If you have not figured it out; I am a big fan of Eataly. Their NYC location won my heart and their Italy locations have stood up to my expectations. This trip to Italy was interesting to say the least. I knew I was headed over during Ferragosto (Italians take the whole month of August off, most cities are ghost towns); but I did not expect Bologna to be as empty as it was. Most restaurants were closed; and good meals were hard to find. That is until I found Eataly.
Antonio and I went to Eataly on two occasions. Both times we were quite pleased. It is a bit different from Eataly in NYC. The first floor is completely dedicated to a book store. Think Barnes and Noble. To get to Eataly you must go to either the 2nd or 3rd floor where they have wines, edibles to purchase and two restaurants. There are quite a few tables as well as one large communal table. This was our preferred table on each visit.
Not surprisingly, the wine choices are great. They have some really nice bottles at great values. We ordered a rose, sparkling water and perused the menu.
On our first visit; we ordered what we thought was a carpaccio. We were not quite ready for the dish brought forth. Someone else may have loved this, but there was something about the dish that neither Antonio or I enjoyed.
The next dish was stupendous. It was a white bean and vegetable stew. Hearty yet light, flavorful and healthy. I would eat this dish again in a second (sorry about the crummy picture).
On our second visit; Antonio ordered the “burger”. Think of a deconstructed burger. It came with no bun; but it was dressed with a tomato wearing some breadcrumbs, green peppers and a green pepper sauce to match. This dish was delightful. The meat was medium rare and it was impregnated with the essence of green peppers.
We also got a lovely pasta dish. The pasta was cooked to the right al dente texture, the sauce was perfectly balanced and aromatic. This was as expected and quite tasty.
The veal tartare was scrumptious. Fresh, light and flavored with unctuous olive oil. Tartares in Italy have treated us incredibly well. This tartare was not as good as the one we had in Florence; but delicious nonetheless.
I would recommend a stop at Eataly if you are in Bologna. And I would also recommend that you go to Bologna anytime but August.
Eataly is located at Via degli Orefici, 19, 40124 Bologna, Italy +39 051 095 2820