Eataly is a chain of Italian inspired stores which started in NY and and has most recently spread to Boston. I say stores, to be honest, Eataly is more like a shrine to food through an Italian eye. I spent a day at the mega mart on opening weekend and have visited a few times since. Here is a little insight into what lies beneath this facade.
Eataly occupies 43,000 square feet within the Prudential Centre, the shopping mall at the base of Prudential tower in Back Bay. Behind its glass doors, one can find everything from a myriad beautiful olive oils, stunning cheese and charcuterie and a wine shop to die for.
Eataly are passionate about food. Local food is just as important to them as authentic Italian food and that was one of the reasons I was so impressed with the joint. Meat from farms in Massachusetts populate the coolers while wheels of parmeggiano reggiano are stacked as high as me. I loved watching the cheesemongers manufacturing fresh mozzarella to keep up with the demand of the rabid crowds.
On both visits, I ate at the central food court where you can dine from 4 separate food counters and try a selection of beautiful foods. As is often the case, a meat and cheese board caught my eye. We also tried a number of sides as well as lots of stunning fresh bread dipped in oil. My impatient accomplice just wanted to eat!
One of my favorite sections of the emporium was the fresh food counters, namely meat, fish and cheese. It is a cooks dream to ogle the stunning ingredients and allow it to inspire. The meat aging cupboard is often filled with the most beautiful cuts of meats at varying stages. I mean how can you not fall in love with all of that?!
My advice, if you decide to visit Eataly is to free up a whole day and immerse yourself in the experience. Sit and observe what is happening around you. Sipping on coffee, nibbling on samples or even imbibing a tipple or two. Keep scrolling for my top Eataly tips.
My Eataly Must Buy’s:
- Best quality Italian meats: prosciutto, salumi, speck, cotta – if you are into cured meats, this is the place to try.
- Truffle anything! If you are like me, Italian food means truffle where possible. You can find these beautiful funghi in everything from cheese and pasta to oils and butters. I love nothing more than a knob of truffle butter melted over some mushroom risotto.
- The sublime and the ridiculous: For me, Eataly’s biggest advantage is the range of obscure foods you will stumble across that may just change your life. My most recent accomplice was extolling the virtues of eucalyptus honey to me when low and behold, there it was on a shelf in front of us. You cannot go wrong just picking up something totally random and experimenting.
- Gourmet Grazing: If you like nothing more than tasting your way around, Eataly will satisfy your munchies. Pick up a wine glass and wander the store tasting olives, breads, cheeses and even gelati