Will Chicago soon get its own mecca to Italian food? Word on the street is that Joe Bastianich, who owns mega food emporium Eataly in New York with chef Mario Batali, was in town Thursday scouting locations to expand into this market. Bastianich was spotted at GT Fish & Oyster and was overheard talking about what neighborhoods would be best to open an Eataly here.
When Eataly opened in New York in 2010, it caused a massive frenzy. It's not only a spot for locals, but a destination for tourists. Why not? With 50,000 square feet of individual retail departments selling everything from pasta, cured meats and cheese to gelato, breads and seafood you could easily spend hours in there. There's a butcher, a fishmonger, a cafe, pizza, produce and, well, pretty much anything you could imagine eating.
And if this does actually happen, keep your fingers crossed it'll be in a building with rooftop access so it could have beer haven La Birreria. Maybe Bastianich can tap his MasterChef co-judge Graham Elliot to keep an eye on the project.
· Welcome to Eataly, a 50,000 Square-foot Italian Culinary Funhouse [~ENY~]
UPDATE: Eataly HQ confirmed with Eater that Bastianich was, in fact, in town Thursday "actively scouting Eataly locations."
Eataly NY [Photo: Daniel Krieger]