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Eataly (Finally) Opens

September 2, 2010

Anyone that knows of my slight obsession with markets can imagine how much I had been looking forward to the opening of Eataly. When I first heard in February that Mario Batali was opening a new Italian megastore, with a market and vegetable butcher, a handmade pasta counter, a bakery and winery, along with six new restaurants and a beer garden and microbrewery, it felt like I had won the lottery. I love Mario, I love markets — what could be better?

Eataly was scheduled to open August 31, so naturally, I “casually passed by” that day, hoping to grab a quick lunch. Much to my dismay, Eataly wasn’t opening until 4 p.m., so I missed out on the market’s first day.

I did go back the next day of course (what did you expect?) and found complete market heaven. The space is huge, with salumi and cheese counters, a pastry shop, fresh meat and fish, a panini counter, gelato and pretty much anything anyone would ever need to make anything Italian ever. Granted, the swarms of people in every section of the warehouse-sized space were overwhelming, but that will probably die down as the weeks go on.

We got some handmade mushroom and ricotta ravioli and an arrabiata sauce straight from Italy for dinner. The ravioli were delicious, and really showed what a difference fresh pasta can make. The sauce was the best jarred sauce I’ve ever had, though I suppose there isn’t much competition.

I can’t wait to go back when there’s less people and really experience everything Eataly has to offer. Plus, I only had my point-and-shoot with me yesterday and these pictures do not do the place justice.

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