Mayhem at Manzo


Doing What They Do Best at Manzo inside Eataly Flatiron

Every public relations person’s faceless selfie dream come true is a nod from the New York Times. The newspaper of record writes: “Manzo, the meat-focused restaurant at Eataly Flatiron, reopens on Friday after a face-lift. Near the Manzo entrance, visitors will find a glass-enclosed butcher room, for tasks like breaking down whole carcasses into cuts for both the restaurant and the market’s retail counter. “We thought that integrating production was a good idea,” said Alex Saper, the chief operating officer at Eataly. The restaurant also has a rotisserie, a request from the chef Fitz Tallon; new meat cuts on its menu; and increased seating.”

Let’s delve further, shall we?

*Near the Manzo entrance, visitors will find a glass-enclosed butcher room …*

Nothing says welcome quite like a 600 lb corpse that’s become the revolving party piece of Manzo’s daily dismemberment rituals. With surgical precision, today’s ribs stand sentry – a lightless candelabra of the macabre as all life has already departed this poor soul under the most violent circumstances imaginable. This is fetishism defined on a truly grand scale. What to do? … What to do? … (Lick. Touch. Flee? We’re freaking!) Hydrated taut flesh and yet blood has been mostly drained away – just the way most New Yorkers feel on a daily basis.

*… for tasks like breaking down whole carcasses …*

Tasks. As in the daily to do list in an establishment such as this. Why ‘like?’ Has a general misuse of language crept into the paper of record? How about ‘such as’ and assert sawing through someone’s body and keep sawing and sawing until you’ve disassembled the whole into pieces of relatable and chewable size – such as something you’d consider ingesting.

Carcass. The body of a dead animal, especially a large one that is soon to be cut up as meat or eaten by wild animals. To be clear, it’s a large dead animal. So if we’re going to eat the muscle excised from this carcass we can call it meat. But if wild animals go for it, then it’s the body of the large dead animal that it was. So as human animals it seems we’re not all that tame or domesticated. We’re wild. We’ve never been able to collectively move from a place of baser instinct into a species that lives by the moral precepts of conscious eating. We’re not far to the right of all the other primates. We’re snuggled right up against our brethren.

*… into cuts for both the restaurant and the market’s retail counter*

Thank goodness. Whether we choose to dine in or take home we’d hate to know this bit of muscle or tendon actually had a face with eyes and nose for breathing or even a mouth that ingested all manner of plant matter with a tongue that acted as gatekeeper and organizer for anything that’d go down the hatch!

Cuts. Isn’t it marvelous how there is new vocabulary to learn for basic anatomy that any surgeon would know by heart? For instance a ‘cut’ could be your psoas – the second longest muscle in your body that keeps you walking upright and able to lift your legs when horizontal. It’s your flight/fight muscle. When you choose to eat the psoas, it’s called filet mignon. Fabulous! That way we don’t have to think about a muscle that connects from our spine to our femurs as practical. It’s only meaty, juicy, tender and delicious! We can call it whatever – you know, ‘like’ filet mignon. We humans can rationalize anything. We even eat hearts.

*“We thought that integrating production was a good idea, …”*

They thought about that. It’s good to think, don’t you agree? Integrating production? How invitational is that? It’s like watching a machine fold pretzels in Pennsylvania Dutch Country. It’s that quaint, traditional and by default completely normal. It speaks of a well-adjusted society. Within a retail food store, mammals are broken and cut apart for you to eat on site or take home. Sometimes you just don’t feel like eating cooked muscle in public. It’s best singed in a pan at home.

*… said Alex Saper, the chief operating officer at Eataly.*

According to his bio, “Alex Saper started his career in finance but found himself unfulfilled.” Finance people do not possess a filter such as what a lawyer has studied – the law. So if your id is unfulfilled in finance what’s the next best thing? Butchery! Why destroy lives tangentially when you can destroy them in person? This kind of care for consumer/customer/victim is the ultimate in kneecapping. What a win for an unfilled financier! You can oversee the dismemberment of mammals while simultaneously slowly taking apart your customers. (Alex: note to self – invest in Pfizer.)

*The restaurant also has a rotisserie …*

Rotisserie is a style of roasting where a body is skewered on a spit. This method is generally used for cooking entire mammals. The rotation cooks the body evenly in its own fat, hormones, lymph, remaining blood and secretions and allows easy access for continuous self-basting.

*… a request from the chef Fitz Tallon*

Whatever Fitz wants . . .   In his own words: “I had no idea that different varieties of eggplant existed. We named an all-white eggplant “ghost face killah” after a member of the WuTang Clan. We thought it was a special eggplant because it was right next to a bunch of purple eggplants – only to later find out that it was actually another type of eggplant that had white skin.”

Thanks, Fitz, for having the last word.