You can not help but utter "Wow" when you enter Eataly as I did recently when visiting Chicago for my annual girls' weekend. It is unlike any store I have experienced before. Devoted to high quality food and drink, much of which is Italian, it is a store after my own heart. Plus it has a clever name.
You are first greeted by a colorful and enticing array of luscious produce handsomely displayed in pretty baskets.
Giant awesome chandeliers draw your eye up to the two story establishment.
Clever signs grace the walls throughout, a reminder that eating seasonally is best - "Let's Be Smart! Seasonal Food Tastes Better And Is Cheaper"
The seasonal wheel helps customers know what to purchase.
Of course no great food store would be complete without luscious pastries. In addition, the first floor has a coffee bar, panini and Nutella restaurants, gelato and ice cream, and candies.
There is also an interesting and fun assortment of kitchen accoutrement.
But the second floor is where it really gets interesting.
Wine and craft beer start things off...
...followed by cheese and meats. They make fresh mozzarella daily.
In addition to the fresh meat and seafood counters there are seated counter and dining areas serving meat, seafood, wine, and beer. I could have spent a week eating my way through the place.
The extensive fresh pasta selection is indeed impressive. You can watch it being made.
It took a lot of restraint for me not to walk into the bakery and start kneading dough. The proofing racks full of bread dough brought back memories of my days at the bakery in California. I love the smell of flour and yeast.
Fig is my favorite artisan loaf.
There are several restaurants throughout the store. This one had two giant wood-burning pizza ovens. I love the chairs. Such clean lines - so Italian.
If you happen to live where there is an Eataly (Chicago, New York, Italy, Japan, Istanbul, or Dubai) consider yourself lucky and check the place out. You won't be disappointed.
If the food and wine don't put a smile on your face the signs will. The above sign says, "Italian Man's Dream Woman (Also Known As His Mother)".
I could not agree more with the "Checkout" sign. Life is too short not to eat well. At Eataly there is no excuse not to. Enjoy!