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A Little Bit About a Lot of Things

A lifestyle blog with a focus on my food adventures

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I was fortunate to be invited to the media preview of Eataly that will be opening tomorrow, November 29th! I wasn’t sure what to expect, I have been to the Eataly in the flatiron district in New York, but there has been a lot of skepticism going around about this location. I was pleasantly surprised when I walked in the front door off of Boylston Street. Guests are greeted with a large coffee bar and crepe station before they head upstairs for the full Eataly experience, perfect if you just want to pick up your morning cup of coffee. There’s nothing worse than going to let’s say Ikea, knowing exactly what you want and then having to walk all the way through the store to get it anyway.

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We patiently waited until Mario Batali came down the stairs to greet us. He was accompanied by Oscar (top right) and Nicola (top left) Farinetti. Oscar is the Founder and Creator of Eataly and Nicola, his son, is the CEO of Eataly USA. Both father and son are charismatic and you can tell they are passionate about food. Mario explains to us that at Eataly, they don’t just want to sell you food, they want to teach you how to make it – taste some delicious pasta at one of their restaurants but then go and replicate it at home.

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There are certainly a lot of products that are imported from Italy, but to them, it didn’t make sense to import seafood when we have some of the best, freshest seafood right here in our backyard. Eataly has partnered with a number of local companies to keep everything local. They are even implementing ¬†a frequent buyer program with their fish department. When you choose eligible fish, lesser known local catch, you get a stamp – collect 9 stamps and you will receive 10% off of your next purchase.

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Eataly has partnered with Island Creek Oysters (bottom) and they even buy meat from CJ (second from left), Red’s Best and Wulf’s. The gentleman on the top left is Andrew Morgan of Cape Cod Shellfish, a boutique shellfish company – we tried some fresh (raw!!) scallops with just a drizzle of olive oil and it was so delicious, it melted like butter – and as Mario said, “it’s like candy!”

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GIVE.ME.ALL.THE.CHEESE! Eataly will make fresh mozzarella daily and will get their curds from Narragansett Creamery over in RI (bottom right). Lourdes Smith, formerly of Fiore di Nonno, will be joining the mozzarella making staff!!

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Eataly will sourse their meat from sustainable farms where the animals graze in open pastures and are humanely handled. They have chosen to work with VT99 Meats and Stillman’s Quality Meats. The lamb on the right was so tender and delicious, it just melted in your mouth (and it wasn’t gamey at all).

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Mario told us a story that when he first opened Eataly in New York, his kids thought that the pizza ovens were made of real gold…and they still do! Pizzas here are made in 90 seconds using the finest ingredients and the fresh mozzarella that they make in house. You can buy dry pasta but you can also watch fresh pasta being made daily (and buy it!). Top right is a photo of the cooking school at Eataly, La Scuola di Eataly. There will be free live demos and ticketed hands on classes. They partnered with Valcucine kitchens to design the “classroom” and let me tell you the space is beautiful! I wish my kitchen at home could look like this!

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Here is a little sneak peek at the retail areas.

Let me hit you with some quick numbers:

3 floors

45,000 square feet

4 restaurants

10 eateries

2 cafes and 3 bars

10,000 products

5 fresh production counters

7 retail departments

500+ employees

Check out the videos below for an inside look at the cheese and fish counters!

Give me all the cheese!!!

The seafood selection is amazing!

I highly recommend you stopping in to check out Eataly tomorrow (or whenever) when it opens – it is amazing and just something you need to experience!

Disclaimer: I was invited for a media preview of Eataly. I was provided with complimentary samples of food while in attendance. All opinions are my own.

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