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Eataly Roma

Hi Everyone,

Has anyone been? I understand it just opened, and I think I'll have to set aside an entire day to just browse and graze while I'm there. Apparently it's located in an old train station and is absolutely huge - 160,000 sf. There are something like 20 restaurants inside. Would love to hear from anyone who's been there.

Sounds like foodie heaven to me.

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  1. a lot of the roman contributors here have been (pre-opening blogger & press tours) and I am sure you will start reading a lot about it. Hint: not everyone is happy about it / thinks it is a good idea.

    1 Reply
    1. re: vinoroma

      I can certainly understand the opposition, preferring the small, local businesses myself--but I must admit that I shopped frequently @ Eataly in New York City while visiting with my son a few months ago. Of course, in NYC, Little Italy is almost entirely subsumed by Chinatown. I can't imagine shopping at Eataly in Rome.

      P.S. Thanks again for the wine tasting class; we both thoroughly enjoyed it. Can't wait until our next trip.

    2. Should be interesting in both a good/bad sort of way. I'm a semi-fan of Eataly in Manhattan. It's taken some time to sort things out there.
      We'll see.

      1. I hated EATALY's flagship store in Torino. The concept is to give Italians the joys of a American-style big box outlet shopping -- and they fall for it, because many American-type things are popular in Italy as symbols of hipness and being 21st century. I have never seen employees in Italy who looked more downright miserable than the employees I saw in EATALY, especially inside the restaurants, which operate on the principal of fast-food, take a number service, get-em-in-get-em-out. I literally had food and plastic utensils thrown at me by employees in the assembly line setup.

        I suggest if you are going to Rome to set aside an entire day to visit several of its historic markets and cheese shops. They are colorful, aromatic and humane -- and just as big as EATALY. No restaurants, but you can buy fresh food and baked foods, and nibble as you stroll.

        6 Replies
        1. re: barberinibee

          "because many American-type things are popular in Italy as symbols of hipness and being 21st century"

          I just want to stick up for the good ol' USA. I absolutely LOVE Italy and plan on visiting many more times in the years ahead, but I always enjoy coming back to the US. Yes, we tend to do things to excess at times but the freedoms and choices we enjoy here are not found in any other place I've ever traveled to. Let's try not to bash the US on these international boards. Thanks.

          1. re: mangiare24

            Who was bashing the USA? Not me in my post. I was bashing EATALY, which in Italy is run by Italians.

            But even if I was bashing American food in comparison to Italian food, I wouldn't feel terribly obliged to stop. I don't like German food in comparison to Italian food. I don't like Thai food in comparison to Mexican food. That's my opinion. I think we should leave protecting national sentiments out of the discussion. No one is obliged to be patriotic.

            By the way, I'm an American living in Italy, so I made my choice when it comes to food, valuing freshness and flavor over variety. Daily choice in food means less to me than it does you.

            Back to EATALY, which is the point of this thread, I think the American-wannabe one in Torino has less choice, despite its size, than the best of Italy's classic urban food-market neighborhoods that I've visited.

            1. re: barberinibee

              Sorry for the use of the word "bash." That was a bad choice. It's a gut reaction I admit that. So many ex-pats and others on the international boards take any US influence on their European country of choice to be a toxic thing and I just get tired of hearing that. Yes, I may be reading too much into it, but when you stated, "because many American-type things are popular in Italy as symbols of hipness and being 21st century" I took this to be a negative. Not all "American-type" influences on European countries are a bad thing. That's all I am trying to say. I apologize if I came across as being rude; that was not my intention at all.

              1. re: mangiare24

                No real offense taken. I just don't like big box mega stores. I think Italians have done an incredible job of incorporating foods from America into their cuisine (I'm talking pumpkin, not Coke).

                1. re: barberinibee

                  I think I get what everyone's trying to say - it's like when Walmart opens up a store in a neighbourhood...all the little guys justifiably start to panic, knowing they can't compete with a mega-corporation. Not having ever visited Eataly, I will still go, just like I would if I were in New York or Torino, but I know it will never replace the smaller family-run stores..... at least I would hope not.

