It's huge! Eataly takes up two floors in River North and is 30 percent bigger than the outlet in New York. The first floor features a few stations and dry goods, but the larger second floor is where most of the heavy hitters are.
The Eataly Crew
Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich and Lidia Matticchio Bastianich joined Adam and Alex Saper to officially kick off the tour.
Batali in the Pescheria
Batali started the tour in the Pescheria, Eataly's fishmonger. While full of options, he admitted that he still is trying to get some local Walleye and Whitefish.
The Pescheria had an incredible range of fish, including this monster swordfish.
Looks like the crayfish are trying to keep that monkfish down.
There is also a whole station with fresh oysters and clams.
Shucked and Ready to Go
La Pasta Fresca
Batali showed off the freshly made pasta station.
All of these pastas were made in the store.
In fact, the pastas were made right here!
Meat in the Macelleria
Red meat as far as the eye can see.
And check out the marbling on those steaks. None of the meat is wrapped in plastic.
Salumi and Formaggi
Here you'll find cured meats and big hunks of cheese.
Figured you'd appreciate a closeup of the cheese.
Fritto di Pappa al Pomodoro
You can find these fried delicacies Il Fritto, the store's fried food station. Somehow the cooks managed to fry Tuscan bread and tomato soup.
Bocconcini di Mozzarella
Eataly is also makes fresh cheese in the store, including this mozzarella that uses curds sourced from Toscana Cheese Company in New Jersey.
Prosciutto di Parma
You better believe there is prosciutto.
This raw beef snack, which came topped with truffles, can be found at La Carne.
Instead of wading into the Chicago vs. New York pizza debate, Eataly is going for straight Neapolitan pizza. All the pies are cooked in one of the two wood-burning ovens, which can reach temperatures of up to 900°F.
The pizza is made with dough that has fermented at room temperature. I'll have to try it again to know for sure, but the sample slice I tried was impressively light.
Graham Elliot Joins the Tour
Graham Elliot stopped by at one point.
If you don't feel like cooking your own pasta, there is a station that will do all the work for you.
Bakery & Focacceria
Look at all those loaves!
This traditional Italian bread is cooked in large sheets and then cut into squares.
The Brick Oven
All the bread is cooked in this brick oven, which was made in Spain.
Crudo at Il Pesce
At this station you'll find all kinds of seafood dishes, including these slices of raw tuna.
Fresh Vegetables at Le Verdure
Lidia Bastianich was especially excited about La Verdure, where you can pick up fresh and cooked vegetables.
Head here for an espresso.
Oh, and the Wine
Joe Bastianich made sure that everyone on the tour had a glass of wine at all times. Okay, hand me a glass of Barolo.
This section has a collection of wine in barrels.
But Eataly didn't forget about the beer. This section features a collection of local beer and some Italian favorites on tap.
Porcini-Rubbed Prime Rib
This porcini-rubbed prime rib was cooked at the La Rosticceria.
It's exactly what it sounds like. You can get Nutella slathered on bread. I have a feeling that this is going to be very popular.
There is also another coffee bar on the first floor.
Eataly is Huge
It's hard to capture just how big Eataly is. I took this shot from the center of the second floor looking east. So this is just one portion of the massive space.
In case you get lost, here's a map of the second floor. While there are a few stations on the first floor, most of the heavy hitters are up here.