Chefs Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich bring their culinary theme park to Chicago. The River North store is part restaurant, part grocery store and it's all under one roof. LeeAnn Trotter reports.
Chicago is ready to take Italian food to a whole new level.
The long-awaited Eataly opened on Monday, bringing with it a wealth of delicious food and drinks that will make food-lovers swoon.
The market, founded in 2007 by entrepreneur Oscar Farinetti in Italy, incorporates the influence of famous chefs Mario Batali and Joe and Lidia Bastianich. In addition to its culinary reputation, everything about the place screams "big."
The space alone is about 65,000 square feet, and the part-supermarket, part-restaurant haven spreads across two levels.
Eataly doesn't waste the space, either. It offers eight restaurants, nine cafes and take-away options, and a variety of other food counters. It lets diners grab pizza for lunch, pick up fish for dinner, buy a bottle of wine and even get a cup of coffee all in one visit.
Chicago is Eataly's second U.S. location after New York, which opened in August 2010. There are several other markets in Italy and Japan.
You can find Eataly Chicago at 43 E. Ohio St. For a map of the market and information on opening times, visit its website.