Our travel was without incident, save a car fire on I-80 that stopped westbound traffic in Jersey, and the point where I accidentally exited I-280 in Newark. The Courtyard By Marriott Chelsea is brand new and not really in the heart of Chelsea. We are more Midtown West/Flatiron, just around the corner from Madison Square Garden. Our room faces St. Francis of Assist Church on Fr. Mychal Judge Way/31st Street.
More on our trips to Shake Shack and Colicchio & Sons later. We ought to talk about Eataly, Mario Batali’s palace of Italian cuisine adjacent to Madison Square Park. We talked about going over during lunch and were encouraged by a friend from college. The space is quite nice. You like Italian cheese? They have 50 or so varieties. You like cured meat and charcuterie? Yeah, they have few varieties. After a turn at Birerria, the rooftop beer bar where they hand pump cask-conditioned ales and serve the entire Dogfish Head wardrobe, we went back downstairs and ended up in the Nutella bar.
And it was glorious.
Take a second to let that sink in. Nutella. Bar. A room, about the size of your average Starbucks, lined with containers of Nutella. At its head was a counter where you could get anything from a piece of crusty Italian bread to a French crepe slathered in the chocolate hazelnut spread. The Wife and I, loaded down with the proceeds of the beer bar, split a large hunk of brioche with about 2 oz. of Nutella inside.
It’s the same stuff you get at the grocery store, but in the middle of this gourmet, upscale Italian market was a room dedicated to a $4 jar of sugar.