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Ecco Eataly
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  • Post #31 - December 5th, 2013, 12:23 pm
    Post #31 - December 5th, 2013, 12:23 pm Post #31 - December 5th, 2013, 12:23 pm
    Here's the proof...
    Eataly Parking.jpg Eataly Parking
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #32 - December 5th, 2013, 5:59 pm
    Post #32 - December 5th, 2013, 5:59 pm Post #32 - December 5th, 2013, 5:59 pm
    boudreaulicious wrote:The PR machine can say whatever it wants. That doesn't make it true. And, technically, he's correct--you can buy what you'd need to make a wonderful Italian meal. However, just because you can buy enough items to make a meal, doesn't make it a place for grocery shopping, which, to me, means being able to stock your shelves and fridge for that week's meals.


    If that's your definition of grocery shopping, then I suppose you are correct. To me it seems more like a potentially great specialty store, which is the type of store I patronize for 90% of my grocery shopping. Granted, I have to shop in multiple places, but that's half the fun and by cherry picking where you shop, you stand a better chance of getting the best ingredients. I've never been a fan of the Jewel/Dominick's experience. With the exception of Fresh Farms, I never set foot in those types of stores for anything other than toothpaste or toilet paper.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #33 - December 5th, 2013, 8:00 pm
    Post #33 - December 5th, 2013, 8:00 pm Post #33 - December 5th, 2013, 8:00 pm
    boudreaulicious wrote:
    Cinnamon Girl wrote:When I was there the concierge told me specifically that they had tried to buy rights to the parking lot directly across the street on Ohio but could not do so which is why their lot was somewhere farther. boudreaulicious can you please verify, did you actually park in that lot on Ohio and get your ticket validated? Thank you, I would really like to know this.


    Confirmed. Wabash/Ohio/Rush Self Park $20 minimum purchase. 1st hour free. $10 flat rate after. Obtain validation ticket on your way out from the cashier.


    $10 flat rate is a steal if you dine there.
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #34 - December 5th, 2013, 9:52 pm
    Post #34 - December 5th, 2013, 9:52 pm Post #34 - December 5th, 2013, 9:52 pm
    stevez wrote:
    boudreaulicious wrote:The PR machine can say whatever it wants. That doesn't make it true. And, technically, he's correct--you can buy what you'd need to make a wonderful Italian meal. However, just because you can buy enough items to make a meal, doesn't make it a place for grocery shopping, which, to me, means being able to stock your shelves and fridge for that week's meals.


    If that's your definition of grocery shopping, then I suppose you are correct. To me it seems more like a potentially great specialty store, which is the type of store I patronize for 90% of my grocery shopping. Granted, I have to shop in multiple places, but that's half the fun and by cherry picking where you shop, you stand a better chance of getting the best ingredients. I've never been a fan of the Jewel/Dominick's experience. With the exception of Fresh Farms, I never set foot in those types of stores for anything other than toothpaste or toilet paper.


    This is getting kind of silly. First, I don't think it's really fair to disparage people who don't have the luxury of time or money to run all over town buying food. It may be something some of us enjoy, but it's certainly not the norm or necessary. Having said that, we are all saying the same thing. That most people won't find that they can buy everything they typically would when going shopping for staples. I shop primarily at the Whole Foods by my house. I can get most of what I need. I supplement with Costco and various specialty stores when the mood strikes for something special, whether that be for meat, farm produce or ethnic specialties. Early on in the thread, some folks made comparisons to Whole Foods and TJs and I was merely trying to say that Eataly isn't either. Not a value judgment. Just shopping intel. It's a food emporium, with an emphasis on eating on premise. And fun. Go and enjoy.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #35 - December 5th, 2013, 10:37 pm
    Post #35 - December 5th, 2013, 10:37 pm Post #35 - December 5th, 2013, 10:37 pm
    I went to Eataly tonight and was pleasantly surprised. I always found NYC's version barely tolerable. It has all these narrow passages where the crowd clumps together and if you lose the people you are with in it, you might never find them again. Chicago's Eataly seems to have more breathing room.

