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Northern Light

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I popped by Eataly tonight, no line to get in, but very busy inside, most tables full and lines about 10-15m long at the Pizza and Gelato counters.,

I had a good look around, twice..........and bought a small amount before leaving..........I will review the sit-down options later, but discuss a range of product I had a good look at tonight now.

Produce: Most competitive price EVER on wild mushrooms in the City of Toronto, at $45 per kg. I have never seen them below $69 previously, and the current average is $79 across the City.

Good selection of Chanterelles, Hedgehogs, and Black Trumpets among others. Only program that rivals it in the City is Harvest Wagon, but the latter at notably higher prices.

Fresh Herbs were bundled loose w/o packages except for an elastic on each one. $1.90 each was a very fair price for the quality and portion.

Disappointing was the lettuces, at least 2 varieties of which were so wilted they should not have been on display for sale at all, I wouldn't have taken them home for free.

The salad packs were fine, but nothing local from Ontario.

Good selection of fresh peppers available in bulk, including 1 you rarely see in Toronto, Fresno Peppers (think red jalapeno, but a bit fruitier), and Shishito which is around in Toronto but usually in large bags, not sold by weight.

Meat: In some ways, a limited selection, very beef/veal centric; but some interesting offers. Chantecler Chicken is a different offer (but shouldn't be considering its a Canadian Breed); great dry-aging program, flat-iron among the less seen cuts here on offer. On the downside, the dry-aging program is a bit over priced for what it is; and the marbling in the strip steaks was poor.

Deli: Brilliant Selection of Prosciutto! Multiple varieties, priced accordingly, exceptional looking quality (didn't try tonight)

Fresh Pasta: A small selection, but all made on-site, today, picked up the Beef-Brisket Ravioli. One portion, 150grams was $6.40

I had that for dinner at home, serving it with a fresh tomato sauce, featuring pan-blistered cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, lightly caramelized onion, aged balsamic, fresh garlic, chillies and olive oil and finished with a just a bit of grated Reggiano Parm.

Superb! Worth every penny!

Dried Pasta: Range of prices depending on brand/size/format, overall slightly more pricey than it should be, but absolutely unbeatable selection in this category. Five different varieties of Squid-Ink Pasta (black pasta).

Countless shapes/sizes. Also lots of them in nests (portioned)

Dairy: Fairly normal for a high-end place, good range of full-fat (84% butter fat) butters; and multiple cultured/pasture raised varieties. Too pricey on some available cheaper at the Bloor Street Market.

Cheese: A very good selection of premium hard cheese and mozza, among others. But most noteworthy, I thought, was the depth of the blue cheese section. Also the hard cheeses are well priced for premium product.

Bread: Focused mostly on baked in-house, didn't buy any, selection was ok; have to say I did try the raisin bread on sample, fresh from the oven, I don't even care for raisin bread, but that was very good.

Miscellaneous; decently deep selection on Olive Oils, appears to be set up for tasting, but no sample cups out when I was there. Some good information on brands and geography on offer to the consumer as to how to select product.

Selection of tomato products (canned/jarred) was deep and varied, as was the pesto category, which included a pumpkin offering that intrigued. Prices were moderately high for what it was, but not brutal.

Truffles available fresh and in many canned varieties typically mixed w/porcinis and sauce/oil in order to lessen the price.

Chocolate and Cookies are both deep categories with a wide range of price points from $3 or so to many multiples higher.

***

Summing up, looks pretty good overall, looking forward to trying more of their product.

Needs some tweaks; value for money will vary widely, you need to know what you're looking at.

Also someone asked about walking around w/wine, I believe that is permissible, both because there is a non-table service bar, and because the person before me left an empty wine glass on the fresh pasta counter.....
 
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Kenojuak

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I was at Eataly around 2.30 pm today. There was no line to get in. Inside, it was busy, but not annoyingly so. They’re on 3 floors, although at least 80% of the space is on the second floor. There’s a brewery in the basement and coffee bar on the first floor - everything else is upstairs. You generally move in a clockwise direction once you get to the second floor, and follow a single path that goes around the floor, IKEA-style, until you’re back at the escalators, passing through several restaurants, stalls selling gelati and cannoli, another coffee bar, a wine bar, a grocery section, including fresh fruits and vegetables and separate meat and seafood counters.

The decor is unremarkable, other than the pots and pans hanging in the atrium. Prices are in line with similar places like the Pusateri food hall at Saks or Coppa’s. I don’t know why the media made it sound as if it were a champagne and caviar place - you don’t have to be rich to buy $2.90 - $6.90 slices of pizza or $11-14 panini. There are a lot of Italians working there, maybe temporary staff brought in from their Italian outlets. The biggest difference from the other Eataly I’ve been too (Chicago and Bologna) is I didn’t see guests walking around the store sipping wine they bought at the enoteca - maybe that’s not allowed here?

