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Manzo, the full-service restaurant within Eataly

Believe it or not, this wasn't our first dinner at Manzo - it was our second, actually.  That's right, Mom and I had such a fun experience on Thursday, the evening that she arrived in town, we returned on Sunday, her last night in town!  The only difference was, it was on this particular night that I remembered to bring my camera.  What I love about dining within Eataly, no matter where you decide to eat, is that while you're waiting for your table to become available, you have the option to stroll around one of the most incredible Italian gourmet complexes in the world.  Literally.  The hostesses notify you by taking your cell phone number and simply give you a phone call when they're ready to seat your party.  Nine times out of ten, your phone rings/vibrates much earlier than you expect.  On both of the occasions that we ate at Manzo, Mom and I opted to dine at the bar.  This proved to be casual, fun, interactive, action-packed, and great for people-watching.  Just our style!  

Dinner at Manzo: Benvenuti!Dinner at Manzo: le menuDinner at Manzo: our great view from our bar seating, where we were able to watch the all of the cold-prep transpire before our eyesDinner at Manzo: freshly-baked bread basketDinner at Manzo: Italian cheese trio, quince & pear saladDinner at Manzo: gulf shrimp with broccoli rabe, capers & walnut pestoDinner at Manzo: girasoli di mortadella with pistachios & scallionsFunny side note: on Sunday night, our waiter was super creepy and never once looked Mom or me in the eye.  It was kind of like being on a really bad first date.  While we were perusing the "primi" portion of the menu, the "Girasoli di Mortadella" pasta kept catching our eye.  "What is mortadella?"  Mom asked our waiter.  "To be honest, it's like bologna," he replied.  After Mom took her first bite of this pasta, she said, "This filling tastes exactly like deviled ham!  I bet that's what this is, Linds!  It actually looks like it, too!"  She was right.  The "mortadella" had a very pale-pink tinge and tasted identical to Mom's favorite canned protein.  Mom flagged the waiter over and used her index finger to motion him in closer, as if she was going to tell him a secret.  In a loud whisper she said, "The inside of the raviolis taste just like deviled ham."  He smirked.  "Do you know what deviled ham is?"  He shook his head suggesting that he did not.  "When I was younger, my father and I used to get two slices of white bread and spread them with mayonnaise, a layer of deviled ham, and a couple of potato chips.  Talk about a great sandwich!"  Believe it or not, Mom's honest Southern proclamation actually cracked somewhat of a smile on our stoic waiter's face.  "I put peanuts on some of my sandwiches," he said.

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