The alpha-grocer award: Eataly

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  • Photograph: Allison Michael Oren

    eataly80701

  • Photograph: Allison Michael Oren

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  • Photograph: Allison Michael Oren

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  • Photograph: Allison Michael Oren

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  • Photograph: Allison Michael Oren

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    Lasagna at Eataly

  • Photograph: Allison Michael Oren

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  • Photograph: Allison Michael Oren

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  • Photograph: Allison Michael Oren

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  • Photograph: Allison Michael Oren

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  • Photograph: Allison Michael Oren

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  • Photograph: Allison Michael Oren

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    Pastry at Eataly

  • Photograph: Allison Michael Oren

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  • Photograph: Allison Michael Oren

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Photograph: Allison Michael Oren

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Batali & Co.'s hulking temple to Italian gastronomy managed to make every other regional food market in NYC look like the dried-pasta shelf at your corner bodega. Wandering around the 42,500-square-foot maze is an exercise in picking your jaw up off the floor. It's not unusual to see shoppers swilling barbera aimlessly in La Piazza, stunned into indecision by the bounty, which includes six full-service restaurants, a LaFrieda butcher shop and one of the best gelato stands in the city. The only sensible solution is to fill your basket and your belly, then return and repeat frequently. After all, there's still more to come. When the rooftop Birreria brewpub opens in May, the takeover will be complete. , 200 Fifth Ave between 23rd and 24th Sts (212-229-2560, eatalyny.com)

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