After lease disputes Eataly is still aiming for an autumn opening
Since restaurant Texas de Brazil lost its fight to stay in the North Bridge shops, there hasn’t been a lot of word on the progress of the Chicago branch of Eataly, which was angling to move into the space. Joe Bastianich and Mario Batali’s food mecca, which has seen huge success in New York, Italy, and Japan, had originally been aiming for a September opening before lease disputes with the Brazilian steakhouse threw some kinks into the plan.
It sounds as though things are underway once more, according to Batali. Prompted by a fan’s question, the orange-shoed chef himself declared a mid-November opening for Eataly on Twitter. The website still cites a vague “autumn 2013,” so the word isn’t official. However, lovers of all things Italian can rest assured that there is no stopping Eataly’s arrival onto the Chicago scene.
Covering a whopping 60,000 square feet, the Chicago Eataly has already tapped partners for their in-house beer garden, Birreria: Dogfish Head and from Italy, Birra Baladin and Birra del Borgo. Local producers will also play big parts in the curation of Eataly, providing a unique Chicago flavor to the Italian-focused super store.
Eataly L.A. Opening Was So Insanely Popular It Closed for a Day to 'Reassess'
L.A.'s first Eataly reached a crowd size that many a box office would envy.
Massive, multiple-hour lines, thousands of people cramming into one building, sold-out events and streams of obsessive fans may seem like a fairly standard affair in Los Angeles, but there was something decidedly different about the recent iteration this weekend. Yes, while this particular event was like a movie premiere in its crowd size, dedication and enthusiasm (and coverage in The Hollywood Reporter), the massive fan convergence taking place was not for the latest Thor movie, but for the grand opening of Eataly L.A., which is the city&aposs first.
In fact, the Westfield Century City-located was so popular that, according to its Twitter, it spent all of Monday closed, in order to "reassess, and give our people some well-deserved rest." According to a THR source, the Mario Batali-led Italian food marketplace was "a madhouse," with three-hour lines made up of nearly a thousand people. Fortunately, between the staff and the customers, "everyone was nice and understanding," and understood just how wild the whole event was.
Of course, when you think about it, anyone who&aposs ever enjoyed some fresh tagliatelle or grabbed a focaccia to go won&apost be particularly surprised that the 60,000-plus-square foot Eataly L.A. would be so packed, especially when it includes new quick-serve food stations for panigacci (Ligurian flatbreads) and Roman-style pazza alla pala. And the reassessment, it seems, has led to a quick new system for the store, which now uses a hot pepper-based rating system to provide live updates on the entrance wait time.
Could this have been the plan all along? An Eataly rep told THR that new stores "always take a day to reassess the store after the opening," so perhaps the packed weekend wans&apost totally unexpected. Either way, let&aposs hope that when the 20-acre Eataly World opens next week, its ready for the biggest crowd yet.
Traditional FL!P Ale – with a Batali twist – celebrates new Eataly Chicago
If you bellied up to a bar in 18th-century America on a winter’s eve, chances are the colonists on either side of you would be nursing a warm, spicy flip. The eggnog-type beer cocktail repeatedly appeared in the journals of the Founding Fathers and was a near constant on the expense accounts of George Washington.
But like powdered wigs and hoop skirts, flips fell out of fashion. Until now.
Here at Dogfish Head, we often look to the past for inspiration, and on Friday, Nov. 22, we’re releasing the first beer ever brewed specifically to make a flip beer cocktail. Why? We’re celebrating the grand opening of Eataly Chicago, the latest U.S. location of the epic artisanal Italian food emporium run by the Farinetti family, the Saper family, Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich.
To get a little Italian DNA into our FL!P Ale, Dogfish Head Founder and President Sam Calagione reached out to a man who knows cocktails as well as he knows food. Chef Mario suggested that we use Saba, a red wine reduction typically used in the production of balsamic vinegar. He also requested green cardamom, or ellateria, a spice native to Bhutan, Nepal and India. For complexity, we added a touch of crystalized ginger.