    As for grocery shopping, cities are full of people with more money than time. I admit from time to time I bought "groceries" at NYC's Eataly when for me at the time cooking meant cutting up some salami and cheese.
  • Post #36 - December 6th, 2013, 11:39 am
    Post #36 - December 6th, 2013, 11:39 am Post #36 - December 6th, 2013, 11:39 am
    boudreaulicious wrote:...I don't think it's really fair to disparage people who don't have the luxury of time or money to run all over town buying food....


    I don't think "disparage" means what you think it means.
  • Post #37 - December 6th, 2013, 11:43 am
    Post #37 - December 6th, 2013, 11:43 am Post #37 - December 6th, 2013, 11:43 am
    Choey wrote:
    boudreaulicious wrote:...I don't think it's really fair to disparage people who don't have the luxury of time or money to run all over town buying food....


    I don't think "disparage" means what you think it means.


    You've got to be kidding.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #38 - December 6th, 2013, 11:52 am
    Post #38 - December 6th, 2013, 11:52 am Post #38 - December 6th, 2013, 11:52 am
    Ah, you do know what "disparage" means. I was wrong.
  • Post #39 - December 6th, 2013, 11:59 am
    Post #39 - December 6th, 2013, 11:59 am Post #39 - December 6th, 2013, 11:59 am
    Unsheathe that Sausage

    Every Thanksgiving, I go to Caputo’s to purchase items for the antipasti table: olives, cheese and pepperoni.

    In years past, the pepperoni at Caputo’s was kept in a basket, drying out and getting more intense in flavor.

    Now, the pepperoni is kept in plastic wrap, which keeps the sausage from properly aging and makes it incumbent upon me to buy the sausage well enough in advance to unsheathe it and let it dry before serving on Thanksgiving Day. Problem is, I don't think too far ahead of today.

    I understand there may be sanitation issues related to keeping sausages unwrapped and ready to be handled by customers – but the same potential problem exists with produce that sits around naked all day until someone buys it.

    At Eataly, I was pleased to see that they keep many of their sausages exposed to the air, reducing in size and increasing in flavor.

    Image

    I’m bringing the one above, center photo, to the holiday party as my gift exchange offering.
    "Don't you ever underestimate the power of a female." Bootsy Collins
  • Post #40 - December 6th, 2013, 2:14 pm
    Post #40 - December 6th, 2013, 2:14 pm Post #40 - December 6th, 2013, 2:14 pm
    Went for lunch on Wednesday.

    It is massive and incredible. With all the discussion around whether or not it is the right grocery shopping destination for you it is still a wonderful food mecca to have in our city.

    I was impressed by:
    - The size of the cheese and charcuterie department which included a couple of house made mozzarella
    - Italian microbrews
    - Pricing on meat and fish seemed to be in line with WF (I typically shop at the LP one)
    - Some really good looking fish
    - 6 rows of Olive oil (albeit shorter rows it is still nice if you like your olive oil) and a lot of vinegar as well
    - Was able to walk right up to a standing table without any wait at lunchtime
    - The food I tasted was delicious (porchetta sandwich (tad fatty) and prime rib sandwich)

    There are a ton of options for eating in Eataly. I found that typically most of the "sitdown" places the menu tended to be $10 and up with pizzas landing in the mid to upper teens.

    They have a couple of sandwich options - panini downstairs that start in the $6.50 range and go up and then the Rosticceria (sp) upstairs where I snagged a Prime rib Regular for $11.50. It was quite nice with a good olive oil on top that seemed to lend some citrus notes and a hit of chunky salt really made it a nice meal. I would suggest paying the extra $1.50 and taking half home for another meal.

    I am excited to head back when I have more time to pick up some actual groceries. To me this is a wonderful addition to our city and I look forward to eating and shopping there when time and money permits.