                  1. re: Quattrociocchi

                    I'm also saying it is lesser quality eating, not just a threat to small business.

        2. It's huge! I have been there for a pre-opening press tour and I blogged about it.
          As frequent board readers know I'm a Roman and I love local food markets and little shops, but I'm more than happy about Eataly opening here. Rome is not a small city and I believe that a giant as Eataly can live together with artisanal high quality venues (not so many in that area actually). Something similar happens in Torino, isn't it?

          I've been impressed by the beauty of the internal spaces and by the quantity of options you can find in a single place. There are also few live artisanal productions (mozzarella, pasta, ...) and a birrificio (craft beer production).
          The "Italia" restaurant located at the top floor looks as a good candidate for future michelin-star. Hope to try it soon.
          One more thing influencing my positive reaction: they have already planned many special events and interesting classes. If well managed it could become also a "food culture center" attracting people not only from Rome.

          I strongly recommend to go there, but in my opinion few hours or half a day maybe are enough if you are not staying much time in Rome.

          BTW the train station is not old, it was built for the 1990 soccer world championships and practically abandoned after it. I'm happy to see the whole building sparkling again thanks to Eataly and the new Italo trains.


          9 Replies
          1. re: tavoleromane

            Thanks for the report. I'll give it a shot when things get sorted.

            1. re: tavoleromane

              T.R. I so much agree with you. Again, it seems to me that lots of peeps have a very romantic idea of Rome, Italian food. Whoever is threatened by Eataly, businesswise, has not been keeping up with consumer needs. I am personally tired of small shops which monopolize the area and raise their prices without any regards to tourists or romans, giving little or no choice. Eataly not only has human prices but sells ALL Italian food and 30% from Lazio. I really see very little downside to all of this.
              "The concept is to give Italians the joys of a American-style big box outlet shopping -- and they fall for it, because many American-type things are popular in Italy as symbols of hipness and being 21st century. I have never seen employees in Italy who looked more downright miserable than the employees I saw in EATALY" This statement leaves me wondering if this is what a major biz concept is reduced to. The joys of American-style box outlet? And if Eataly is that, with a major goal of promoting ITALIAN food and culture, what are all the terrible malls in and around Rome? And to see "miserable" employees, you just need to walk in almost any store...As a matter of fact, one of the observations I made the other day when I went to Eataly for the second time (and it was not the first Eataly I visited since I had already visited the one in Turin) was that Eataly made employees feel cool about being part of a "philosophy" and not just work as waiters or shop assistants. Last but not least, Eataly promotes meritocracy. There are very, very young gals and boys who have major positions within the company and they are not even 30! Something basically unheard of in a country where the old goes away only with death.

              1. re: cristinab


                Just curious. You said "The "Italia" restaurant located at the top floor looks as a good candidate for future michelin-star. "

                What makes you say that?

                1. re: allende

                  The experience! ;-)
                  Seriously, chef Gianluca Esposito is young (29 years old) but already had very positive reviews by experts when he was at Eataly Bologna. The menu will include seasonal dishes representing Italian Regions diversity. 20 dishes (5 antipasto, 5 primi, 5 secondi, 5 desserts) from 20 different areas of Italy with frequent changes.
                  Wine selection looks great too.
                  Of course a tasting is needed to confirm this nice feeling.

                2. re: cristinab


                  As I made quite clear in my post, the EATALY I visited (and ate at) was in Torino, not Rome. I have noticed miserable employees in many an Italian supermarkets. I have never seen ones as miserable as the ones I saw in EATALY in Torino -- and with good reason. I watched the youngest employees being driven like slaves by their not-too-much older supervisors to work faster and faster , tossing out pre-packeaged food and clearing tables, assembly line style. It is very much an American concept to exploit youth labor on the cheap by selling them on the idea the corporation is a "cool" concept. I think Article 18 has to go, but I am sorry some young Italians are dazzled by a workplace where there are simply giant signs on the wall everywhere you look filled with big buzzwords (mostly in English) when the operative reality is fewer workplace rights, less human service, just more corporate "branding" and the diminishment of individuality.