FL!P Ale is a toasty, malt-forward winter warmer with notes of toasted bread, biscuits, toffee, caramel and stone fruit. The cardamom and candied ginger give it some spicy herbal menthol notes. It’s a delight on its own, but to add a dash of 18th-century authenticity, we’re taking it a step further.
According to Gregg Smith's "Beer in America: The Early Years," flip cocktails called for a raw egg, sugar and a dash of rum. "Into this mixture a red-hot loggerhead, made of iron and heated in the fire, was thrust." The loggerhead caramelized the unfermented sugars and "flipped" the egg, creating the warm and spicy Colonial favorite.
So, while this beer lasts, we’ll be serving hot FL!P Cocktails during our Wednesday Happy Hour from 3 to 6 p.m. Thanks to Kerry Rhoades of Forged Creations, a traditional blacksmith from Delaware City, we have half a dozen loggerheads to throw into the fire of our wood grill and “flip” our Flip Cocktails.
* FL!P Ale will make its debut at Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats in Rehoboth Beach, Del., at noon on Friday, Nov. 22. The beer will be available anytime, but from 3 to 6 p.m. that Friday and from 3 to 6 p.m. on Wednesdays after that, we’ll be heating up the loggerheads and serving them Colonial-style. FL!P Ale is expected to last about a month, and when it’s gone, it’s gone. More info here.
* On Monday, Nov. 25, at Eataly New York, Dogfish Head Founder and President Sam Calagione will host a brewer’s lunch at the rooftop pub Birreria with the two other Birreria Brother Brewers: Italian craft brewers Teo Musso from Baladin and Leo di Vincenzo from Birra del Borgo. FL!P Cocktails will be served, and the three brewers will be working on a new batch of FL!P Ale in the Birreria brewhouse. Tickets for the three-course lunch are $40 per person, and the menu and tickets are available here.
* Later this fall, the FL!P Beer Cocktail will be served at the grand opening of the new Eataly location in downtown Chicago. A fresh batch of FL!P Ale also will be brewed. Stay tuned for details.
Mario Batali says new Eataly will be specifically Southern Californian -- and Italian, of course
What to expect when Mario Batali and Joe and Lidia Bastianich finally open their just-announced Los Angeles chapter of Eataly at the Westfield Century City mall in 2017?
If you’ve been to the Chicago or New York stores, you probably have a pretty good idea -- but the L.A. spot will have a distinctly Southern California accent, including a possible contribution from Nancy Silverton.
“We love the opportunities that California offers us, from the local olive oils, to the immensely popular local wines and spirits,” Batali wrote in an email Tuesday afternoon.
“Eataly was almost born to celebrate the geo-specificity of the remarkable and unique bounty of America’s salad bowl. We are also very excited to have Los Angelena Nancy Silverton aboard for a focaccia concept and maybe more.”
The new store, announced Tuesday morning, will be about the same size as the two previous ones, roughly 50,000 square feet, not including outdoor and rooftop dining spaces -- options that aren’t feasible in those other cities.
As with the other Eatalys, it will include a collection of a couple of dozen markets that double as dining areas. The concept is that you can either buy the fish from the seafood monger or you can sit down and order off a menu that is sourced from the same ingredients.
“We cook what we sell and we sell what we cook,” according to a company statement. “We encourage customers to come in, have an amazing meal, ask the chef how the meal was made, buy the ingredients and replicate it at home. Our motto is: Eat, shop and learn!”
Multiply that out to include a salumeria, a pasta store, a butcher store and so on, and the dining and shopping options are impressive.
“Certainly the magnificent produce will have a sweet home, but Cali dairy (think of the cheeses!!) and seafood, (Petrale sole, Santa Barbara spot prawns and uni!) will be a big part of the local story as well as significant poultry and meat,” Batali wrote.
Eatalys are founded on the philosophy of being locally sourced, taking the best products of wherever they are located. Batali said that because of the Mozza connection (he and the Bastianiches are partners with Silverton in the restaurant complex), he’s got some local producers in mind, but wouldn’t be specific.
