Cliff and I visited the New York Eataly location a few years ago and I have been waiting ever since for them to expand to Chicago. Luckily, they did, and it opened in early December. My friend Stephanie and I immediately made a date to visit the food emporium. I was actually able to go with Cliff as well.
Here are some tips:
1. Go early in the day
2. Even if no one is in line for the restaurants before they open, get in line anyway. We learned that the hard way. See below.
3. If you are eating at one restaurant you cannot order off the menu from another restaurant.
4. You can pay for food at the counters but only the food offered at that specific counter. Ex. I picked up a container of porcini rub and then Cliff and I split a piece of focaccia bread. I could not pay for the rub at the focaccia counter I had to pay at the grocery area.
5. It is not cheap.
When Cliff and I went we split a piece of focaccia. It was delicious and very reasonably priced. It was about a 3 x 3 square and it cost about $2. Well worth it. We also bought a porcini rub that I mentioned above. It was $10 for a little container. Cliff thought it was a waste of money but he humored me anyway. Lets just say that I used that rub to make the best steak I have ever cooked. Even Cliff had to admit that the rub was worth the money. I also got a salted peanut tiramisu while I was there. I didn’t care for the tiramisu but that was probably my own fault. I don’t like coffee flavor and it had a strong coffee flavor. I should have expected that. Cliff and I did not eat at any of the sit-down restaurants when we went.
The next week Kelly and I went with a group of our friends. We got there right when the store opened. The restaurants weren’t opening for another hour. We were able to eat at the Nutella bar though. We had a brioche with Nutella and a croissant with Nutella. I liked the brioche and Kelly liked the croissant. Both were good, but I would have preferred if the bread were hot out of the oven. We also had hot chocolate. It was nice and thick, just like in Rome.
After filling up on Nutella we went upstairs to decide which restaurant we would eat lunch at. We decided on the pizza and pasta place. There was no line as it did not open for another 20 minutes. We decided to do a lap around the upstairs area. By the time we got back to the pizza/pasta place (10 minutes later) there was a huge line. Whoops! I waited in line while Kelly and her friends snacked on the focaccia. Shockingly once the restaurant opened the line went fast and we were in the first seating.
We started off with the burrata, which was delicious. We had a lemon ravioli dish with pistachios, which I loved. We had a pesto lasagna with green beans which was good but not great. We had 2 pizzas. One with proscuitto and arugula and one with roasted veggies. Both delicious! Then we went to the snack area. I can’t seem to find the name on the website. There we split a couple orders of suppli. Pretty good, but a little oniony for my taste. We capped off our afternoon with some gelato. I had the mint chip and I really enjoyed it.
There are many areas that we have not tried yet. There is a meat restaurant, a rotisserie, a mozzarella bar, a fish restaurant, a vegetable restaurant, a brewery, and a fine dining restaurant. Luckily, we are visiting again soon with our mom!