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Back to School: Eataly Launches La Scuola GrandeEataly Introduces a New Cooking Classroom, La Scuola Grande, and Pranzo Restaurant
Ok boys and girls, class is in session. But this time you can expect some wine and cheese at your desk. After launching an intimate, but popular cooking program in 2010, Eataly has officially expanded with La Scuola Grande: a newer, larger classroom that seats 40 guests (double the size of the original La Scuola di Eataly). The space will host many of the same tried and true tutorials on Eataly’s already comprehensive class schedule, in addition to some new offerings (think “Meatless Mondays” and a two-hour Italian food and language crash course).
And that’s not all. In a week or so, the room will also double as Eataly’s seventh restaurant named Pranzo—a lunch-only spot offering a two to three-course prix fixe menu for $25, with cooking demos included. Pranzo, which means lunch in Italian, will be open from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.
We had the opportunity to join “Dean” Lidia Bastianich for the first day of school on Tuesday, and preview the Pranzo program. During the class, diners sampled an assortment of Salumi and Formaggi, followed by Bastianich’s delicious, spring-inspired risotto and steamed swordfish with zucchini and capers. As we munched, the star chef/author/restaurateur/La Scuola instructor (is there anything she doesn’t do?) stood front and center in a state-of-the-art kitchen demoing each plate and offering cooking tips. A plasma screen on each side of the instruction kitchen offered an even closer look. When class was dismissed, we left with recipes for each dish, with a detailed grocery list to boot.
If you can’t make it to lunch, La Scuola also plans to launch five-course Sunday Suppers for about $65 with wine. You can get updates and a full class schedule on La Scuola’s web site. We can’t think of a better reason to go back to school.—AMANDA LIBBYLa Scuola di Eataly| 200 5th Ave | 212-229-2560