                  It's a straw man argument to try to label people who correctly observe the American-style coporate priorities of EATALY as people having a "very romantic idea of Rome, Italian food." The fact that you can't a see a downside to EATALY doesn't mean there isn't one. You say you are personally tired of small shops and lack of product "choice." What you don't say --- but which is the case -- is that you not only don't care if the rest of us end up deprived of the choices we prefer, you will actually be glad when they are gone, you wish to see them eliminated.

                  We'll see who wins. The future of food and food culture in Europe is right now totally up for grabs. Personally, I hope the corporate interests lose, but I'm braced for defeat. I'd rather starve than walk into another EATALY again.

                  1. re: barberinibee

                    My review of my visit to EATALY in Torino last year:

                    EATALY (Lingotto, Torino)

                    Even though I will frankly admit I start out being suspicious of things such as "EATALY" or "SLOW FOOD" -- or anything purporting to be purely Italian that markets itself solely in English -- even I was surprised by how much I hated everything about EATALY. I never imagined I could find a place that I disliked being inside more than a Home Depot or IKEA, but I actually disliked EATALY quite a bit more.

                    I have no idea how anyone could walk through the doors of EATALY and continue believing that this was a temple to "local" eating or "slow" food. The place is a riot of frantic consumerism, a staff that looks absolutely miserable from overwork at low wages, and there is not an ounce of pleasure to be witnessed in any of the ugly, noisy food courts. What EATALY does have going for it is its ability to purchase and use high quality ingredients in bulk -- and, to be fair, the preparation of individual dishes is not stupid. In the self-serve fish bistro, we ate an insalata of squid where the squid very well cooked and extremely tasty, but the calamari had not been sufficiently cleaned of cartilege. Likewise our simply baked orata was fresh and only barely overcooked, but it was scaly and of course not boned. When we asked for bread (which we had paid for), we were told by a copiously sweating server that they had "run out." Really? In a supermarket? Later, when we saw break heading to other tables, we were finally able to flag down another exhausted table-cleaner and get some bread. . The wines available were very good and the food is remarkably cheap given the quality -- largely because there is no service. They hire teens and immigrants and pay them nothing.

                    I could not wait to get out of there. We felt blessed to escape, and doubly so when we emerged back into the fume-choked air of summer Lingotto to discover that there was a live concert in the piazzetta outside EATALY, the popular Piemontese cabernet group I TreLilu, which performs comic songs in a dialect of Piemonte, and which seemed to take particular relish that evening in making vaguely obscene jokes about the meaning of EATALY.

                    1. re: barberinibee

                      I haven't been to Eataly anywhere but New York, so I won't pronounce on the ones in Rome and Turin. But Cristina definitely has a point about the small shops in Rome. This category does not include Volpetti, La Tradizione, and any number of well-stocked lively emporia around town. It does include many small family-run corner stores where the stock and the prices and the hours ill-serve the neighbors who keep them in business. In fact they are being pushed out by small supermarkets, which are proliferating in the center of Rome, some better than others. They relied on protectionist laws (I'm not sure that's the right word) to keep them closed on Sundays, for example, and keep competition to a minimum. I don't want to speak for Cristina, but I can certainly relate to the notion that small shops that have not always provided good service deserve what they get. Long life to those that do, but if the others are pushed out of the market, no tears. There will still be plenty of local color and choice from those that do a good job.

                      1. re: barberinibee

                        Wow. You seem to know a lot about what I think. I think my post was about Eataly and pointing out what I see as positive and did not think that I had to hear what I think from somebody else!

                        By the way, I have never said and will never say that "....you not only don't care if the rest of us end up deprived of the choices we prefer, you will actually be glad when they are gone, you wish to see them eliminated.".
                        Business like Roscioli, Franchi, Volpetti will survive and will do just fine, I think and hope. Let's not mix two different concepts and that is the "wallmart" marketing philosophy with Eataly's. Eataly is one thing and tries to promote something different than "you can have anything at a lower price" (wallmart) and eats up all small businesses until the point of cannibalism (that's when they stop).

                        "I watched the youngest employees being driven like slaves by their not-too-much older supervisors to work faster and faster , tossing out pre-packeaged food and clearing tables, assembly line style".

