Take a Look Around Eataly Chicago

First Look

Slideshows of new restaurants.

[Photographs: Nick Kindelsperger]

Eataly Chicago is finally here, and it's hard to imagine a bigger opening in River North this year. First off, it's literally enormous. With over 63,000 square feet of space, it's 30 percent bigger than the New York outlet, which is currently the only other domestic location for the Italian marketplace. It all adds up to an embarrassment of Italian goods, including dozens of different olives oils, dry pastas, aged cheeses, and cured meats. But what might be even more impressive are all the fresh and handmade goods.

Neapolitan Pizza

Along with more Italian groceries than you can imagine, Eataly also features seven eateries that specialize in preparing one particular kind of food, from simple pasta dishes to Neapolitan pizza. (That's not to mention Baffo, a fine dining project set to open later.)

The opening also brings Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich, and Lidia Matticchio Bastianich to Chicago. Not only were all three in town for the event, they led the tour around the store, stopping at each station to give details about what you can eat, buy, or drink.

You can check it out for yourself on Monday, December 2nd. Until then, click on the slideshow to take a look around the massive new project.