Italian cuisine is a fan favorite across the globe, and in most cases, it's hard to find the real deal Italian dishes. However, in New York City and now Chicago there is one place that comes close.
Mario Batali, who is a host on ABC's The Chew, is the main owner of Eataly, a huge market with restaraunts to sit down at all based on real Italian food imported from Italy.
Pizza, pasta, cheese, meat, fish, bread, gelato, Nutella, pastries, wine, beauty products, olive oil, fresh vegetables, and coffee are all products sold at Eataly.
On a recent trip to Chicago, my family decided to try Eataly because we're Italian and we love watching The Chew. We figured it would be a fun experience and we were definitely not wrong. We sat down to eat at the pasta and pizza restaraunt. We ordered two pizzas, a papaderilla dish, and sodas that originated from Italy.
Both the pizza and pasta were the freshest I've ever tasted compared to the normal Italian restaurants and pizzarias that I've been to. The pasta was a little bit more al dente (chewy), but you could tell that the sauce, mushrooms and pasta itself were all fresh. The vegetables on the pizza were delicious, and the meat wasn't greasy and very lean. The cheese melted into the pizza was fresh and stringy. Overall, the flavors of all the dishes meshed well together and it tasted very simple and savory, the way it should taste.
Next came dessert, and after having to choose between gelato, coffee, and pastries, I decided to go with the Nutella stand. I ordered a crepe filled with fresh strawberries and Nutella, a hazelnut chocolate spread. It was absolutely delicious! The crepe was easy to cut into, and the Nutella was melted because of the hotter temperature.
My family and I ended up loving Eataly so much, we decided to make another trip back the next day for a second dinner. We ordered the same pizza and pasta dish along with the sodas however, we chose different desserts. I had the opportunity to try their tiramisu gelato. The ice cream-like treat tasted just like real tiramisu and had a creamy texture to it, with a sweet flavor.
Both of my experiences at Eataly were fantastic, and I would highly recommend it to anyone in the area of one. The people who work there are very nice, and everyone can find something they would enjoy in the indoor marketplace. If you ever find yourself close to an Eataly, do not hesitate to go in. I can almost guarantee you will find the best Italian food you can get besides if you were to actually go to Italy!
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