A First Look at NYC’s First Nutella Bar

13 May

Last night, Mario Batali’s retail giant/Italian superstore Eataly NYC cut the ribbon and let the hazelnut-chocolate gush from its brand new Nutella bar, a great example of adaptation. After closing down their wine store for six months over somewhat dubious issues, Eataly proves that you can bounce back from over half a million dollars in fines and State Liquor Authority infractions. How? With Nutella. It truly does make everything better. When life gives you lemons, make pastries and cover them with delicious goo.

photo 4

And what’s happier than Nutella? Maybe a basket of puppies, but I doubt it.

The lines at 6:45 snaked along 23rd Street, and the wait took about an hour. When Eataly Chicago opened back in December, lines continued for two blocks. In fact, I think I saw more people taking pictures of the line than of the actual edible treats, which kind of gave me the impression that this might be a lot of hype.

Right by the door, there is a chalkboard announcing that yes, you have been waiting for access to Nutella, and not for free hugs or eyebrow threading. I guess New Yorkers are no strangers to waiting en masse for super sweet things (Exhibit A: the year-old-and-still-inspiring-a-mania Cronut). I’m not much of a waiter, unless it’s for a Shack Burger at Shake Shack. But I’ll make an exception for Nutella.

photo 3For its grand opening, the Nutella bar presented guests with pane con Nutella, a slice of country bread with a lacquer of chocolate-hazelnut. It’s a Nutella snack to munch on while you and your Nutella addiction wait in another Nutella line for more Nutella, in a space roughly the size of your corner store, if it specialized in thick chocolate pastes. Like Nutella. Other treats include crostatina con Nutella (a tart), saccottino con Nutella (a square croissant-like pastry), and bacio di dama (“lady’s kiss”, a cookie sandwich with Nutella as the glue). It was missing my go-to vessel and junk-food gulity pleasure: rice cakes (preferably the bite-size caramel ones) slathered in the chocolate-hazelnut spread. I decided enough was enough: I would instead crawl around the other Nutella hounds, four-top tables, and Costco-appropriate vats to get to the front, where the cooking was happening.

photo 6 I watched the crêpe (I guess they’re actually crespelles in Italian) guys flip the tissue paper-thin pancakes with the same attention I’d watch the doughnut man from my childhood daytrips in Sheboygan. Moments before taking this picture, the two were arguing about proper technique. I frowned. The middle crêpe guy held up his mutilated work, the kind of work I’d claim my dog had eaten, and you’d believe me. As soon as the drizzle went on, I gave the benefit of the doubt. As I’ve said, Nutella has a way of smearing over mishaps. I must have been standing there a little long because I kept getting looks from the management. Nutella makes me do strange things.

What are the foods you’d wait for?

 

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7 Responses to “A First Look at NYC’s First Nutella Bar”

  1. The Sartorial Coquette May 13, 2014 at 11:02 am #

    haha nutella makes me do strange things too 😉 I need to go here ASAP! thanks for alerting me, it sounds amazing 😀
    thesartorialcoquette.com

  2. washxdry May 16, 2014 at 4:27 am #

    Reblogged this on wash x dry and commented:
    I cannot process this; the drool running over my entire front is making it hard. God bless Nutella.

  3. vivienhuijun May 22, 2014 at 11:44 pm #

    Reblogged this on LIfe goes on no matter … what …..

  4. Natalia (Beerfoodie) June 10, 2014 at 12:18 pm #

    Mmmm Nutella. I wouldn’t queue for it though. I have been known to queue for a really amazing honey-roasted pork burger for half an hour…

    • trwerner June 10, 2014 at 12:19 pm #

      A honey-roasted pork burger?!?! Where/when/how? Need details.

      • Natalia (Beerfoodie) June 10, 2014 at 12:23 pm #

        It was at the High Voltage Rock festival in London.I’m afraid I don’t remember the name of the food truck, but I can still smell it!

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