    Also, yes, the crowds were present (seating for the pasta place was quoted at 45 minutes but like i said above we found standing room present in many places) but I am sure that will level out after the holidays.

    Enjoy everyone!
  • Post #41 - December 8th, 2013, 2:53 pm
    Post #41 - December 8th, 2013, 2:53 pm Post #41 - December 8th, 2013, 2:53 pm
    As someone quipped on Twitter, "We broke Eataly!!"

    From http://blog.eataly.com/chicago-closed-monday/

    Because of this deep understanding of our manifesto and what we believe in, we have decided to close the store on Monday, December 9th, in order to preserve our standards of quality and service. We want to pay back your love and passion for Eataly Chicago by providing you the best food and the best service.
  • Post #42 - December 8th, 2013, 3:45 pm
    Post #42 - December 8th, 2013, 3:45 pm Post #42 - December 8th, 2013, 3:45 pm
    Pie-love wrote:As someone quipped on Twitter, "We broke Eataly!!"

    From http://blog.eataly.com/chicago-closed-monday/

    Because of this deep understanding of our manifesto and what we believe in, we have decided to close the store on Monday, December 9th, in order to preserve our standards of quality and service. We want to pay back your love and passion for Eataly Chicago by providing you the best food and the best service.

    Admirable, regardless of whether it's the full reason or not.

    =R=
    There are many things that are legal that are not a great idea --Nick Shabazz

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #43 - December 8th, 2013, 3:52 pm
    Post #43 - December 8th, 2013, 3:52 pm Post #43 - December 8th, 2013, 3:52 pm
    I heard thru the twitterverse that it's to revamp the checkout area--apparently they need to better winterize it--they were using space heaters.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #44 - December 8th, 2013, 3:58 pm
    Post #44 - December 8th, 2013, 3:58 pm Post #44 - December 8th, 2013, 3:58 pm
    Closing our store for one day during the busy holiday season to catch up has always been a fantasy of ours. But since we don't like to make our customers mad, we just have to hope for a snow day! Seems really odd.
  • Post #45 - December 8th, 2013, 6:05 pm
    Post #45 - December 8th, 2013, 6:05 pm Post #45 - December 8th, 2013, 6:05 pm
    I was excited to visit Eataly, but after visiting, I'm even more excited to return. Honestly, it exceeded my expectations. I had visited the one in New York once but found it so crowded and tight in space that I gave up quickly and left.

    But there was just so much that excited me. There was some nice produce for sure, but the fresh mushroom selection was outstanding, with maitakes, chanterelles and more. I couldn't believe the selection of pastas, particularly the fresh pastas which were beautiful. And for those that fear Eataly will knock some smaller food purveyors out of business, you should at least be mildly pleased to see Eataly carrying some local items and even giving them what I assume will be a larger audience, such as West Loop Salumi. I was also thrilled with the cheeses, including some that I haven't been able to easily locate elsewhere in Chicago, including sheep's milk ricotta. And there was so much more that I hope to explore on subsequent visits - tomatoes and tomato sauces, olive oils, vinegars, wines, etc.

    As for prepared items, I waited in the bread line and ordered what I assumed were Sicilian-style slices. But perhaps this is what Eataly calls focaccia? It seemed more like Sicilian-style slices to me, but no matter what they were, they were outstanding. I had one with sundried tomatoes and olives and another with prosciutto and mozzarella and both were fantastic (huge too) - better than any similar-styled pizza bread I have had anywhere in Chicago. I thought the bread itself had terrific flavor.

    I also had a small cup of coconut gelato and enjoyed it, though I wouldn't rave about it.

    My only complaint would be that I visited on their first weekend - my own fault really - and it was jam packed. I'm pretty good in crowds and stay calm, but the number of people who saw nothing wrong with just shoving into you and not apologizing was a little frustrating.