Asked which producers we could expect to see, he replied “About a million. We will very quickly identify the ones we love and the ones that will eventually grow exclusive products for us from Italian seeds as well as celebrate the plethora of unique local and delicious products.”
The arrival of the new Eataly had been long rumored but was only finally signed Tuesday. Batali says that’s because, despite a lot of online speculation, it didn’t become clear until just recently where they would land.
“We were torn between two locations and tried for the longest time to equalize the deals,” Batali wrote. “But in the end Westfield was far more interested in a long-term partnership and we felt best aligned with similar interests and brand building strategies.”
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Russ Parsons is a former Food writer and columnist and the former editor of the Food section at the Los Angeles Times.
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Mario Batali's Eataly in Boston?
We can dream. The business section of today's Globe bears the hopeful news that even though Mario Batali's plans for a Boston Babbo fell through, he's still trying to build a presence in the city. The latest rumblings indicate that he might try to open a branch of Eataly, the massive Italian marketplace with branches in New York and, soon, Chicago. We reached out to his reps, who can't confirm specific plans yet. Faneuil Hall-Quincy Market is an area of interest for his operations team (and it would be fantastic to have something new at Quincy Market), but they're also scoping out buildings in the Back Bay and elsewhere. Chicago's Eataly, opening at the end of the month, will have a Nutella bar and its own version of Babbo, called Baffo, inside the marketplace — so maybe we might just get our own Babbo yet.
Where would you want to see an Eataly? Quincy Market? Someplace farther from the North End, like Harrison Ave. in the South End? Anywhere else?
DJ Khaled's Restaurant 'The Licking' Is Coming To Chicago
Anyone who&rsquos been fortunate enough to catch DJ Khaled on the &lsquogram has seen him boast about the &ldquomajor keys&rdquo to his success. His restaurant franchise &ldquoThe Licking&rdquo has been part of said "major keys." In fact, the four-year-old chain is so successful, it debuted a new location in Chicago this weekend.
According to Eater Chicago, Khaled began this Miami soul food franchise as a way to &ldquogive under-served African-American communities a quality spot to eat near their homes.&rdquo So unlike the many delicious (yet inaccessible) eats that grace South Beach, Khaled decided to try something new and to start his business in the Miami Gardens neighborhood. Talk about giving back to the community!
Now, four years later, Khaled has officially expanded his franchise all the way to the West Side of Chicago, specifically in Austin. The restaurant's opening was so successful that it had waits as long as 45 minutes the following Monday.
While the location of this new restaurant may be completely different, Director of Marketing for The Licking BeNda WORLD has assured customers the goal is still the same. He recently told Power 92 Radio, &ldquoI feel it&rsquos needed. Hyde Park has a bunch of offerings, and so does the South Side, so we want to bring jobs and create those things for that sector that didn&rsquot have it.&rdquo Wow. I haven't even tried the food yet, and I'm already a fan. Another one! (*Extreme DJ Khaled voice.*)
Speaking of the food, The Licking's offerings look delicious. Between fried lobster, baked chicken, and a veggie stir fry, I'm in! There's also a red velvet cake that Khaled reportedly calls "a problem." All of that's before you get to the "famous mystery" and "dirty mystery" drinks on the menu.
So if you're in the Chicago area, please go check out The Licking at 5045 W. Madison Street and get back to me to confirm just how problematically good that cake is.
Mario Batali: Chilaquiles with Tomatillo Salsa
Well into autumn hearty greens are still coming from the ground, and tomatillos are a season-finishing ingredients you should be cooking with. Also called "tomate verde," tomatillos are essential in green salsas of Mexican cuisine. Not to be confused with a green tomato as we know it in America, the tomatillo is a citrusy, sweet-flavored husked fruit, related to the husk cherry.
Unwrapping a tomatillo brings me almost as much joy as opening my first present on Christmas morning. Encased in this daintily paper-thin husk lays a bright fruit packing fresh punch in its green and white flesh. Before cooking, the inedible husks should be removed and the fruit's sticky coating rinsed under running water. When I peel back those layers, I know it's salsa time, and there is something that makes me giddy about homemade Chilaquiles with Tomatillo Salsa.
