Just returned from a late lunch at Il Pesce and I am pleased to report that Eataly has calmed down, at least if you go at off hours. It was downright civilized.
Got to Il Pesce around 2:40 and rather than the usual give us your name and we’ll text you when we have a space, it was “do you prefer the bar or the terrace?” Ate outside and it was lovely and peaceful. Started with the octopus salad, which was delicious – octopus, peppers, onions and some micro greens. The only thing that would have made it more delicious would have been a crisp glass of Italian white, but alas, had to go back to work afterwards, so no wine. Had striped bass for the entree, which was excellent as always.
Had a very nice, chatty waiter. I learned that Michael Cimarusti prefers that the fish be made “alla griglia” (herbs and olive oil) and if he had his druthers would always make the fish that way, rather than the two other ways that are offered on the menu which are Livornese (Capers, olives, garlic, tomatoes, with olive oil) and Oven Roasted (with cherry tomatoes, olives, herbs and white wine). Good to know that I have been ordering it the way Chef Cimarusti prefers!
Also learned that lunch has been uneven and if you come at a regular lunch hour, you never know if you will have to wait a long time. The waiter said on Monday - Thursday, 2:30 p.m. is generally safe, but not on weekends, when it is better to get there at 11:00 a.m. (but who wants fish at 11:00 a.m.?) The waiter said they plan to start taking reservations in January, but need to have a mix where there are always tables available for walk-ins. He also said they never plan to start serving dessert, as the concept is different than fine dining where you would linger over a meal.
That lovely pink fish (not sure what it is) was on display at Il Pesce. At the fish counter, they had skate!
Finally, had a chat with an Eataly manager about Terra, the rooftop restaurant that will open in January. The “theme” is Italian “barbecue” with venison and boar, although they will also have fish and vegetables. The wine list will be more upscale than at the other Eataly restaurants.