Last Friday was the first Friday of Lent so we went to Eataly as is our custom during Lent to have lunch at either Verdure or Pesce (no meat on Fridays during Lent). Both were pretty much packed, so we decided to try Pranzo as the menu they are featuring this month was heavy on fish and seafood. What a delightful surprise it was. Although we are frequent shoppers and diners at Eataly, we had not yet tried Pranzo. I'm so glad we did. Since the space it occupies is used as the cooking school on weekends and evenings, the setup is unique. The kitchen is right up front and you can watch the chefs at work the whole time you are there; plus, there are two video monitors focused on the cooktop area so you can actually see what is cooking as they prepare it. Fascinating for anyone who loves to cook.
We started with a salad of braised octopus and calamari, fingerling potatoes, celery, pickled onions and chilies and a zuppa of white bean and escarole. The soup was supposed to have a drizzle of spicy soppresata oil on it, but since I was going meatless, they substituted a generous drizzle of olive oil from Calabria, the region featured this month.
For our entrees, we had scialatielli alle cozze, a housemade pasta with mussels, white wine, jalapeno and marjoram and a pesce fritto, a fried dover sole served with meyer lemon, shaved fennel, olives, capers and limoncello. For dessert we shared a baba au rhum. There was not one false note in the whole meal. All was simply prepared and absolutely delicious. Pranzo is a great find for lunch. I highly recommend it.