I love this concept... I tried Eataly in New York, Dubai and Milano and I fell in love with it even more after I attended a lecture presented by the owner himself Mr. Oscar Farinetti. Eataly is Italy around the world, a place that expresses good food, amazing products, freshness, positive vibes, fun and enjoyment. It's a place I wish to see in Lebanon one day.
Eataly is where I remember eating fine Italian specialities in a huge space that serves everything Italian. It's where shelves are made of wood and not plastic, it's where the kitchens are open for your enjoyment and food is divided into different clear sections like individual shops.
11 of the 25 Eataly stores in the world are in Italy’s Torino, Lingotto, Torino Lagrange, Pinerolo, Asti, Monticello, Milan, Genoa, Bologna, Rome, Bari and Firenze cities. Eataly has 9 stores in Japan, 2 stores in USA (New York and Chicago), 1 store in Dubai and finally one store in Istanbul.
Visiting Istanbul, Eataly was first on the list. Two floors, two huge floors where a million ideas come together. The ice cream parlor, the coffee shop, Nutella bar, the butchery, the cheese fridge, the pizzeria and much more. The supermarket hosts four dining area of which two outside terraces.
In the heart of Zorlu center, one of the capital's biggest and true first malls where you can find an Apple Store is Eataly. A shopping parlor, restaurants, live food and most importantly, Milan's favorite gelato shops. A low ceiling and lots of wood designed with purity. I'm always happy every time I visit. 4pm and tables were all full.
Remember: Eataly does not sell Coca-Cola.
The pasta and pizza menu: Starters, Pasta, Pizza. The signatures are the Vitello Tonnato, burrata, pasta Fresca, Margherita pizza and the Diavola.
- For lunch we had the burrata, a large ball served with yellow and red cherry tomatoes. Delicious fast casual food. A milky burrata with a soft heart, perfect olive oil, crunchy fresh greens... A smile was drawn on my face.
- The pizza is different, totally different than any I've had before. A crispy dough like a thick biscuit, a brown dough richly covered with juicy ingredients and a border that puffs under the teeth. It should be spicier as described in the menu but this didn't bother me. Lots of cheese but no excessive oiliness, toasted bell pepper, olives of which one was left with the pit, capers and a faded enjoyable spiciness. Different and good; a pizza I recommend.
- The main deal followed. A beautiful and big portion of yellow saffron risotto served in a bowl plate with lamb meat in the middle. Cooked al dente, the rice is very good, the saffron is felt in every bite, cheese is rich enough and I felt a garlic flavor and aroma which I couldn't spot much in my risotto which is usually cooked without. The meat is tender blending well with the mix. A generous and fulfilling plate.
- The spaghettini pomodoro are well cooked but unfortunately not too flavorful. They need salt, lots of it, the tomato sauce needs more acidity, even Parmesan and salt added to it didn't make a difference. Anyway all the beauty of this place covers on the food imperfections.
Eataly in Istanbul is for Italian shopping and casual fast Italian food with a view to the mall's inner court on one side and Istanbul on the other. I'm happy to have come here.