                        As far as your experience in Turin, sorry to say that mine was totally different. Also had a chance to speak with several of those employees (I was toured all around Eataly by one of their vendors) and my memory does not recall any impression similar to yours. On the other hand, I invite you to reflect that who works for Eataly (and yes, physical labor is involved and I saw with my own eyes one of the owner's sons unloading boxes of stuff late at night in one Eataly), is legally hired, gets paid and is treated as an employee protected by the Unions. On the other hand, many of the mom and pop shops don't (highest rate of workers "a nero" are in the restaurant business.)

                        What you describe, in my language, means teaching on how to be efficient but this might be just a different point of view. Maybe I see too many young Italian kids with too many iphones on the beach doing nothing while they complain that there's no work:-)

                        1. re: cristinab

                          @mbfant & cristinab,

                          I'll try not to raise the heat on this exchange, but I really weary of seeing my words and other people's words on Chowhound turned into a caricature and straw-man version of what was said -- although I appreciate that Cristina thinks I have done the same to her. I apologize for not spelling out my thoughts more clearly and with less irritation, but I am sick to death of seeing clear observation derided as "romantic". Skip the insults please.

                          Of course there are small food stores that aren't any good in Rome and elsewhere. If you read my advice to the OP, it was to set aside equal time for the classic urban food markets and cheese shops of Rome. If it wasn't clear, my suggestion was to make quality choices.

                          As for whether EATALY and other chain supermarkets are a good force that help get rid of useless food stores while useful stores remain, I think you are both wrong. I don't think today's dominant capitalism (or cannabalism) works that way. I know that the people who run EATALY are aiming for a different result and sloganeering like mad to communicate that. They will end up wondering why things didn't turn out as they planned, and we all ended up with less choice and more lousy, imported food when they had nothing but the very best intentions.....

                          In a different thread, about Francis Ford Coppola's Palazzo Margherita, I tried to express some sympathy for people who work hard to preserve and promote some things of lasting value, plus create employment in a depressed area, in an era where cannabalistic capitalism doesn't give anybody a plausible alternative and very little room to maneuver. Like steve h. says, EATALY is "inevitable."

                          EATALY disgusts me in a way that Palazzo Margherita doesn't just because I think it is less transparent and has gone too far in stealing the language of real reform and real hope (and because Palazzo Margherita stays closer to being just one man's risky, crazy dream). But I do suspect that the people at EATALY really are sincere in believing they are for all the right things, and they can cleverly bend today's globalized capitalist structures and coo advertising propaganda to create better, humane outcomes.

                          Please don't accuse of me being indifferent to youth employment in Italy and a better future for small food producers because I want to shout at everybody: "This isn't going to work!" I (kinda) wish I could join you in believing, but I cannot. Nobody can make this train turn left. It's on a fixed track that goes to but one destination, It is ultimately headed to pitch over a cliff, actually, and perhaps after the wreck, we can pick up the pieces and do something completely different that actually does accomplish the things we and the young idealists of EATALY apparently all want (if any of us survive the wreck).

                          In the meantime, glad to hear that EATALY in Rome provides some people with a temporary job and a pleasant food experience inside its walls. I'll take your word for it. But I really do stick by my advice to the OP not to spend a day at the pre-packaged experience of EATALY without spending equal time sampling what lies beyond its chain-store walls, food-wise, in Rome.

                  2. Eataly is, well, inevitable. I'll give the Rome shop a chance just like I gave the Manhattan shop.
                    My guess, based on my Manhattan experience, is that it will take a minimum of 12-24 months to sort things out. Are the backers of Eataly braced to ride out the storm? They would be crazy not to but it's not my money. Times are changing. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Passions will run hot but that's the price one pays.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: steve h.

                      Eataly in NY is obviously extremely successful but I find it intolerable, the rush and crowds and exclusive "branded" merchandise. I would never choose to eat there in the crush of humanity. I cant judge how this will play in Rome, perhaps it will fill a niche for Romans as stated here - and maybe for some of the same audiences that find the NY unit attractive .