    But wow, what a fantastic addition to Chicago.
  • Post #46 - December 9th, 2013, 3:25 pm
    Post #46 - December 9th, 2013, 3:25 pm Post #46 - December 9th, 2013, 3:25 pm
    Eataly, which opened last week, was such a raging success that the new Italian megastore/food court has a hangover of sorts.

    On its Facebook page, Eataly announced that it would be closed today.

    "Dear Chicago, What a week! We've never felt more welcomed! More than 120,000 visited our new location, more than 80,000 dined with us at our restaurants and more than 30,000 Chicagoans bought our food and enjoyed cooking it at home. Never, ever has another Eataly been as successful as our new outpost in Chicago."

    "We have decided to close the store on Monday, Dec. 9, in order to preserve our standards for quality and service. We want to pay back your love and passion for Eataly Chicago by providing you the best food and the best service."

    Eataly will open as usual tomorrow at 8 a.m.

    http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/ ... osed-today
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard
  • Post #47 - December 19th, 2013, 10:34 am
    Post #47 - December 19th, 2013, 10:34 am Post #47 - December 19th, 2013, 10:34 am
    Any thoughts on the relative ease of the different Eataly eateries? We are planning a shopping trip tomorrow and want to grab lunch while there, 1 year old in tow. Would be grateful for guidance!
  • Post #48 - December 19th, 2013, 12:39 pm
    Post #48 - December 19th, 2013, 12:39 pm Post #48 - December 19th, 2013, 12:39 pm
    I went on Tuesday at around 11:45. Seats were plentiful. By 12:30 there were lines at many, but not all, of the food outlets.

    To clarify the parking situation, the approved garage IS directly across the street, but it's across Wabash in the 900 North parking garage. Not across Ohio in the garage you would use for Heaven on Seven or the movie theaters.

    I hope to post a more substantial report after my next visit. The first visit was simply too overwhelming in the breadth of choices.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #49 - December 19th, 2013, 1:31 pm
    Post #49 - December 19th, 2013, 1:31 pm Post #49 - December 19th, 2013, 1:31 pm
    Pretty sure 900 North is the Bloomingdale's building...
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #50 - December 19th, 2013, 1:49 pm
    Post #50 - December 19th, 2013, 1:49 pm Post #50 - December 19th, 2013, 1:49 pm
    boudreaulicious wrote:Pretty sure 900 North is the Bloomingdale's building...


    Correct. The Bloomingdale's garage (called 900 North on its signage). Not the theater garage on Ohio and Rush. Don't get fooled like I did. Across the street isn't necessarily "across the street". :roll:
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #51 - December 19th, 2013, 3:25 pm
    Post #51 - December 19th, 2013, 3:25 pm Post #51 - December 19th, 2013, 3:25 pm
    Ha! So they're calling the garage for Bloomie's "South" 900 North still--that's the address for the main Bloomie's building at 900 North Michigan. Silliness...
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #52 - December 19th, 2013, 5:49 pm
    Post #52 - December 19th, 2013, 5:49 pm Post #52 - December 19th, 2013, 5:49 pm
    Image
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #53 - December 23rd, 2013, 1:40 pm
    Post #53 - December 23rd, 2013, 1:40 pm Post #53 - December 23rd, 2013, 1:40 pm
    Went here on the Saturday before Xmas, subconsciously hoping for death by festive crowd, I suppose. It is a remarkable place. I couldn't help but wonder whether it will work out especially well long-term in part because we have some local context, including Harlem Avenue (Caputo's, Riv's etc.), Grand Ave. (Bari, Coalfire, Damato's etc.), Fulton Market (PQM, West Loop Salumeria, Graziano's and all that), or whether Eataly exists in a different reality for tourists and River Northers, or some combination, which I know they say they want, but I wonder still.

