If you can't afford to jet off to the Italian Alps this winter -- and let's face it, you can't -- there's a pretty good substitute right in the Flatiron neighborhood.

Eataly's winter pop-up Baita offers all the satisfaction of an après ski drink or meal without the work of actually skiing. It takes over rooftop beer garden Birrera starting Thursday and running all winter, and has plenty to offer in terms of food, drink and décor.

Warm up with some wine

Try one of the hot cocktails, like the
Try one of the hot cocktails, like the Vin Brulé -- warm red wine with Vecchio Romagne brandy, star anise, cinnamon, cardamom seed, clove, orange and lemon peel. (Credit: Jillian Jorgensen)

Get in the Christmas spirit early

If you want something sweet, try Baita's take
If you want something sweet, try Baita's take on Italian eggnog (or zabaglione), dubbed the Bombardino: Zabov zabaglione liqueur, Vecchia Romagna brandy, whipped cream and nutmeg. (Credit: Jillian Jorgensen)

Take in the scenery

The rooftop (which is enclosed) has been totally
The rooftop (which is enclosed) has been totally decked out to feel like a ski lodge -- complete with bearskin rugs and '80s-style ski coats decorating the walls on the way up the stairs. And, of course, there's fake snow. (Credit: Jillian Jorgensen)

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Winter accents are everywhere

The restaurant's columns have even been lined with
The restaurant's columns have even been lined with fur. What more do you want? (Credit: Jillian Jorgensen)

You don't need a lift ticket

This might be the best way to experience
This might be the best way to experience the ski lodge scenery and vibe without sitting in Thruway traffic or hopping a bus to Vermont. (Credit: Jillian Jorgensen)

Enjoy some melty cheese

Transport yourself to the Alps with some raclette
Transport yourself to the Alps with some raclette -- a melty Swiss cheese scraped off a giant wheel and, at Baita, onto some potatoes and other veggies. (Credit: Jillian Jorgensen)

Dig in

Everyone knows that vegetables are better when smothered
Everyone knows that vegetables are better when smothered in a blanket of hot, melty cheese. (Credit: Jillian Jorgensen)

And there's a polenta bar

Eataly representatives boast that Baita is the only
Eataly representatives boast that Baita is the only bar in the city to offer a dedicated polenta bar. You might not have known you needed a polenta bar, but trust us, you do. There are two varieties: one with salted sardines, and another with pumpkin -- a variety called Long Island cheese pumpkin, to be exact, which Eataly is working with local farms to cultivate. (Credit: Jillian Jorgensen)

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Keep eating

Among the best bites on the Baita menu
Among the best bites on the Baita menu was the strangolapreti con burro e salvia -- housemate bread and spinach dumplings served with butter and sage. Think the texture of gnocchi, but somehow even better. The name means "priest stranglers," thanks to a rumor that priests loved the dish so much they'd eat it until they choked. (Credit: Jillian Jorgensen)

Try some beef

For something more hearty, try one of the
For something more hearty, try one of the tender beef dishes like this one, a 30-hour-braised beef shank with salsa verde. (Credit: Jillian Jorgensen)

Go big or go home

If that little bite wasn't enough for you,
If that little bite wasn't enough for you, there's good news: You can order the entire leg of the cow as a private dining option, served in your own cabin. (Credit: Jillian Jorgensen)

Get cozy

Yes, there's a cabin inside the restaurant, complete
Yes, there's a cabin inside the restaurant, complete with Adirondack chairs and cozy fur blankets. (Credit: Jillian Jorgensen)