Though the fruit is comparable in size to an extra large cherry tomato, the inside is much meatier. A member of the nightshade family, tomatillos now grow everywhere in the Western Hemisphere and are common especially in Texas gardens. While this species is a mere field weed in Mexico, I'd say it's the most delicious weed I've ever encountered . in the last 10 years (wink, wink).
When buying tomatillos, look for small, firm fruits with tight-fitting husks. If you're lucky enough to find them at a nearby farmers' market in season, they are especially cheap. Their season is a long one, from May through November. I load up on dozens of tomatillos and store them in the freezer to retain the same flavors they had when dangling from the plant's branches.
If you don't want to use freezer space, store tomatillos in a paper bag in the refrigerator for no more than a month. Tomatillos have the same seasonality as hatch chilies, which pair incredibly well with this dish, so stock up on these spicy powerhouses at the farmers' market as well. Tomatillos can also spruce up stews if you love Mexican flavors in bone-warming broths throughout fall as much as I do.
Chilaquiles with Tomatillo Salsa
4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil(
6 corn tortillas (3 yellow and 3 blue)
4 tablespoon unsalted butter(
6 large eggs (lightly beaten)
2 cups Tomatillo Salsa (see recipe below)
1 1/2 cup white cheddar cheese (grated)
Chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
In a 10-inch nonstick pan over medium-high heat, heat the oil until smoking. Cut the tortillas into 8 pieces each, like a pie. Toss the tortilla pieces into oil and cook until crisp, stirring constantly, and then remove pieces to a paper towel to drain.
Reduce heat to medium. Add butter to pan and swirl until light golden brown. Add the eggs and the tomatillo salsa, season with salt and pepper and cook slowly, stirring constantly with a whisk, until soft curds form. Add the cooked tortillas and half of the cheese and stir through until just set.
To serve, place some of the eggs on each plate and sprinkle with with 2 tablespoons of the cheddar cheese. Top with a dollop of the sour cream and garnish each serving with a tablespoon of the chopped cilantro leaves and a lime wedge.
1 1/2 pounds tomatillos (husked and rinsed)
Roughly chop all of the ingredients except for the orange.
Add tomatillos to a blender, along with the garlic, cilantro and Serrano chili (use half the chili if you don't like too much spice). Squeeze in half the lime juice, the orange juice and add a generous pinch of salt.
Blend until almost smooth but leave a bit of texture to the sauce. Squeeze in the rest of the lime juice and adjust seasoning.
(Mario Batali is the award-winning chef behind twenty-four restaurants including Eataly, DelPosto, and his flagship Greenwich Village enoteca, Babbo.)
Eataly Class: Homemade Sweet Italian Sausage
Making Sweet Italian Sausage from scratch is fun and easier than you think! Eataly, the heart of Italian cuisine in Chicago, offers a hands-on class conducted by the fun and energetic Chef Jeremy Williams. My brother Chris and I were lucky enough to attend his sausage-making class.
Sweet Italian Sausage made in class
We left the class with 2 pounds of homemade sausage each and excited to put our new skills to work. We are planning to tackle at least 50 lbs of pork shoulder and make enough Sweet Italian Sausages for the whole family. Since they freeze so well, we hope to stock our freezers with enough Italian sausage to last for months. We make no small plans. Chris and I also plan to work on a special Cipolla family Italian Sausage recipe, probably using onions. After all, “Cipolla” means onion in Italian. Look for a blog post in the future when we get it done.
Chef Williams showing a semi-flexible boning knife in the Eataly Kitchen.
Chef Williams trained at the International Culinary Center in New York City, and spent time learning his craft in Italy at a town just outside Parma, known for its proscuitto, and in Perugia, a town known for its chocolates. After moving to Chicago he worked as a chef for several years at upscale Italian restaurant Spaggia, and then as a butcher at one of Chicago’s old-school and finest gourmet meat markets. Personally I believe that the best Italian chefs have experience as a butcher.
