolates.

A large area called the Piazza encompasses table service for cheese, salumi, pizza, pasta and seafood—framed by windows looking over the 9/11 Memorial and west to the Hudson River and beyond. Perhaps the best view is from Foodiversità, a counter running free hands-on demos all day; pride of place shows the company’s emphasis on teaching by doing.

The opposite corner houses the more private Osteria della Pace, a more upscale restaurant with a mostly southern Italian menu by chef Riccardo Orfino and about two-dozen Italian wines by the glass. Previews showed an archetypal pasta pomodoro and a balanced dish of lobster with celery, tomato and red onion. The guiding corporate principle seems to be doing simple things perfectly. This location promises to continue that.—O.D.

Owen Dugan
Among the culinary offerings for guests of Eataly Downtown is the bounty of hand-made breads.

OPEN IN NEW YORK: THE FIRST CITY VINEYARD

Michael Dorf, the entrepreneur behind the urban winemaking and music performance City Winery spaces, has realized a longtime goal of opening a second venue in Manhattan. City Vineyard at Pier 26, along the Hudson River in Tribeca, is a 275-seat restaurant and "wine garden" about a 15 minutes’ walk from the original City Winery. Leveraging its vista of the Hudson, City Vineyard is dominated by outdoor spaces, including pier-side and rooftop terraces, but also has an indoor bar and will remain open year-round. The repurposed waterfront is part of the Hudson River Park Trust city beautification project. "I loved the idea of being a green space and really local," said Dorf at the opening party. "The idea of vines and flowers and grapes, integrating nature."

City Winery has expanded to Chicago, Nashville and Atlanta as well, with another scheduled to open in Boston in 2017. Unlike those locations, City Vineyard, at 233 West St., will not have wine production on-site. (The vines are decorative, not intended to be a source of grapes for the winery, which brings in grapes from California, New York, Oregon, Washington, Argentina and Chile.)

Although the New York, Chicago and Nashville City Winery locations each hold a Best of Award of Excellence for their wine lists of 400 to 700 selections, City Vineyard will only serve wine from taps, almost all of it made at the winery at 155 Varick St. City Vineyard's concept focuses on promoting the sustainability of pouring locally made wines from an eco-friendly system, so it will only have some 15 taps running, as well as a small beer selection, an assortment of salads, charcuterie plates and other small dishes.—B.O.

City Vineyard
With its pier-side and rooftop terraces, City Vineyard along the Hudson River in Manhattan offers spectacular views alongside wines on tap.

OPENING THIS FALL IN SEATTLE: CIRCADIA

Husband-and-wife team Jake Kosseff (whose prior restaurant experience includes Wild Ginger and Miller's Guild) and Jeanie Inglis are bringing fine-dining spot Circadia to downtown Seattle in November. Garrett Melkonian, formerly the executive chef at Seattle's Mamnoon, will head the kitchen. Beverage director Andréa Fulton Higgins—known to guests of Wine Spectator's annual Wine Experience as the woman who keeps the event’s wine service running smoothly—will guide the wine program, which will feature an array of international options and 10 sparkling wines and Champagnes served by the glass. With stints at the Joel Palmer House Restaurant in Dayton, Ore., and the Sardine Factory in Monterey, Calif., Higgins brings a wealth of Restaurant Award–winning experience to the table.—S.H.

TV STAR STEPS INTO LEAD ROLE AT BLT LAS VEGAS

As Derek Gigliotti steps down as chef de cuisine to pursue other opportunities, Ariel Malone takes over the kitchen as head chef at BLT Steak at Bally’s Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. As the winner of the 15th season of television show Hell’s Kitchen this spring, she earned the head chef position as part of the prize. Complementing the signature steak house cuisine, wine director Jeff Eichelberger’s 310-selection list earned an Award of Excellence in 2016 for its strengths in California, France and Italy. Seven other BLT restaurants across the United States are current Wine Spectator Restaurant Award winners.—S.H.

NOW CLOSED: FAIRE STEAK & SEAFOOD IN NORTH CAROLINA

In June 2016, Eschelon Experiences Restaurant Group closed this Raleigh, N.C., spot. Faire’s 100-selection list, managed by wine director Michael Tinley, earned the restaurant its first Award of Excellence in 2015.

SUMMER INTERMISSION: THE MODERN

From Aug. 7 to Sept. 14, the Modern, the Grand Award–winning restaurant at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, will close temporarily for kitchen renovations. Among the updates: The restaurant will add its first chef’s table, where guests will be able to view Abram Bissell’s team in action.

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