Le Verdure is the station at Eataly dedicated solely to vegetables. It's also the spot I've avoided for years, up until now. With so many other choices like charcuterie, pesce (fish), Neapolitan pizza, sausages at the birreria and a full mozzarella bar, as Donald Trump might say, "Can you blame me?"
It is here where you find folks cutting into a portabello as if it were juicy sirloin steak, and they might be onto something. I watched as the woman seated next to me savored her very last piece of grilled endive drizzled with olive oil. At this point I decided to see what all of this vegetable fuss was about.
Spending $9 on a bowl of soup seems outrageous to me, especially when it's not a huge bowl. But it boils down to what's in that bowl. This day the special was a vegetable minestrone soup. The first thing that catches your attention is the aroma, and the spectacular red color. It's quickly overtaken by the fullness of the flavors as you take that first sip. Flecks of onion are found floating near the surface, dig a little deeper and you may find a slice or two of zucchini or a baby chickpea that melts away in your mouth. I guess comforting is the best way to describe it. My soup arrived with two small wedges of crispy toast perfect for sopping up every last drop.
My soup was followed up with a plate of fritto misto, seasonal vegetables batter-dipped and fried until they turn a golden brown. Vegetables that appear to be frozen in time - a single green bean, a baby carrot, a sugar snap pea, the tip of an asparagus spear and cauliflower - each wrapped in a wonderful crust - and I thought to myself... self, I might actually like this vegetable thing?