Eataly: Olive oils like grains of sand | Slideshows | Chicago Reader

November 26, 2013 Slideshows » Blogs

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Eataly: Olive oils like grains of sand 

Michael Gebert
Enter Eataly's lower level and you're first greeted by a cart displaying stunningly gorgeous examples of produce.
Michael Gebert
But they aren't relying on vegetables to keep you coming back. For the weekday office crowd there's a panini counter, a Lavazza coffee stand . . .
Michael Gebert
. . . two kinds of gelato, a pastry counter, a chocolate counter, and, yes, a Nutella stand.
Michael Gebert
"The Ikea of Italian food" came up more than once, and the Italian housewares department tells you why.
Michael Gebert
But the first floor is only an aperitif. Ascend to the 40,000-square-foot second level.
Michael Gebert
The upper level is centered around La Piazza, a stand-up dining and drinking area with a bar in its center.
Michael Gebert
Around La Piazza are shopping areas.
Michael Gebert
A live olive tree is surrounded by more than 100 kinds of olive oil, many exclusive.
Michael Gebert
Pannetone for Christmas
Michael Gebert
Many items and brands will be new to Chicago.
Michael Gebert
Mario in a jar
Michael Gebert
There's even a book section.
Michael Gebert
But it's the fresh food counters that are most exciting.
Michael Gebert
La Pescheria displays gorgeously fresh fish, including some from the Great Lakes.
Michael Gebert
And other things that come from the sea, like caviar. There's also an osteria next door.
Michael Gebert
La Macelleria sells Piedmontese beef raised in Nebraska.
Michael Gebert
I Formaggi has imported and midwestern cheeses.
Michael Gebert
And I Salumi, in the same section, sells cured meats.
Michael Gebert
I Salumi includes domestic Italian-style cured sausages and imported prosciutti.
Michael Gebert
Mozzarella being made fresh at La Mozzarella. Nearly all products are made out in the open.
Michael Gebert
La Pasta Fresca sells house-made pastas.
Michael Gebert
Training in pasta making was going on as we watched.
Michael Gebert
Breads are baked in this in-house wood-fired oven.
Michael Gebert
The selection at La Panetteria
Michael Gebert
Meats roasting at La Rosticceria.
Michael Gebert
There's even an in-house brewery.
Michael Gebert
The items made at the market counters are also often sold at the dining counters. Enjoy freshly cooked vegetables at La Verdure.
Michael Gebert
Two more wood ovens turn out Neapolitan-style pizza at La Pizza, run by champion pizzaiolo Davide Civitiello.
Michael Gebert
Birrieria will be a beer hall with a second-floor view, featuring local brews like Revolution.
Michael Gebert
There's also an espresso bar called Caffe Vernagno.
Michael Gebert
The media preview is at 12:30 PM, and a staff meeting is held in the dining area shortly before.
Michael Gebert
Mario Batali is ready for his close-up, Mr. Tribune.
Michael Gebert
Joe Bastianich looks like he's in charge at La Carne, the meat-focused sit-down restaurant.
Michael Gebert
A media crowd of around 100 turns up for the guided tour by the principals: Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich, and Lidia Bastianich.
Michael Gebert
At last we all get to taste the wares, beginning with beef tartare with shaved Alba truffles.
Michael Gebert
Mozzarella, still warm
Michael Gebert
Hamachi crudo topped with finger limes
Michael Gebert
Samples of aged Parmigiano-Reggiano
Michael Gebert
Cranking out margherita pizzas.
Michael Gebert
The final touch
Michael Gebert
Squash-stuffed ravioli sprinkled with truffle
Michael Gebert
Mario serves a couple of media people directly.
Michael Gebert
Eataly, Chicago
11/43
Michael Gebert
Mario in a jar
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