If you haven't been to Eataly in the Flatiron recently, you'll definitely want to make a trip. Manzo, the white tablecloth restaurant located in the heart of this bustling Italian market, has been revamped. As of March, the steakhouse has turned into a more casual, butcher-centric restaurant that's busy serving up a producer-focused menu. It has a lighter feel to it - something that I'm sure many tourists will welcome with open arms. Diners can check out what's going on behind the glass walled butcher room or get a sneak peek at what's cooking at the grill and fire stations next to the bar.
Speaking of the bar...
Patrons need to take advantage of their incredible Vermouth collection. They have quite a stunning selection of Vermouth cocktails (ahem, there are more than 30 American and Italian Vermouths on hand and over 10 Vermouth-based cocktails to choose from). One of my favorites is their Lady Nuvolari - Borgogno Vermouth Bianco, "House Secret," rose, and lemon. The bartenders really know their stuff - ask them about the 100 year-old Vermouth bible that's behind the counter.
The food menu is just as tasty as before (plus dishes are bit cheaper too). Standouts include the Arrosto di Manzo e Polenta (slow roasted short rib with wild hive polenta and Barbaresco vinaigrette), Butcher Steak, and the Whole Grilled Branzino alla Griglia.
At the relaunch party, the chef asked me to try a piece of uncooked gnocchi.
I KNOW. IT SEEMED CRAZY.
But I have to say, I almost didn't notice it was raw dough. The potato gnocchi melted into my mouth upon first bite, so I can only imagine how good the cooked version with Spicy Tomato sauce and Liuzzi Angeloni Ricotta must be. If you have room to start out your meal off with some of their housemade mozzarella balls then PLEASE DO IT. They're smothered in olive oil and seasoned to absolute perfection.
Basically, I have Mario Batali and Lidia Bastianich to thank (once again) for reinventing themselves and this space. These two can do no wrong when it comes to Italian cooking and I'm just happy to be around for the ride.