Start adding panettoni, buffalo mozzarella, and cannolis to your Christmas list -- Eataly, a three-level, 45,000sqft Italian food emporium in the Shops at Prudential Center, opened its doors on Tuesday, giving Bostonians a one-stop shop for cuisine both inspired by Italy and imported straight from the country.
This is Eataly’s first Boston location and fourth domestic location, with two in New York City and one in Chicago. In the same fashion as every location, Boston’s Eataly is divided up into sections, with sit-down restaurants sharing space with take-away food stands, grocery shops, bakeries, and cooking schools. It acts like an upscale, open-concept food court, where instead of getting an Orange Julius, you can hop from a gelato stand to a pop-up truffle restaurant to a wine shop where you can pick from about 1,000 Italian wines, including the one you might have had by-the-glass at the truffle restaurant. The goal is to offer a sampling of the entirety of Italian cuisine within one building and across three levels. All Eataly locations also make sure to incorporate influences from the city or region that the Eataly is located in.
To reflect the area’s local cuisine, this location has a seafood theme. Eataly Boston estimates that they will feed around 10,000 people a day, which means literally shiploads of fish will need to be ordered on a regular basis, with much of it being sustainable and local. To keep local ties to the seafood cuisine, Boston chef Barbara Lynch will oversee the menu of the Il Pesce dining area, which will serve both raw and cooked seafood meals that will change daily. Highlights of the ever-changing menu include oysters from Massachusetts, halibut from Maine, and black sea bass from Rhode Island.
Arguably the sweetest part of this new Eataly is the franchise’s first-ever cannoli cart, which reflects the city’s fierce cannoli scene while also calling back to traditional Italian food. The cannolis are made in Italy, shipped to Boston and filled with fresh ricotta cream right in front of you.
And if you aren’t already in enough of an Italian food coma, stop by the mozzarella lab, where Eataly cheesemakers take local cheese curds and transform them into fresh, glossy blocks of mozzarella. Yes, you might never find the exit to this massive labyrinth filled with every kind of Italian food imaginable, but at least you’ll be well-fed.
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