Friday, November 25, 2016
Eataly Boston Opens November 29
With our friend Mary Ann Esposito, host of Ciao Italia, America's longest running TV cooking show.
The Prosecco was flowing at a recent preview party at Eataly Boston which we were lucky enough to attend, a celebration and sneak peek all to benefit the Friends Of The Italian Cultural Center Of Boston. The goal of the organization, as we learned, is to bring together the myriad of other organizations in the Greater Boston area which celebrate the language and culture of Italy. And what a beautiful culture it is.
This huge emporium of all things Italian covers it the full range, spread out over three floors in a sparkling new space in the Prudential Center.
Words alone cannot describe the breadth of the food, giftware, grocery items and even music and books that are on offer but, hopefully, some of these pictures will give you an idea.
Delicious Italian fare is everywhere, from the freshly prepared flatbreads and pizza pies to gorgeous pastries and sweets, wines, dinners, pastas, espresso and cappuccino, gelato and everything in between.
As an example, some of the imported cheeses we saw are rarely available in Boston.
It's the same with the cured meats and other products, as well, heaven for those who long for authentic Italian goods.
Strolling through the grocery area we saw products that we have not seen since, well, we were actually in Italy! Half the fun is walking slowly through the place and just perusing everything.
We stopped to speak with a grocery manager and asked: where are you storing all of this stuff? Is there a warehouse nearby? The immensity of it all is almost bewildering. Apparently, there is a mega warehouse in New Jersey were cargo ships are unloaded daily and the products trucked in at least three days a week.
Another big question our inquisitive mind's had was just how they managed to hire up a staff of 600 people when it is well-known that Boston faces a serious labor shortage for restaurant and hospitality employees? What we discovered is that many of the people we spoke with actually did not come from the food service industry with many of them having a background more in customer service coupled with a personal yet never-fulfilled passion for food. Interesting.
We advise readers who plan to stop by to allow plenty of time when going for a visit. An hour or two will not do it justice. One could easily spend three hours just walking around looking at everything before deciding what to actually try or buy. And it's a learning experience, too, not just an immense food court with multiple cafes and spots for enjoying a meal or snack. Think of it more as a cultural excursion and take the time to chat with the very knowledgeable staff. They are eager and happy to talk about the products and history.
So, take a look at everything, including the gleaming, jewel-like wrapped candies before loading up your shopping bag. There is a new delight around every corner. All in all, you will not be disappointed. Enjoy. Ciao!
800 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02199