Eataly was founded by Oscar Farinetti. Mr. Farinetti spent his career building one of the largest electronics retail chains in Italy. After selling the chain in 2003, he created the concept of Eataly. In 2007 Eataly, a 30,000 square foot food emporium opened in Turin. The store was a combination of traditional Italian market and education center about food.
The goal of Eataly was to bring Italian food to everyone in an “environment where people can shop, taste, and learn”.
Adam and Alex Saper, along with the Mario Batali, Lidia and Joe Bastianich B&B Hospitality Group opened the first American Eataly in New York City in 2010. There are 17 worldwide locations.
Eataly is now open in Chicago. Eataly, at 43 E. Ohio, is a 63,000 square foot food emporium costing $28 million dollars. It is located in the former ESPN Zone.
Monday afternoon at 4pm was the grand opening. The line to get in stretched one half block west and one block south.
Eataly is the ultimate Italian grocery store and restaurant venue. If it is Italian, you can buy or eat it at Eataly. They make several of their own products on site. There is also an extensive selection of imported Italian and local food stuffs.
Eataly is an Italian foodie’s paradise. It is Eden, Utopia, and Shangri-La.
Eataly has several restaurants serving meat, fish, pizza, and other delicacies. Eataly is an Italian gourmand’s dream come true.
My daughter and I dined in Carne, the meat restaurant. The food was fabulous. The appetizer of pig trotter salad was porky delicious. The liver and onions on a bed of polenta was silken. The quail was exceptional. The Brussels sprouts with pancetta were a perfect side dish.
Eataly is pricey. There are no bargains here. But, if you are looking for the best in Italian food and groceries in Chicago this is the place to shop. There are also hard to find items not available anyplace else.
Though it is in the tourist area of the city, Eataly is positioned to be the go to place for Italian food in Chicago.
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