Chris Cipolla’s batch of Italian Sausage came out perfect on the first try.
Here are five tips that we learned from Chef Williams at Eataly.
First tip: Just have your butcher grind the pork meat and fat for you.
Chef advised that using a Kitchenaid Grinder Attachment can put too much pressure on the motor. An old-fashioned clamp-on hand grinder will take a lot time and body strength. So the best solution is to ask your butcher to grind it for you. Their large commercial-grade grinders can handle it in a flash. Chef suggested a medium grind or #5 die cut. If you are buying 10 – 20 pounds of trimmed pork shoulder, I’m sure your butcher will gladly accommodate.
Second tip: The best cut of meat for sausage is pork shoulder.
Pork Shoulder naturally has an 80 / 20 ratio of meat to fat. If the shoulder looks too lean (for example if too much fat has been trimmed), just add some pork back fat or pork belly to the mix. In fact, Chef suggested that pork fat should be added to any type of meat sausage such as chicken, turkey or beef sausages. It is the best for binding and flavor. If you are trimming your own pork shoulder, use a semi-flexible boning knife and remove all large blood vessels, soft fat, and glands. Yes it’s gross. Just do it. Sausage making is not suppose to be elegant.
Third tip: Make spice selection your signature
This recipe is the same one provided by Chef Williams in the class at Eataly for Sweet Italian Sausage and it is excellent! It uses a blend of salt, pepper, sugar, fennel seeds and nutmeg. I didn’t expect the nutmeg, but realized after tasting it that nutmeg adds a warm note to the flavor. Chef encouraged us to experiment with spices and herbs to create new and unique recipes. The Hot Italian Sausage spicing consisted of pepper, salt, paprika, crushed red pepper flakes and powdered garlic. The Breakfast Sausage included pepper, salt, sage, sugar, maple syrup and nutmeg.
Fourth tip: Mix the pork and spices together until strands form.
The pork meat must be thoroughly mixed until almost emulsified to get the proper binding to create quality sausage. Use latex gloves and mix, knead, squish, roll and mix again with your hands until small strands of pork form when you pull a handful apart. It will take at least 5 -10 minutes to get to this point by hand.
Fifth tip: Practice stuffing the pork mixture in the hog casings
Chef Williams demonstrates how to work with hog casings and the stuffer.
If you need a sausage stuffer, and who doesn’t, this is a stainless steel Sausage Stuffer from Hakka Brothers with good reviews for home use.
Working with the hog casings is the worst part of making sausage and takes a little practice. You can buy hog casings for sausage from your butcher or online at Amazon. Soak and rinse the casings according to the directions before using. They are icky to handle. Don’t bother to look for an end in the 25 foot long casing to start. Just pick it up and cut to start a long piece. Threading the casing on the stuffer tube attachment takes a little practice. Tie off the end and start pushing the pork mixture through the stuffer. It also takes some practice to regulate the pressure with the hand crank to get the right amount of stuffing in the casing. Cut and tie off the end when you get enough of a coil of Sweet Italian Sausage. It is your choice to twist into links, or leave whole as a coil. Prick the air bubbles with a pin. Your sausage is now ready for use!
I roasted these at 400 degrees for 25 minutes and served with a side of peppadew peppers for a quick test. They were great. Can’t wait to grill the next batch outside for sandwiches.
Eataly Chicago will be Franchise's Biggest, Feature West Loop Salumi, More
RIVER NORTH &mdash Eataly Chicago will open in late November with 63,000 square feet of restaurants, cooking instruction hubs and grocery store sections stocked with locally sourced goods, officials said.
West Loop Salumi's cured meats will have a featured spot inside the monolith building at 43 E. Ohio St. that once housed ESPN Zone. So will cheeses from Downstate Champaign's Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery and Ludwig Farmstead and Creamery in nearby Fithian, Ill.
Chicago's Eataly outpost will be the biggest of the franchise, which has sites in New York, Italy and Japan. Spokesman Dino Borri said that was no accident.
"Chicago is the most important city in the center of the United States," Borri said. "It's already a really important foodie city. The quality of the food there is amazing."
