For the third year in a row, I’m going to attempt to eat every single item on Time Out New York’s annual 100 Best Dishes list. In no particular order, here’s my take on their Top 100. Let the gluttony continue…


Something funny is going on here. As you all probably know, I’m pretty meticulous about the Time Out list. I spend the first few weeks of its release studying it over and plotting my journey. I guess this year I wasn’t quite as thorough. I’m definitely not as motivated or obsessed as I had been in years past. But how did I completely miss this list item?

Time Out didn’t put together a check list for us this year (which is strange since they were more encouraging than ever before for reader’s to take the journey), but instead only featured the entire list on an internet slideshow. I viewed that slideshow a number of times, but it wasn’t until a few days ago I discovered a listing for the Fresh Mozzarella from Eataly. Where did that come from? Could Time Out have added it later on, maybe realizing they only posted 99? Or did I just somehow let that little cheese ball slip right through my hands?

Well, it doesn’t matter any more because I did discover it. And I already ate it, so no stress there. I happened to be upstairs at Birreria, the beer garden on the roof of Eataly when it started pouring and I decided to buy some groceries to make dinner at home. And I thought a ball of that freshly-made mozzarella might be the perfect appetizer.

I made my way to the cheese station in the middle of the emporium and watched the Italian accented cheesemonger pull and squeeze cheese before my very eyes. In front of him were different sized tubs of the stuff that had been made earlier in the day. I thought a 5 ounce ball for $3.80 would be cheap enough and so I decided to add it to the top of a salad to be made later in the evening.

But first I pulled the beautiful orb out of its water and took a nibble of the cheese on its own. There’s not a whole lot of flavor, but it was milky and slightly salty. The texture was slightly more firm than I expected, but it was rich and fresh. Very clean. Pleasant. Time Out suggests serving it with some sea salt or olive oil and either of those ingredients very well may liven it up. On its own (or even on top of a salad), it doesn’t stand out from any other fior di latte I’ve had in the past. But it certainly doesn’t pale in comparison.

Nothing about this (except maybe the showy presentation at Eataly itself) would make me think one of the best dishes of the year. So maybe that’s why I overlooked it initially. Either that or I’m really slacking off.

Would Eataly’s Fresh Mozzarella make my Top 100 of the year? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean I won’t give it a 7 out of 10 because it was a good homemade mozzarella cheese that just needs a little sprucing up to be truly memorable.

EATALY
200 Fifth Avenue (between West 23rd and West 24th Street)
Flatiron District
(212) 229-2560
eatalyny.com/
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About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

3 Responses to #17 – FRESH MOZZARELLA at EATALY

  1. We are loving reading along as you eat your way through New York. We’re hoping to find a few discoveries that rate a little higher than a 7, we can’t wait to try out the restaurants that are 10’s!

  2. Brian Hoffman says:

    There will definitely be a few perfect 10′s coming soon. Also, check out my Top 100 dishes from last year.

  3. Thanks Brian, we definitely will check out not only the post, but probably many of the restaurants in NYC. Can’t wait!

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