Eataly, the Italian food hall, supermarket, and specialty food shop owned by, among others, chef Mario Batali, has debuted its newest restaurant at its 23rd Street location in New York City, a completely revamped and reimagined Manzo. Even though manzo translates to “meat” in Italian, there are plenty of non-meat items on the menu, including antipasti, pastas, and fish dishes. But if you visit and don’t order the bone-in New York strip, it’ll be a serious mistake.
But let’s talk about the rest of the menu first. We recently had the opportunity to dine there and sampled a handful of additional menu items, and none of them disappointed. A simple salad of endive, fava beans, and extra virgin olive oil was given a salty, funky kick from a shaving of Dell’Isola bottarga (dried fish roe). An even simpler salad of baby arugula, shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano, and Villa Manodori balsamic vinegar succeeded, like most of the other menu items, by the high quality and graceful preparation and presentation of its ingredients. Spaghetti cacio e pepe, simply tossed with black pepper, caciocavallo, and pecorino Romano, turns into a creamy, well-balanced masterpiece in the hands of chef Fitz Tallon; you’d be hard-pressed to find a better version even in Rome.
There’s also a selection of three different prosciuttos — 36-month San Daniele, 24-month di Parma, and 16-month Toscano — which, when partnered with house-made mozzarella and house-made flatbread, can be a meal unto itself. The restaurant also receives a whole pig and whole veal weekly, which passersby can watch being butchered; they’re used in different dishes nightly. The night we visited, pork shoulder was slow-roasted for 24 hours, sliced, and served with a bright and garlicky salsa verde. No complaints there.
For a meat-oriented restaurant, it’s a little surprising to see that only five steaks are available: a grilled flat iron “butcher steak,” a Wagyu skirt steak from Snake River Farms, a bone-in New York strip from Diamond Creek Ranch, and a 28-day dry-aged tomahawk and a bistecca alla Fiorentina (both priced for two at $125, also from Diamond Creek). The bone-in New York strip is a must-order, and easily one of the best steaks being served in New York right now.
Kansas-based Diamond Creek raises its USDA Prime Black Angus cattle on pastures, without antibiotics or added hormones, and that comes through in the clean, rich flavor of the steak. It’s simply grilled, sliced, and sprinkled with salt and extra virgin olive oil, and the end result is tender, perfectly pink, and incredibly flavorful. It’s tough to describe how good this steak is — you just need to go try it (and everything else on the menu) for yourself.