Chow-town: Eataly Chicago

The bees have reunited in Chicago! Now that we’ve gotten ourselves moved in and adjusted to school life, we have the time to explore the city! In “Chow-town,” a variation of our city “Chi-town,” the bees will explore and review all the restaurants/eateries you need to know about. This week’s pick: Eataly Chicago. It is located on Ohio Street in the middle of downtown. They open at 8am and close at 11pm.

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On the first floor you have a grocery area with milk, Italian snacks, drinks, etc. It then transitions into kitchenware, cookbooks, a Nutella bar, gelato stand, pastry stand and cafe! Italian heaven. Insanity.

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The second floor is filled with a variety of mini-restaurants. Each are separated by certain types of food. There’s a pasta/pizza area, pesce (fish) area and carne (meat) area. There’s also a large wine section, a fruit/vegetable area, a cheese stand, and much more! Shoutout to the fruit/vegetable area; they had lychee! That shows variety.

Each of us decided to try different things from the first floor selection.

Amanda-

When we walked into Eataly I was pleasantly surprised. I expected it to be fairly small with gelato and the Nutella Bar and that’s about it. But no–the store is two stories high! They have all kinds of Italian food available-from chocolate, coffee, wine, fruit, meat, pasta and cheese. How can one resist?!

When we finished looking around and decided to each pick out our treat, I headed straight for the pastries. I had my eye on them ever since walking in, and so I knew that I wanted to try one. Which one would be a challenge, though. I deliberated for a few minutes before choosing the Mini Trio, or a cute little pastry consisting of “chocolate sponge cake layered with dark, milk and white Bavarian cream, topped with a Cremino Glanduja chocolate”. It was delicious! Half of it I ate layer by layer, and the other half I ate in large fork fulls because it was so creamy and rich. The white chocolate top layer was smooth, as was the second layer of milk chocolate, but I have to say that the dark chocolate layer was my favorite! It was not as smooth, but it was very rich and yummy. The spongecake on the bottom rounded all of the flavors together and made for a wonderful afternoon pick-me-up! I definitely want to go back and try all of the other options!

The coveted pastry section.

The coveted pastry section.

Here it is, my little pastry!

Here it is, my little pastry!

Colleen-

For my snack, I chose to hit up the Nutella bar and the Coffee Bar. Both were delicious. From the Nutella bar I got brioche spread with Nutella and it was so good. The sweetness of the Nutella blended perfectly with the light, airy, sweetness of the brioche. There are so many good things to eat at the Nutella bar I could hardly choose, but I like my choice. For the coffee I got Espresso alla Spuma di Nocciola which is Espresso topped with a Hazelnut mousse. So freaking good (and the guy ignored my butchered pronunciation while ordering, thank god. Bilingual I am not). My mom has been obsessed with Eataly New York for a while, but I’ve never been. Though once she brought me a sandwich from there after I was at a concert, which was super good. I’m pretty happy there’s now one in Chicago, because I get to go whenever and get some yummy food (and my life revolves around food). I would definitely recommend both things I had to anyone who goes to Eataly.

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Here I am awkwardly enjoying my food, Thanks Kelly

Kelly-

I’m studying abroad in Rome this Spring, so Eataly felt like a sneak peek of what’s to come for me! I love that Eataly sticks to their roots and uses Italian wherever possible; I felt myself translating the signs in my head and getting more and more excited for what’s next. I decided to get some gelato (which sits next to the pastry stand Amanda went to) and went with the classic, chocolate chip gelato (stracciatella gelato). They also offer a variety of sorbetti and lait (soft serve gelato) at the stand. I was surprised by the taste; I’ve had gelato before but it never tasted like the one at Eataly. My friend Gianna, who’s traveled to Rome many times, told me that it tastes like the kind she’s had there. My first true gelato!

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Overall, I loved the food here! Although it was a bit on the pricey side, you could taste the difference. I think it’s worth going for experience-sake.

So what place should we check out next? Let us know and it might appear on a future Foodie Friday! Until then, buon appetito!

-Amanda, Colleen and Kelly

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