Ahh, Eataly… the marketplace is always a madhouse, but if you’re brave enough to face the crowds, you’re bound to find something tasty to take home with you. When my sister was in town, she picked up a bag of chocolates in the market before we headed upstairs to the rooftop restaurant Birreria, which had been transformed into Baita, an Italian alpine themed pop-up.
The Cake Dealer recently posted a pretty photo of the gnomo cioccolato ($12) on Instagram, and I wanted to try it for myself. The frangelico and galliano is strong at first, but then you settle into the rich, chocolatey goodness. If you’re lucky, you might be able to grab a spot by the Christmas tree to enjoy your boozy hot chocolate. I probably should have waited until after eating to order this as it’s more of a dessert.
My sister and I decided to share a couple dishes as we weren’t actually that hungry, but still wanted to eat here. My mom calls that “itchy mouth syndrome”. Well, my itchy mouth really wanted some of the pasta I’ve heard good things about.
We started with the raclette ($11) with pickled vegetables. Raclette is a cow’s milk cheese that’s sweet, but nutty. It was tasty, but needed to go with some bread as it was a bit much for me (and my delicate vegetarian palate, lol). The pickled veggies were nice, lightly pickled.
I wanted to try the mushroom ragu, but it turns out it’s made with a veal broth, so we opted for the strangolapreti ($16) instead. Fun fact: “strangolapreti” means priest stranglers. Rumor has it that priests enjoyed these little spinach dumplings so much that they would eat them until they choked. Tsk tsk, guess they were never taught to chew slowly to enjoy their food.
Served with butter, sage, and freshly grated cheese, the spinach dumplings were a simple, but very enjoyable dish. Light and fluffy, they melt away in your mouth. Sharing one order of the pasta between the two of us was just right, and I’ll be back at Eataly soon to continue fueling my pasta addiction.