                      1. re: jen kalb

                        Hi jen,
                        To me it's interesting. Crowds and chaos were the order of the day when it opened. Over time I figured out the tide-like flow of shoppers vs. touristas.
                        At the end of the day, I'm ok with the place. Quality of food is reasonably high, diversity is quite broad. It didn't start that way, not by a long shot, but they have evolved. Prices aren't cheap and will never be. Still, if you can work out the time of day that suits you, the place will reward you. Will that be the case in Rome? We'll see.
                        Let the record show that Deb and I occasionally pop into Tarry Lodge/Tarry Market on weekends (a Batali/Bastianich place in Port Chester, New York for folk not familiar). We cherry-pick the good stuff and retreat back to the calm environs of Fairfield County when finished :-).

                        1. re: steve h.

                          maybe if I worked across the street from that address - as I did for a number of years -I would find a way for it to work for me. but I have dropped in on a couple of weekday afternoons when it was jammed, on a weekday evening ditto (we considered eating there but not after seeing the scene - and even through the dining area on that occasion was not crowded, the close quarters and format were unappealing - and on a weekend , mob scene. There bread is good (especially if you can grab the day-old a bargain) but I havent seen anything else that exceeds in quality the other local sources. Sorry, I think we need to let this get back to rome. It will be interesting to see how that one evolves Maybe there will be attention toquality regional products, which would be interesting. all in one place.

                        2. re: jen kalb

                          You're missing out on some truly wonderful food jen. Yes, the place is crowded, but it's something I've had to get past to enjoy the restaurants. Manzo is somewhat separate, so it is a good place to start ffor someone turned off by the crowds (me included). Birreria on the rooftop is completely isolated from the crush of the marketplace.

                        3. re: steve h.


                          Of all the passionate food fights on Chowhound's Italy board, this is the only one of any serious consequence.

                        4. @everybody,

                          One more separate but related thought:

                          Don't you think the trendy-ness of EATALY will fade the same way it faded at Starbucks? Remember the way Starbucks marketed its politically correct harvested beans and a global-culture-youth-feel? Now it's like "Ewww. I never go to Starbucks." They're like mom-jeans.

                          It's possible that EATALY will not make the overbuilding mistakes that Starbucks did, and therefore dilute the snob-appeal of the brand -- although I will point out that EATALY has contracted to supply boxed fast food onboard the new privately owned high-speed inter-city train service in Italy, and that might not have been a smart move.

                          But my main point is that the fashion-minded crowd always moves on to whatever can be sold to them as the next "new" thing, at which point last year's "new" thing has to alter its product to capture other parts of the mass market and cut costs (labor/quality) to survive.

                          Starbucks survives not by selling "fair wage" great tasting coffee but by selling "consumer choice" in a multiplicity of sugary beverages in big tubs to people in a hurry. Its lasting contribution to the youth labor market was to establish the practice of tipping counter servers in lieu of sufficient employer compensation.

                          {Today happens to be the local pan-Italiia food market in my town, where traveling small vendors set up stalls and sell dried fruit from Calabria, saurkraut from Trentino, porchetta from Umbria, capers from Sicily, etc etc. I'm leaving to go stock up.)

                          10 Replies
                          1. re: barberinibee

                            Just think about those thousands and thousands of bottles of 35, 50, and 100 year old aceto balsamico that will suddenly be available from acetaia in ER and be for sale at Rome's Eataly.

                            1. re: barberinibee

                              "Remember the way Starbucks marketed its politically correct harvested beans and a global-culture-youth-feel? Now it's like "Ewww. I never go to Starbucks." They're like mom-jeans."

                              Starbucks is still HUGE here in the NYC metro area. I am one of the few people here at work in my group of 50+ people who is NOT a devotee.

                              1. re: mangiare24

                                Not saying they didn't get huger. They did by necessity. I was pointing out the philosophy of fair trade, even when it meant paying more for smaller cup of coffee, gave way to serving a lot of different flavors of sugar-loaded drinks in huge plastic tubs to a mass market, and it thereby lost its cachet among trend-conscious foodies.

                                I hope Chowhound mods will at least let me clarify my own point.

