Last night Bianca and I were hired to cater a dinner party for 7 at the home of a customer. We all had a lot of fun and we think that the food was a hit!
We served a big cheese and meat board before we got the dinner going. I forgot to take a picture of the cheese board, sorry.

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Salad with peaches, fresh chevre and crispy prosciutto

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Ricotta pesto ravioli with butter and toasted pine nuts

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Beef braciole in ragu with sautéed spinach and Against the Grain baguettes

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Limoncello tiramisu with blueberries

Today we had a great turn out for our signing with author Domenica Marchetti. It was so great that we sold out of cookbooks! Domenica and I agreed that we will have to do another signing in the fall and feature her book The Glorious Soups and Stews of Italy as well!

photo by Tom Bagley

We served samples of her gemelli pasta with olives and fresh herbs.  Also Gail Greco and Tom Bagley came to document the event.

Tomorrow from 10-2 the author of the new book, The Glorious Pasta of Italy will be signing copies right here at Piazza. Please join us as we sample a recipe from her book and pick her brain about Italy and cooking! Come in this weekend to receive 25% off the price of the book. Hope to see you there! Visit Piazza events page for more details. Or visit Domenica’s website.

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There were some tiny sections that were strangely not crowded at all. Like this case of pre-cut meat.

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The pasta case was not as fully loaded as I would have expected but I guess that’s because the army of people behind the counter keeps restocking it all day.

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This picture kind of embodies how it felt to be there: like I was standing among a crowd!

There is no picture of this but the cash registers were empty! There was no line. I guess everyone is there to eat at Eataly!

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Last thing: we popped over to the wine shop next door. Pretty but small. Great liquor/digestif section.

All in all it was fun but as a retailer spy it was not that fruitful as a trip. Eataly directly imports about 80% of what they sell so there is no way for little old me to get the exact brands that they have. That’s why they have all those restaurants, to move volume to make the cost of importing worth their while. They have really made it difficult for anyone else compete with them! I will also add that those brands that they are direct importing are brands that the Italian Eataly stores have long-standing relationships with. Yeah, competing against Eataly is like competing with Walmart.

The aisles were an OK size for New York but the shopping baskets were too big for that space. I kept bumping people with mine (sorry!).

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People were eating where ever they could find a foot of space!

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The fish market literally backs up to the fish restaurant. That’s pretty cool.

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The shelves don’t go up that high so the space feels open.

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Last Saturday I finally made my way up to Eataly. It’s been the talk of the town (East Coast?) since it opened last year. Customers have told tales of their visits– the vast selection of foods, the restaurants and the crowds. I experienced it all and, like the tourist that I now am, I took lots of pictures. I present to you Eataly through my eyes.

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Notice the THREE slicers behind the cheese counter! Strangely, no one was ordering anything on that Saturday afternoon… Does anyone really shop at Eataly?

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See the hall of pre-cut and pre-portioned cheeses!

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SWEET! A mention in the Washington Post about that great Camprianese red wine! Come grab a bottle or two! http://ow.ly/5xX7Q

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