If you already thought Eataly would be massive, there's more. Among the many monothematic eateries going into Eataly, one will be different—Baffo, a sit-down osteria. The 65-seat white-table-cloth restaurant will be similar to Babbo, Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich's Michelin-starred NYC mainstay. Batali is designing the menus and bringing in one of his longtime chefs, Eli Anderson, to run the kitchen.
Batali describes the concept as "seasonal regional American ingredients cooked with traditional Italian techniques using Italian born pantry staples." Expect "Batali/Bastianich signature handcrafted fresh pastas;" salumi, offal, aged prime beef, and heritage pork and lamb sourced from both Italy and the Upper Midwest. The beverage program will include an Italian wine list, "Italian and American spirits," and craft beer. Batali calls the atmosphere "polished yet comfortable with stylish Italian-inspired service."
Baffo will have two entrances (from the street and from inside Eataly), its own valet and its own bathrooms in an attempt to be a retreat from the hustle and bustle of Eataly itself.
Here are a few other facets to Eataly Chicago:
· Unlike Eataly New York, Eataly Chicago will house a stand-up Nutella bar. Customers will be able to use the hazelnut spread on a variety of toasts, in crepes, and in "little snacks."
· For those worried about parking, Eataly bigwigs feel they've come up with a solution. They will have a deal with a 1000-car main parking lot next door as well as a flow-over lot nearby. They'll also offer deals for drivers: Spend $20 inside and receive free parking for an hour or three hours for $10; and in December, members of The Shops at North Bridge's loyalty program who spend $250 in a day will receive three hours free parking anytime in the month. Clearly they expect people to spend a lot of money and time there.
· A "vegetable butcher" will clean and slice produce for free.
· A Caffe Lavazza "grand" coffee bar will serve Lavazza coffee and espresso.
· All Eataly Coverage [-ECHI-]
[Editor's Note: Some of the parking details were edited to reflect updates in the deal.]