    For me the biggest and most promising truly "new" things are probably the seafood, which feels like a step up even from our best places within city limits right now, and the cheeses with their unique Italian leaning - or should I say dairy, given the selection of first rate imported butters. Fresh seafood all looked too good to be true, with many Mediterranean finfish and oddities like whelks, but also huge cans of salted sardines, a million anchovies, and packages of really good mullet bottarga, the last of which I picked up with some good oil and spaghettone for Xmas. The meats and charcuterie looked great, but nothing one can't get already around here that I saw. The prepared foods, including roasted meats, too, looked excellent. (But the porchetta at Eataly isn't in the same league as PQM. Not close.) Pasta selection is vast and deep, probably a few notches above Caputo's, but that's an easy trick with a giant store importing dry stuff. The gelato and coffee was nothing special, which says more about the state of ice cream and coffee in Chicago these days than anything bad about Eataly. Fruits and vegetables all looked fresh and spotless, with many mushroom varieties as noted above, but I would not say the small selection has anything over, say, Caputo's, Mariano's or Whole Foods.

    We had a bite at the pizza/pasta place (no wait!) and everything was quite good. Most notably, the exemplary cacio e pepe. Pizza was solid with terrific cheese (house made mozz, I believe) and a simple, delicious passata on the margherita. The guys running the two enormous wood ovens are from Naples and are happy to chat about the old country and their new home. (They know and quite respect Spacca Napoli already, which I thought was cool.) Given the enormous volume of pies, I was impressed by what they turned out. But that same volume appears to have cooled down the deck, leaving the crust well charred on top but quite pale beneath.

    Service went from clueless and disinterested to super-competent and smart. If you can find one of the young go-getters from Italy (hard to spot in jeans and sweaters, though you sort of can if you think "EU grad student"), you'll get all the answers you need.

    In all, I can see myself back here a bit, but mostly for a bite to eat and a beer (the seafood and the frying set up makes me think fritto misto), and maybe one or two little things to take home. For real shopping I'll stick to the old places. I believe this is what the people behind Eataly are probably going for, anyway.

    A fitting end to the day: driving away, west on Grand, my wife and kids lamented the lack of Italian Christmas cookies at Eataly (plenty of fancy trifles at the pastry counter and a good bakery making breads, but no basic cookies that I could find, at least not counting pre-packaged and shipped from Milan). Open parking in front of D'Amato's for a box of fig cookies, pignoli, amaretti, and lemon knots for Santa, a cannolo for my baby, and a slice of sausage, the edge black with lacy cheese, for me.
  • Post #54 - December 23rd, 2013, 3:11 pm
    Post #54 - December 23rd, 2013, 3:11 pm Post #54 - December 23rd, 2013, 3:11 pm
    stevez wrote:Image


    Nice work, Steve. That is how the original should have been done.
    Objects in mirror appear to be losing.
  • Post #55 - December 26th, 2013, 5:26 pm
    Post #55 - December 26th, 2013, 5:26 pm Post #55 - December 26th, 2013, 5:26 pm
    Really enjoyed my visit to Eataly this afternoon. There are a bunch of great places to get specialty Italian groceries in this city but just about all of them are difficult to access via public transportation from the far north side. I spent most of my time upstairs browsing the meat/cheese/seafood but the produced looked solid as well, even noticed some shisitos.

    I stocked up on some nduja (Nduja Artisans, Franklin Park...great heat, lactic tang, and even better than PQM's IMO), guanciale, bottarga, pecorino, ricotta, and a few different dried pastas.

    Seafood looked pristine, including a monster octopus that was just begging to be grilled along the lakefront in warmer weather.

    Can't wait to smear some of that nduja and ricotta onto some crusty bread.
  • Post #56 - December 31st, 2013, 11:14 am
    Post #56 - December 31st, 2013, 11:14 am Post #56 - December 31st, 2013, 11:14 am
    Eataly was packed to the brim yesterday at 4:00, which I assume is a bit extreme due to the holiday shopping hordes in the area. Most of the eating areas were way to crowded. However, right next to the hour long line (my guess) for the pizza, there was no line at the foccacia counter. They just brought out of the kitchen a fresh pan with ricotta and thinly sliced zucchini and squash. One piece was a hefty afternoon snack for two, and it was excellent. It's right next to the bread counter, and may be a good option when other more popular ones are too crowded.

