Rooftop Mountaintop

From this past December until March 2016, the birreria at Eataly is not a simple Italian beergarden, but una baita, or a Piemontese chalet. The pop-up restaurant, straightforwardly named “Baita,” captures the atmosphere of an Alpine après-ski (it did remind me of Switzerland, too) – chairs draped in wool throws, pine tree in the corner, wooden skis on the ceiling, poles propped against the wall. At the tables, under strings of white lights, the menu is all regional specialties, including beers and mulled wines; my raclette, paired with pickled vegetables, did taste just like what they serve in the mountains, and my parents quite enjoyed the barley soup, insalata di funghi, and Monte Bianco dessert we shared. You’d hardly know here that the closest thing to mountains are the skyscrapers across the street, unless you peek through the glass walls and see the Empire State Building.