                              2. re: barberinibee

                                Starbucks has become a chain with many thousands of identical stores each selling a limited range of beverages and packaged snacks,It makes no attempt to be the colorful caffe-bar, but instead a comfortable, if neutral public space (in cities that often don't have them) that employes tens of thousands of young people in their first jobs, and they mostly perform professionally. There was only for a brief period a Starbucks snob appeal--more like a sigh of relief that something approaching good coffee could be had in various wastelands. I can't stand the coffee or the stores but they fill gaps for millions, or else they'd be closed.. Eataly may be big compaed to a corner alimentari but it's wrong to classify it as a "big box" store, when it;s really just a large gastronomia. Big box stores compete on commodities--and I speak as a Manhatttanite won over by a relatively new Costco in East Harlem that gives everyone--from blond socialities and Puerto Rican moms to Asian families and young NYU students--big breaks on paper towels, peanut butter, eggs, good Tuscan olive oil, aged Vermont cheddar and Caserta mozzarella di bufala, and a range of decent, basic products. The bodegas and other shops in the nabe seem no worse for this democratizing addition to the neighborhood. That said. Eataly NY is mostly about standing around eating and drinking and looking at people and socializing and only vaguely about shopping for what used to be called groceries or foodstuffs. I was prepared to hate it, but found enough well-chosen, reasonably-priced basic goods that I appreeciaste. I cannot stand the thought of eating or drinking there. I buy selected oils and some pasta there. Will it last? Likely as an eating/drinking destination, with enough material prima to keep the local color. Can it scale up? Unlikely I think beyond usual suspects like Tokyo, LA, and other similar spots. It;s a mixed bag, but in n o way a mass-market phenomenon. As long as Brand Italy can resist the next new thing, Eataly will survive---even if it never acknowledges the Italian-American food base that has given Americans the taste for all things Italian. Who knows? Maybe in a generation, there'll be a Mexican analog reflecting the success of Mexican foodways and cultures in the US, just like the Italians have managed to pull off.

                                1. re: bob96

                                  IMHO this is the key thing you said " I cannot stand the thought of eating or drinking there. I buy selected oils and some pasta there. "

                                  One really has to be very selective there. The amount of mediocre (at best) stuff, posing as "great food from Italy" is outrageous, but there are a few really good things that almost no one else in New York has.

                                  Be careful, however, of those long ago dated olive oils:) That as so much else, is all about the Bastianich/Batili hype. The condescending attitude of many of the people who work there, and know nothing or very little about food, is off- putting to say the least.

                                  Agree totally, I cannot stand the thought of eating or drinking there.

                                  1. re: allende

                                    One thing Eataly does well is market a fine selection of fairly priced, well-chosen and well-handled oils from all major regions--the section head is knowledgeable and enthusiastic. They're also the only US source for my favorite oils from Olearia San Giorgio in San Giorgio Morgeto, Reggio Calabria, prize winners all and made less than 10km from where my family's from. Seems that the NY Eataly has cut back on some packaged goods (why sell Mulino Bianco cookies?), while still offering a somewhat confusing and redundant range of dried pasta. I suppose time will tell if Batali, et al need the foodstuffs for atmosphere and identity in what is really a food and drink court. Otherwise it's just that. Which may be enough.

                                    1. re: allende

                                      A, what have you found that is unique in NY there?

                                          1. re: jen kalb

                                            when in nyc i live within walking (carrying) distance of eataly and use it for certain meats and for fruits and vegetables (i do not like their breads or fresh pasta). we are in nyc in winter when greenmarkets (horribly overpriced anyway) have nothing. eataly has excellent produce, items like red or yellow sun-dried tomatoes, various funghi, at prices well below any place around. trompetti di morte for example. eggplant for $1 lb.
                                            i have never eaten there and never been tempted to.
                                            checkout lines are usually nonexistent.
                                            italians flock there. they need their fix.

                                2. Hi Hounds, sorry to interrupt the chow talk, but we noticed the temperature rising in this thread. We fully expect hounds to be passionate about food and to express those passions, but we also expect hounds to disagree amicably.

