Thick crowds queued in front of the various Eataly entrances. Gamely, and gamily, they endured the 94f/35c heat. A startling percentage of them were speaking Italian. Perhaps they had been flown in by Mr. Farinetti, boss man at the original Eataly in Turin.
They were respectful and orderly, not shoving or maneuvering to sneak into the front of the line. Except for one person.
He pushed and shoved, calling out, "Scusate," "Permesso," "Movetevi, stronze."
He got to the door. He banged on it just as a young man was unlocking it. He saw Joe Bastianich staring with disapproval. Surely not at Strappo, we hope.
"I'm supposed to be pouring here. Verso qua. Dove si va?"
Go to the wine shop next store.
Unbowed, Strappo cut his way through the orderly but surging ingressors. Many had canes. He brushed them aside in his haste. He had spent $15 on a taxi to get there in time, and still he was late. He entered the shop, greeted warmly by an Italian guy who thought S was a real customer.
No one at the shop knew about any pouring table. Dan Amatuzzi, the wine director, came in. It was all a ghastly mistake. No pouring today. None at all.
Strappo felt like PeeWee Herman when Jan Hooks, merrily chewing her gum, told him, "There's no basement in the Alamo." Strappo heard a chorus of laughter. Well, no, PeeWee had heard it, but the scene in the movie played back in his troubled mind.
Strappo is never one to let a $15 cab ride go to waste. He hadn't put product (Kiehl's) on his shining Irish face and traveled all the way to 23rd Street just to go home with his tail between his legs or nothing much to Tweet about.
So he had Dan take a picture. Here it is. Cascina Gilli's Freisa "Vigna del Forno" -- the first bottle of wine sold in Eataly NY's new wine store.
Misson, as they say, accomplished.