Local Folks Foods

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January 13, 2014

12/19/2013 Adventure #1: Eataly Chicago, Part 2

OK. I've been a little busy (and of recent, a touch under the weather). So my first post on Eataly Chicago was just to set the table for what I would eventually share. While participating in the Foodiechats session today, I decided to do this in four parts. This is the second of the four posts. Why? I looked at all the pictures I took and decided that if I went less than that, I may not do it justice. Over the last month, I've spoken with friends who made the same sojourn as I did and they were equally as blown away as I was. There was also a consensus that to try and take everything (hey, even a majority) in under 2 hours is next to impossible. Doing this place justice in under 4 posts would also be wrong as well. This place is WAY too big and so many subsections within this place. It's hard to explain. Imagine a more upscale Italian version of World Market or Trader Joe's meets Whole Foods. Even that may not give the best picture so I'll let mine speak for themselves.

Above is the intro to the second floor. You'll notice the I'Ristoranti (restaurants) and Mercato (market) breakdown. There's the La Piazza where selections of meat and cheese platters are for the taking. Then your more direct, specialty spots located here, being La Carne (meat) and Il Pesce (fish). This is just the intro and will touch on this part more in the next 2 posts. 

Now to the left and right features the dining options at Rotiscceria (or rotisserie). This is Boston Market gone crazy upscale. You can see the price is per pound. On the right are roasted potatoes. You may ask yourself why didn't I show any pictures or the chicken? The answer is pretty simple. They ran out. Remember, Eatay Chicago had such a crazy (and successful) opening that they close the entire facility for one day. Everyone knew the opening would be big but not to the level that it was. The staff seemed like they had to catch their collective breaths. Understandably, they were also trying to get adjusted to where everything was.
This is cheese plate from La Piazza. 

Above is another part of the specialty sections. Now if I'm translating this right, the translation (literally) is the bench of salami and cheese of Eataly. I've been to some specialty shops and this one takes the cake. I would say the salami (back wall) is over 6 feet high and about 12-15 feet in width. That's the various meats alone. The cheese section has just about any cheese you can even imagine. 

The Great Wall of Salame!!!

The breakdown of salame. Italian style...............

...... and the American style. 

I decided to zoom in on the 4 different types that were features here. I think the did a very nice job explaining the differences. 

Bresaola (or brisaola) is air dried and salted, generally aged 2-3 months

Lardo, just as the name implies. 

Milano is a little more simple, as far as preparation and seasoning than the other 3 salame featured.

Now I showed you the front of the salame and cheese counter. You may have thought that was the end of it. I know I did and I couldn't have been so far off. I hope you may have noticed how I described the wall of salame because it served a purpose. The next series of pictures is what's BEHIND that wall. This give you only a taste. 

You want salame? You have plenty of choices. 

Various meats like prosciutto, salame and other cured meats.  

This is the cheese behind the wall I mentioned, or at least one side of it. This cheese cooler as about the length of a professional baseball's pitcher's mound to home plate. This was no less than 50 feet.  

More cheese? Say cheese. There were so many cheeses I couldn't keep them straight. 

More team members at the cheese and salame counter. This was also behind the wall I mentioned. 

I went on National Truffle Day. I didn't buy any truffles though. 

A sample of truffles. 

The actually make the mozzarella on site here. 

Team member and cheese maker making some fresh mozzarella cheese. 

OK. This is part 2 of 4 on Eataly Chicago. The final 2 posts will address the various meats, game, pasta and more on the restaurants. As I said before, I don't think I could do this justice with only one or two posts. This is the part I have been looking forward to. Now up to this point, I wasn't really expecting to be wowed. If the rest of this adventure matched this, I would have been fine. It went MUCH further than I expected and I will share that in the next 2 posts.