                                  More importantly, let's keep the focus on food - we'd love to hear your personal experiences about the quality and price of the food items. "Big picture" issues like business models, socio-economics, and politics are off-topic. Per our Posting Ettiquette at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3676... "Please use Chowhound not to debate but to share news and tips."

                                  Now let's get back to the chow!

                                  1. Just wanted to chime in here since I went to Eataly this past weekend. Like some of the others on this board, I'd been to both the Torino Eataly, as well as the NYC branch. Neither thrilled me, but that may have to do with my own taste.

                                    In any case, I was prepared to be underwhelmed. On the contrary, I think it's a fabulous accomplishment. The structure is extraordinary. A renovation that was done perfectly with every detail right. From a design point of view, it's one of the most exciting commercial spaces I've seen in Italy in a long time.


                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: minchilli

                                      I went to the "meat restaurant" and had perfectly cooked marchigiana steak, a La granda tartare and a hamburger. Tasted all the three of them, my fav was the tartare. My partner and son had cheese plate and prosciutto of different kinds and seemed to like it. They also went to Lait and liked it. I am going on Sat. at lunch: will update you on this.

                                      1. re: minchilli

                                        Thanks for your comments and video on your blog, Elizabeth. We'll be in Rome in 10 days (but who's counting?) and have put Eataly on our itinerary -- enthusiastically. Hope to graze our way through this spectacular looking space.

                                        Thanks again.

                                        1. re: cortez

                                          Thanks Cortez!

                                          One thing I'd like to add here, that no one has even mentioned about Eataly, is it's relationship to Slow Food. One of the cornerstones of Slow Food was the establishment of the Presidi. This is a way to recognize, protect and promote specific traditional foods. The recognition was always important, but if these items don't make it to market, then they eventually die out. The brilliance of Eataly was to develop a means by which the producers of these cheeses, meats, etc. can find a reliable market.

                                          1. re: minchilli

                                            And unfortunately it is all going to be upset by the stupid bureaucrats in Brussels, who simply do not understand good food... and the needs of small producers. We've already seen it here with some small, very good, cheese producers.

                                            Too many things are, and will be, brought down to a homogenized state. And our tax dollars go to support an already bloated bureaucracy in Brussels which promulgates rule after rule after rule.

                                            1. re: allende

                                              Yes, I remember in microcosm, when we used to visit a small town in scotland in the 80s. The local fruiterer drove down to Glasgow and brought in artisanal cheeses. the next time we went back to visit, he was no longer bringing the cheeses, because the new EU requirements were for a refrigerated truck and refrigerated case for cheese, so he was no longer selling the cheeses to supplement his local produce. the third time we returned his shop was closed and the only place to purchase vegetables - or cheese (and you can imagine the cheese) was in a spanking new supermarket.

                                              Without talking about corruption lets just say that bureaucracy (and there is no democratic check on Brussels) favors the large industrial producers over the small and imposes standards like sterilization, pasteurization, refrigeration that basically destroys a whole range of precious artisanal products.

                                      2. have been yesterday, writing up now, will publish tomorrow and add link.
                                        it is not a foodie heaven.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: vinoroma

                                          looking forward to your report, hande!

                                          1. re: katieparla

                                            Thanks for the link to Grubstreet--it will very interesting to see how Romans receive Eataly, what the traffic ends up being and what they buy there. It's an enormous space, Here are 2 additional Italian links, from la Repubblica and a blogger--both with a fair number of photos, the blog with some interesting comments, inc. one commenter happy to find the same Calabrian oil I love and found in NY Eataly. Also notable in the Repubblica piece, the Minister of Agriculture's comment that Eataly is a kind of strategic weapon in Brand Italy's fight for world DOP domination. And "Eataly is Italy" is a brilliant weapon--it manages to create an overarching national food identity (what a concept for Italy, no?) that celebrates slowness and "tipicita" while at the same time scooping up regional and local distinctions into a meticulously stage-managed theater of consumption.


                                            1. re: katieparla

                                              The grubstreet article is good. It nails the Disney aspect of Eataly. It also at least hints at the threat to small but good vendors who are independent. But even if you manage to believe that Eataly won't harm good independents, it is depressing that just at the moment when their appeared to be some intellectual curiosity about understanding food and eating as something more than taste sensation and consumerism, Eataly comes along to overwhelm and distort.