The Eataly concept values extremes, and specificity. Borri noted that the Eataly Chicago pasta collection will feature "over 200 shapes," many of which will be served in Eataly's interior restaurants.
The experience is modeled after the open-air Campo de Fiori market in Rome.
"Sometimes you go to the restaurant, and you taste something, and you say 'Oh my God, this is so good, I would like to buy it.' Sometimes you ask the chef, 'Where is this from?' and he'll say 'Oh the fish market down the street," Borri said.
"Here, you say, 'Oh, this pasta is so good, where can I buy [it]?' and they say 'Two feet over there,'" he said. "This is the beauty of our store."
In addition to curating a selection of locally sourced ingredients, Borri said Eataly Chicago will also import lots of hard-to-find products from Italy and elsewhere.
"I really think in Chicago, a store like ours will be a destination for the daily shopping of the Chicago people," Borri said. "We have some products that nobody sells right now."
Restaurants and "stations" inside will include "a new meat restaurant that we don't have yet in New York," and a "fried station, Frito, where it's all fried stuff that is really typical in South Italia, like fish fry," Borri said.
In the name of variety, many items will be available on a rotating schedule. The by-the-glass wine selection of 50 to 60 wines will change weekly, Borri said. Classes and guest lectures with "wine experts, beer experts, pasta experts" will "teach people about the history of the products, the quality of the products, when the producers are in town," and demonstrate recipes assembled entirely from Eataly's stock.
Celebrity chef Mario Batali, who co-owns the New York and Chicago Eatalys, said at a Chicago Ideas Week event that the two-story food destination will open Nov. 22 or 29, Crain's reported.
Eataly Opening in Chicago Scheduled for Fall 2013
Eataly, the largest artisanal Italian food and wine marketplace in the world, is coming to Chicago and scheduled to open in the Fall 2013.
The new Eataly will occupy the former ESPN Zone sports bar on Ohio Street near Michigan Avenue, in a more than 60,000-square-foot space.
Eataly is planning to open 4 new marketplaces in North and South America in the next three years: Chicago, Los Angeles, San Paulo, and Toronto, said Maria Angela Spitella, press officer for Eataly Rome. One more opening in London and three in Japan, plus five more locations in Italy.
Eataly which first opened in Turin, Italy in 2007, is a marketplace that will have plenty for visitors to shop, taste and savor including seven full-service eateries, a café, wine shop, bakery and patisserie, and a culinary educational center.
The marketplace will also offer a variety of cured meats, cheeses, fruits and vegetables, fresh meats and fish, handmade pastas, desserts, baked goods, coffees and teas, as well as a selection of housewares and books, Italian dried pastas, canned goods, sauces, olive oils and more.
Eataly already opened a successful U.S. location in New York, in 2010 and planned to be in Chicago in the next three years, Spitella said.
Located in the Flatiron District at 200 Fifth Avenue – formerly the iconic Toy Building – Eataly New York encompasses 42,500 square feet along with a 4,500 square-foot open-air rooftop beer garden, according to Brooke Adams, press officer for Eataly New York.
Eataly embodies the philosophy and commitment of artisanal products that represent the finest in quality, sustainability, affordability and responsibility – all cornerstones of the Batali-Bastianich brand.
Eataly is also focused in education, with special events occurring year-round including food and wine courses, demonstrations and lectures led by accredited instructors, renowned chefs, winemakers and producers from the best farms in the world.
Guests may watch as Eataly’s knowledgeable staff demonstrates how to make fresh mozzarella, roll out pasta dough and bake dozens of loaves of focaccia right before their eyes.
There are 19 Eataly all over the world: Nine in Italy – Turin Lingotto, Turin Lagrange, Pinerolo, Asti, Monticello, Milan, Genova, Bologna, and Rome. Nine locations in Japan – all in Tokio, and one in New York.
Eataly has currently over 2,300 collaborators and makes business for over Euro 300 million per year.
Available at Eataly are also cooking classes, educational lessons, and culinary experiences.