    Jonah
  • Post #57 - January 5th, 2014, 11:22 am
    Post #57 - January 5th, 2014, 11:22 am Post #57 - January 5th, 2014, 11:22 am
    Another thing I love about Eataly: they sell fresh foie gras and you don't have to buy the whole lobe. I needed just 4 ounces for making Beef Wellington, which cost me about $8 (about $32/pound). Even better, I paid no attention when the guy at the meat counter was slicing the foie gras, so I was stunned to unwrap the foie gras at home and find that there was no clean-up work required -- trimmed beautifully.
  • Post #58 - January 11th, 2014, 2:59 pm
    Post #58 - January 11th, 2014, 2:59 pm Post #58 - January 11th, 2014, 2:59 pm
    Had a basically enjoyable first trip with some surprises/disappointments. The wine department is very interesting and while the prices are not bargains by any means, they didn't look outrageous either. And there are plenty of items you just won't find elsewhere. Did not have the opportunity to chat with staff, so I can't say whether the level of expertise available to consult with is up to the price and exoticism of the product.
    The C&B-inspired cookware/book area was attractive and the merch. seemed thoughtfully chosen overall.
    Was very intrigued by the depth of their butter dept., and would have loved to be able to talk to someone about the many varieties, but there didn't seem to be anyone dedicated to that product area. It's fairly expensive stuff to just roll the dice on.
    The pannini station looked pretty appealing, both the menu and what they were producing, and the prices seemed on par with higher end sandwiches elsewhere (e.g. L'appetito).
    I took home a loaf of prosciutto-provolone bread. $5.80, I think. Large loaf. Very good bread, if a bit stingy with the name ingredients. Also tried a bag of fresh mushroom ravioli (not Mario's own brand). $4/9 oz. OK. Not special.
    Lots of interesting oils, and they seem to to lots of tasting, which is great.
    Was a bit surprised that Nutella gets its own entire domain among the food stations.
    The place was busy, if not mobbed, and I was on a mission to get antipasti to bring to a party, so i didn't get to eat/drink there, or linger.
    My surprise/disappointment came when I approached a worker on the 2nd level who was handling seating for one of the eating spaces, and asked where I might find olives and salami. He couldn't tell me about getting salami (only fresh sausage, meat, seafood, etc.), and they appear not to deal in olives at all, except jarred on the shelf. Seems very strange for a place like that not to have a major olive bar going.
    Still, very much want to return and sample more.
    "Strange how potent cheap music is."
  • Post #59 - January 19th, 2014, 6:28 pm
    Post #59 - January 19th, 2014, 6:28 pm Post #59 - January 19th, 2014, 6:28 pm
    Made my first trip - I'd been to the one in NYC and ours feels a bit easier to navigate though on a Sunday afternoon, it was crazy busy. That said, it looked like all the restaurant areas except Pizza and Gelato had no or minimal waits.

    Negatives:

    Produce was not up to par - I get a better selection of lettuces in way better shape at Treasure Island on Wells but they had some interesting varieties of oranges which was appealing.

    I also was surprised that there was not an olive and antipasti area but otherwise I was supremely happy.

    In the vegetable restaurant Le Verdure, I saw folks having what seemed to be a really nice salad (radiccio, endive and arugula) and I was disappointed to learn I could not order a serving to go. I was told I could sit down, order it then ask for a box and take it then but that seemed a bit nuts. The limits on takeaway surprised me I guess.

    Positives:

    Salamis are on the second floor at the big cheese counter near meat and seafood. They were very generous with tastes and I fell in love with the Leonardo's Ham which was described as a basic ham but on so smooth buttery tasty delish. Got some lovely gorgonzola and finochionari (?) sausage.

