I was invited to go to the sneak peak of the Eataly Boston opening where I had the chance to meet the co-owner and world renowned Master Chef Mario Batali. He is recognizable as a regular face on the Food Network who sports trademark orange Crocs and is an owner of the famous restaurant OTTO in New York among many others.
Unfortunately for me, I couldn’t make it that day! Crushed, I thought I would miss the chance to meet such an influential chef. I quickly thought of the best next thing and decided to ask my friend, Rich (also referred to as “Double Down” in previous posts) to be my eyes, ears, and taste buds so I could experience the day vicariously through him. He agreed, and this review is a combination of his efforts, photos, experiences, and notes that I’ve re-shaped into this post. We hope you enjoy this sneak peak of Eataly Boston as much as Rich enjoyed attending and I enjoyed writing about it!
800 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02199
Grand Opening November 29, 2016 at 4 PM
Eataly Boston is owned by a team of people: Oscar Farinetti, Nicola Farinetti, Adam Saper, Alex Saper, Joe Bastianich, Lidia Bastianich, and, of course, Chef Mario Batali. The tour began with a greeting from Chef Batali to the group. He descended the stairs of the newly established Italian-inspired store and eatery (hence “Eataly”) that spans three floors in the Prudential Center of Boston, MA. His bright orange Crocs lit the way like Rudolph’s nose did for Santa and his staple ponytail was tied back neatly with a scrunchy.
Rich sampled a variety of complimentary bites that highlighted different areas of Eataly’s offerings. He also got a photo op with Chef Mario Batali himself, which will continue to fuel the flames of jealousy in me until I too can meet this culinary icon!
Roast beef on fresh bread with sea salt and olive oil. This was savory and simple, which is true to their motto of whole foods served simply. Not only was it delicious, but it’s apparently a signature sandwich that guests can order at Eataly.
Vesuvio pasta with tomatoes, capers, and confit swordfish. Easily the best bite of the day. The perfectly al dente pasta stood up to the savory and sharp sauce. Rich said that he, “could have eaten a mountain of it.”
Wine. There is a fantastic wine selection featuring samplings like this amazing glass of barolo wine. It was so good that Rich had two glasses.
Mushroom Arancini with White Truffle. Super crispy outside with a flavorful soft, creamy center that channeled the umami of the mushrooms wonderfully.
Grana Padana Cheese. A sampling of huge hunks from a huge cheese wheel tasted very similar to Parmesan. It was intensely flavorful and had small bits of salt crystals embedded throughout the cheese. Rich asked hopefully, “if we each got a wheel to take home.”
Fresh Mozzarella with Pickled Red Pepper, Basil, and Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Just a perfect creamy bite of mozzarella contrasted with nice tang of vinegar from the pickled pepper.
Raw Scallop with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Chef Batali said, “If you’re going to eat one fucking thing all day, make it this!” It was zesty with an almost citrus flavor followed by a clean olive oil flavor at the end.
Flatbread. Fresh flatbread with arugula, anchovy, and an unknown cheese. It was basically a pizza and the super salty anchovy was perfect. It was one of Rich’s favorite things there.
Tiramisu. Rich told me, “I hate tiramisu, but I hated this less than usual.” I take that as a good sign that Eataly’s tiramisu is a quality product if even someone that doesn’t like tiramisu can admit that he hated it less than others he’s tried.
Fresh Pasta. After the tour was over Rich didn’t leave right away and kind of milled around a while to get a sense of the whole layout. They’d been snaking between different spots for the past two hours and he wanted to see the whole place again. When he stuck his head back into the cooking school where they had done a short fresh pasta making demo and asked what they were doing with the pasta they made earlier, the woman who ran the class gave him a free box of fresh pasta! He went home that night and made pasta puttanesca with it. Not only was the puttanesca extremely good, but the noodles alone had a bright flavor with a perfect toothiness.
The 2-hour tour not only showcased the store that houses cheeses, meats, seafood, breads, pastas, pastries, wines, prepared foods, and eateries contained within, but the food samples highlighted the theme of Eataly – High quality foods made simply. Be sure to stop by to experience the wide variety of Italian food items Eataly has to offer. Those who have been to Eataly in New York will also find something new. There are locally sourced food items as well as a completely different layout to the store.
Please Support Man Fuel!
If you enjoyed this post, please support Man Fuel Food Blog by subscribing to receive updates on the latest posts.
No spam. Just real updates on recipes, restaurant reviews, travel, and free giveaways!