A Seafood Extravaganza Comes to EATALY
by Andrew Chalk
Grigliata di Pesce is an Italian dish of grilled seafood. EATALY has just introduced their version and it will wow you! Imagine a formidably large copper pan plopped in front of you at the table and filled with hot coals and topped with a grate piled high with swordfish, calamari, prawns, large sea scallops, and razor clams. I had a chance to sample it a recent media event and it is an unforgetable treat. Check it out now!
But this is not the only impressive dish at EATALY. Appetizers Carpaccio di Manzo (grilled beef carpaccio, charred celery, and asparagus salad) and Burrata (housemade burrata, peas, snap peas, asparagus and basil pesto, grilled rustic bread) made a compelling start.
Pasta dishes Ravioli Verdi de Piselli Con Asparagi (housemade spinach ravioli filled with peas and ricotta, white and green asparagus, lemon butter, agriform Parmigiano Reggiano DOP) and Tagliatelle al Funghi (housemade spinach tagliatelle, mushroom ragu, truffle butter, Parmigiano Reggiano DOP) were superbly tasty and cravable, each expressing lucidly the soul of its ingredients.
Grigliata di Pesce is a main course, as the above description indicates. Accompanying the seafood is a clever Sicilian chickpea fritter named panelle (here they are formed like french fries). Caponata, a Sicilian sauce of tomatoes, aubergine and other vegetables seasoned with olive oil, tomato sauce, celery, olives, and capers, in an agrodolce sauce. Vegetables are snap peas, broccolini, asparagus, and salsa verde.
One note about the vegetables illustrates the attention to detail in the kitchen. The pea pods were perfectly crisp to the tooth, the broccolini cooked to lose its fibrousness but retain its form, the aparagus clear and correct in its taste, but easy to cut up and eat. By contrast, several months ago I had dinner at a purportedly high-end restaurant in California. The vegetable medley with the main course had been cooked by throwing all the vegetables in a sauté pan at the same time. As a result, the Brussels sprout slices were mushy, but the carrot slices were as tough as depleted uranium. Nobody, let alone the cook (for he was clearly not a chef), had bothered to check the consistency, or follow the correct cooking method. And several dishes featured this same vegetable medley, so lots of guests got these disasters. Thankfully, EATALY is running a much tighter ship under execuchef Luigi Iannuario.
Front of house is on form too. Helpful waitress Maddie knew the menu and wine list (and how to fix a wobbly table). GM Greg roved the room, observing everything to ensure delivery.
Don't think of EATALY as a restaurant in a food store, it is the flagship of a food fleet and Grigliata di Pesce the latest reason to come sail!