    There's an area with rotisserie chicken and hot sandwiches - I got the prime rib sandwich to take home - perfect prime rib (everywhere you look there's really good quality meat and this is no exception) piled high on a rustic baguette with just a touch of good olive oil and salt. Perfection.

    Breads - the selection was not immense but the quality is high and there are interesting special options like the rustic load with figs. Again, they give generous samples which is lovely. The Foccacia selection looked great - I brought home two (prosciutto and a sausage) - waiting to see what my daughter says about them).

    Fresh pasta - haven't cooked it yet but looks lovely. (Would it make sense to have some house made sauces to take home with? )

    The meat and seafood counters looked amazing with some options and cuts I have not seen elsewhere ... I will be back to pick up some amazing meats for sure.

    They have a nice selection of vermouths with the price, at least on the Antica, below what I paid last time at Plum Market.

    And then they had tons of extra ways I could easily spend a fortune. While I felt the pricing on all of the above was - well not cheap but not surprising for the venue and quality, like an outing shopping at Fox & Obel used to be - the rows of temptations in little intriguing candies, jams, oils, etc could definitely do me in.

    I overindulged but in the end spent less than I thought - and so far I am really happy with my purchases - and want to go back for more, though preferably at a less busy time.
  • Post #60 - January 20th, 2014, 11:27 am
    Post #60 - January 20th, 2014, 11:27 am Post #60 - January 20th, 2014, 11:27 am
    I've now been a few times, and figured I'd lay out a few of my thoughts:

    I have found service to be extremely friendly here. Everybody has been very helpful and friendly, from the restaurant staff to the market staff.

    Restaurants:
    - The crudo was, I think, a good deal for the amount of fish you get for $15, not dissimilar from a chirashi plate you might fight at a sushi spot. I also love that they dress each item for you, as this is also how I prefer my sushi. The problem is that they drench each piece in olive oil, and that's virtually all you can taste. A more deft hand and I'd be inclined to eat here often, but as it was, wouldn't return for crudo.
    - I love the pasta - the fresh made ones, specifically. The tagliatelle with short rib is one of my favorite pastas, with a red sauce that is more meaty than sweet or acidic. The lasagne (meat) was extremely surprising, as I wasn't expecting much but found this to also be much less tomato-forward and included very good pieces of meat and a good bechamel vs. cheap, gloppy ricotta that you find elsewhere. The quadrati is a bit sweet (almost dessert-like) for me, but also good in its own way. They do great, yet simple, things here.
    - Although the crust is delicious, I found the pizza to be extremely soggy, caused by a combination of things, with the excessive use of olive oil drizzled over the top the primary culprit. Great ingredients, poor execution.
    - Mozzarella bar is great, although I find it difficult to post up there and not get a pasta. One thing I've missed in Chicago is the ability to order fresh made, warm mozzarella - I even inquired here about this, and they seemed surprised at the request and not sure if they'd be able to offer a warm ball of mozzarella as opposed to one of their other menu items.

    Market:
    Salumi - extremely friendly, helpful staff here, generous with samples and quick to offer suggestions when asked. I had a great mole salami that I would have never ordered otherwise.
    Olive Oil - very sweet girl allowed us multiple tastes of various oils. I now know that I love Tuscan oils, and bought a bottle to serve my palate. Great experience there.
    Rosticceria - I tried to get something here, but the man behind the counter was too busy texting to notice me.
    Panetteria - I got a rustic loaf, and wasn't impressed. It was stale, which really surprised me, and EXTREMELY dense.

    Really love this place, despite the crowds and it being relatively new. If I lived closer, I can imagine I'd be here much more often. I was skeptical heading in, as it seemed to be such a circus, but they really do pull it off well and I wish them the best. I can't imagine how busy this place will be in the summer...

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