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Mar 2, 2013 02:14 PM

What is your impression of EATALY in Rome

We were in Rome last month and went to Eataly; first impressions were great design, huge assortments of products gleaned from all regions of Italy; but primarily Lazio. Wide open spaces both vertical and linear. As I walked around the 4,escalator accessed, floors passing piles of Italian packaged foods, observed the eager young employees busily and theatrically making fresh mozzarella, read the menus from the 10 or so places to get anything from a snack to a table cloth dinner, micro brewery, pasticceria, enoteca, etc. etc.
All at once I thought "how many small local neighborhood multi generational shops/stands/stalls etc. in Rome will this behemoth snuff out?

Just a thought...............................

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  1. did you eat anything?
    were other people eating?

    1. Yes, we had a pastry/coffee (Ferria Cavallo) at the bar, and lunch at the Orto restaurant, it was the menu of the day, that consisted of a Caprese with more salad greens than usual, very good and a very hearty farro and lenticchie and root vegetable soup w/ a multi grain bread. I tried to get a sense of what others were doing, shopping/looking/etc. it seemed there were small lines at the check outs, most of the clientele seemed to be local, as it was a very rainy and cold day. No big "market baskets", more just, targets of opportunity.

      1. If you saw primarily products from lazio, you didn't see right. Eataly has primarily products from piedmont (including bottled water). They have one small corner for a fresh pasta producer (a very good one, btw) from lazio, a small portion of the milk and yogurt fridge for a producer from Lazio, one olive oil, 3 wines, and among the fresh produce, there were only 2 items that were sourced in lazio last time i checked (i do not shop there but go periodically to see because it is something i need to keep a tap on due to my job). No meat from here, two cheeses. Small portion of fish caught on the coast of lazio. One beer brewed on the premises, some others produced in lazio. Overall the % of lazio products in there is around 10%..

        1. I guess I was thinking that the local shops were/do sell mostly products from the surronding area; upon reflection, Rome has specialties from all regions, thus the local shops selling those items as well are in peril as a result of this behemoth!

          2 Replies
          1. re: ospreycove

            Im not sure if anybody is in jeopardy from Eataly - given that a trek has to be made for most people to get there and it is hardly a quick in and out kind of place - it seems like the whole trend to neighborhood supermarkets, which cannibalize the market for specialty stores, is much more of a threat to the independents

            1. re: jen kalb

              Yes, the "neighborhood" small Iper Coop, Pam,and Meta stores are almost as annoying to see as the preponderance of small family businesses being taken over by non Italians; it is reminescent of the "own a pub craze" in Ireland back in the 1990s, when scores of Yanks bought establishments all over Ireland.We were in several bars in Padova and Rome, (testaccio), where the owners were ethnic Chinese speaking mangled Italian. My business contacts in the North mentioned there is a trend of retail type businesses selling out for astronomical prices to Chinese immigrants. Not that anyone should be descriminated against in legally purchasing whatever they choose, anywhere in the world. Just seems odd in a country like Italy that is one of the more mono-ethnic cultures left in Europe. By the way the coffee in the Testaccio bar was excellent!!

          2. I haven't been there, but if they present themeselves as ambassadors of quality Italian food then they should not offer a Caprese salad in March. It's totally out of season. A real Caprese has tomato, mozzarella and olive oil. Tomatoes are horrbile at this time of the year. I'd expect such offerings at the Autogrill.