                                              The one in Lingotto (Torino) stages food as glossy entertainment for the bored. To be fair, Lingotto has not lost the feel of a factory, an inherently boring place. But Rome? New York City? Do people really need to have their food there packaged for them in a megaplex of artificial entertainment? You can't track down a wealth of good food in the flow of the real city?

                                              1. re: barberinibee

                                                My guess is that even in NY,the folks (young professionals, Euro and Asia tourists) who spend at Eataly would not be bothered to track down similar food at local places. There are big Italian American gastronomie in the suburbs, bursting with food, and the classic bakeries and butchers and latticini of Arthur Ave in the Bronx, but these are, in the end, Italian American places--even if there's overlap in foodstuffs. Eataly has also completely botoxed "Italian American" (=guido red sauce and gabagool) into the urban Italy of upper middle class tourism. Plus, you can't stand around, checking email and a schmoozing with friends over a gavi in Randazzo's seafood shop in the Bronx, even if their vongole are cheaper and better.

                                                1. re: bob96

                                                  Yours is an interesting post.
                                                  Arthur Avenue is now partially Italian at best, Little Italy is not so much of anything anymore. Eataly may be filling a niche and perhaps that's why folk pack the place day and night.

                                                  1. re: steve h.

                                                    Steve, the Belmont area around Arthur Avenue is mostly Hispanic, black, and Balkan in population, but the retail choices for traditional foods--bread, pasta, fish, cheese, meat, coffee--remain the densest collection of superior shops in the city, maybe the US. Folks come from everywhere to shop there; there are also loads of Italian American food destinations (many on a large scale) in Bensonhurst, Corona, out on Long Island, in suburban NJ, not to mention Manhattan. Eataly does not thrive because it replaces these traditional sources, but by doing something different.

                                                    1. re: bob96

                                                      Hi bob,
                                                      My wife and I are long time members of NYBG and know the area pretty well. Roberto's is our "goto" lunch spot and Mike's Deli is a mandatory stop. I find Eataly in Manhattan to be interesting. I'm looking forward to visiting Eataly in Rome.

                                                      1. re: steve h.

                                                        Yup, Eataly is going to develop food theme parks. As they say, "The Disneyland of Food." Unbelievable!

                                            2. it is huge--- i took my slow food group there-- it is almost overwhelming. you can take the metro or train to get there- Elizabeth minchilli did a write up on her blog.

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: Diva

                                                What is huge and almost overwhelming. What are you referring to?

                                                1. re: allende

                                                  I would imagine she was referring to Eataly ...

                                                  1. re: ekc

                                                    The article had almost nothing to do with the current Eatalys, so I don't understand "it is huge." It had everything to do with the future of theme parks and The Disneyland of Food.

                                                    Either she didn't read the article, didn't understand it or wanted to say something about her "slow food group" (whatever that is).

                                                    1. re: allende

                                                      Diva's comment I believe was about the Rome Eataly - her post was prior to yours.

                                                      the theme park idea sounds just awful - taking the experience of food buying farther and farther out of its traditional market channels and away from the italian people. More like an airport departure lounge experience. Now it they could cannibalize the "visit a" cheese factory, vinegar loft or artisanal pasta maker, tour market, they might really have something.

                                                      1. re: jen kalb

                                                        The WSJ article was actually talking about two distinct and separate projects, one in Venice (a theme park which has nothing to do with Eataly) and one in Bologna, which would be more of a Congress Center.

                                                        The art director of the Fi.Co, the Eataly Bologna project, is Massimo Bottura, and the details are yet to be concluded. But it seems to be a natural growth of the already huge fair grounds for business meetings that already exist in Bologna. There will be research centers, conference halls, exhibition spaces, restaurants, shops, cultivated gardens and aquariums.

                                                        It doesn't quite sounds like Disneyland to me, or at least the Disneylands that I've visited.

                                                        I'm not defending the project, but neither am I attacking something which has yet to be planned out.