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December 22, 2013

12/19/2013 Adventure #1: Eataly Chicago

So now it's time to share Adventure #1, Eataly Chicago. I'm not really sure how to start this? For one, I'm a bit stunned.Why? First of all, I can't do this place justice with one post without rewriting "Crime and Punishment" or something like that. This place got so much acclaim and incredible response in the first week of opening, they closed it one day to catch their breath. As I already said, this is the first of probably 2 or 3 posts on my Eataly visit. This location is actually bigger than its New York City sibling. Eataly came in with such great hype considering the players who are involved (Mario Batali, Joe and Lydia Bastianich). As you will soon see, everything you've heard is true.  

This is from the panini/sandwich section.It looks pretty nice.
Notice the nice ham being sliced on the right? From what I saw, the cut wasn't too thin or too thick. To the left is the Prep station. Once I got inside, I noticed how it was set up. There was plenty of room for staff to move around and not be on top of each other. I've worked in a restaurant and space is a premium. There's nothing worse than being trapped. If I were to place a bet, this was one of the first things the ownership put into place. It's not always the big stuff that makes an operation work. This is one example.

A brief description of the Eataly facility. I don't think you need me to explain further since the sign speaks for itself. This is what welcomes you when you walk into Eataly. The sign below also explains some house rules that speak for themselves. The 3 Eataly Policies in 3 sentences.......

in English ...........

........and Italian!!! Just to make sure everyone is clear. 

Nice looking peppers. So far I've walked about 10 feet into the store. Most of your produce is on the first floor. Pantry items like jams and coffee as well as chocolates, books, gelato, and various other sweets are located on the first floor. 

A brief explanation about Jams. 

...along with the various offering Eataly offers. 

An intro to chocolate.......

.....and some product SOME product offering. 

Looks good, doesn't it? 

An guide to the first floor. 

Kitchen supplies. Mostly the product lines are the owner's line. 

Solid selections of mushrooms. I'll let the pictures do the talking. 

Panini station from the inside. 

While not cheap, the sandwiches are made fresh and look VERY appealing (I ate before I got there). My next visit I will be eating at least one of the various dining options here. 

 More sweets on the right and left.

Coffee section. Mocha galore!!

If you want chocolate ............ got it.

more chocolate.........

 ........... and more chocolate. I tried one and it was good!! 

Your eyes don't deceive you. Nutella has dedicated space here. From what I saw, it was VERY popular among the visitors. 

More from the Nutella land. 

Now the sign for the second floor.

I decided to keep this first floor post short and let the pictures speak for themselves. This is the opening act. I saw this and felt this would be an appropriate place to stop. What I shared is from the first floor. Now if Eataly stopped  here, that may be good enough. My issue is that I haven't even scratched the surface. This place is absolutely amazing. I have decided that I will break this into 2 (yes I said TWO) other posts. Even if splitting into two other posts, I STILL don't think I can do it justice. I have seen some AMAZING specialty shops in my lifetime and Eataly may top them all. Anything Italian is in the building. I may not be able to write the next posts until after the New Year. I trust you will not be disappointed. For those who have been to this location, you already know what I mean. This place is truly amazing and in the coming posts about Eataly, you'll know why. I look forward to share this with you. For those who have been there, you know what I mean. This is only the introduction. 

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