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On my way back to the office from lunch with my mom today we passed by Eataly, on Ohio and Wabash. I had peeked into the second floor window from Grand Ave over the past two months, but I had never been in and didn’t quite know what it was. I understood that it was some kind of store with a place to eat in as well. My mom knew that it was an Italian grocery store. Since we didn’t know anything about it we decided to stop in and check it out.

Oh my! What a cool place! It was still lunch time, so the place was pretty crowded. A colorful array of fresh fruits and vegetables welcome you in front of the door. I was pleased to find that you can buy items like dates and nuts by the pound. I like to make bacon wrapped dates for parties, but usually only need 24 dates. Buying them in packages usually leaves me with too many.

The first floor had a coffee shop and a section of small kitchen gadgets. Taking the escalators upstairs you are welcomed by a room full of fermentation tanks brewing fresh beer. The wine section is to the right, cheese then meat to the left, and all around are packages of fresh pasta and places to grab some food. There is also a section of cookbooks by Rizoli. Come to pick up what you need for dinner that night, choose from Italian cheeses, a wider variety of meat than at Whole Foods, Italian wines, and pasta made in-house.

The prices are a little higher than Whole Foods, but the quality looked comparable. With 15 food and snack places to choose from, this seems like the perfect place to grab a casual bite to eat, a nice dinner to prepare at home, or to pick up a last minute host gift on your way to a dinner party.

Make a point to visit Eataly at 43 E Ohio Street and visit their website here.

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