Gran Caffe (first floor)

View attachment 214970

Pots and pans in the atrium (visible from main entrance)

View attachment 214971

Exterior shot

View attachment 214972
Can we talk about how bad this signage is? Does that say FATAIY?
 

JasonParis

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While I'm dismayed by the outward appearance, it's actually a thoroughly impressive store on the inside. I went on Saturday night and it compares well with other Eataly's. I do have to wonder if it has any possible direction to grow though if it needed to at a certain point?
 

Northern Light

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.... I do have to wonder if it has any possible direction to grow though if it needed to at a certain point?
Best I can discern, not easily.

On the mainfloor, the only contiguous spaces are Birks; and then Indigo.

The way in which Eataly is organized makes it undesirable to spread grocery function over more than one floor; as such, the only options, if they could get the Birks space, would be shifting
those counters which pair logically with the coffee bar, which would be the gelato bar, and the candy/truffle station.

That would afford a small amount of new seating/walking around area, and might allow for one additional/larger counter.

Shifting Indigo, would an enormous expense, the layout of Manulife makes that less than ideal, unless Indigo wanted to downsize, so that direction seems out.

On the second floor, their space directly abuts Cineplex, so again that would appear out.

The Balmuto side has some options, but it might make for a rather odd store layout to make use of them.

Though perhaps you could shift the cooking school down that side, and make a bit more room mid-store.

In the end though, no cheap or easy ways to grow the footprint.

Far more likely you will see a second Eataly location in Toronto if the crowds and $$ hold on past the novelty phase. Though don't expect them to even begin looking at that seriously before fall 2020; and that means
a second store might be 2022/2023 at the earliest.
 

Bayer

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Being celiac, the restaurant side of Eataly is largely out of reach, but I have been very happy with the fresh meat, prosciutto, fish, cheese, produce and antipasti I have purchased so far, and they have a lot of dry goods (including gluten-free panettoni, pasta, crackers and cookies). I am not sure the variety will be maintainted over time, but I don't see Meyer lemons often, for example. The other day they seemed to have a problem with the cash register scales, because you had to have all your produce weighed and labelled in the produce section itself. Also, oddly, I could not purchase a take-out container of gelato even though their website suggests otherwise.

I recommend using the market early in the morning, when the restaurants are not yet open - it's a more relaxing experience!
 

JoeParez

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I popped by Eataly tonight, no line to get in, but very busy inside, most tables full and lines about 10-15m long at the Pizza and Gelato counters.,

I had a good look around, twice..........and bought a small amount before leaving..........I will review the sit-down options later, but discuss a range of product I had a good look at tonight now.

Produce: Most competitive price EVER on wild mushrooms in the City of Toronto, at $45 per kg. I have never seen them below $69 previously, and the current average is $79 across the City.

Good selection of Chanterelles, Hedgehogs, and Black Trumpets among others. Only program that rivals it in the City is Harvest Wagon, but the latter at notably higher prices.

Fresh Herbs were bundled loose w/o packages except for an elastic on each one. $1.90 each was a very fair price for the quality and portion.

Disappointing was the lettuces, at least 2 varieties of which were so wilted they should not have been on display for sale at all, I wouldn't have taken them home for free.

The salad packs were fine, but nothing local from Ontario.

Good selection of fresh peppers available in bulk, including 1 you rarely see in Toronto, Fresno Peppers (think red jalapeno, but a bit fruitier), and Shishito which is around in Toronto but usually in large bags, not sold by weight.

Meat: In some ways, a limited selection, very beef/veal centric; but some interesting offers. Chantecler Chicken is a different offer (but shouldn't be considering its a Canadian Breed); great dry-aging program, flat-iron among the less seen cuts here on offer. On the downside, the dry-aging program is a bit over priced for what it is; and the marbling in the strip steaks was poor.

Deli: Brilliant Selection of Prosciutto! Multiple varieties, priced accordingly, exceptional looking quality (didn't try tonight)

Fresh Pasta: A small selection, but all made on-site, today, picked up the Beef-Brisket Ravioli. One portion, 150grams was $6.40

I had that for dinner at home, serving it with a fresh tomato sauce, featuring pan-blistered cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, lightly caramelized onion, aged balsamic, fresh garlic, chillies and olive oil and finished with a just a bit of grated Reggiano Parm.

Superb! Worth every penny!

Dried Pasta: Range of prices depending on brand/size/format, overall slightly more pricey than it should be, but absolutely unbeatable selection in this category. Five different varieties of Squid-Ink Pasta (black pasta).

Countless shapes/sizes. Also lots of them in nests (portioned)

Dairy: Fairly normal for a high-end place, good range of full-fat (84% butter fat) butters; and multiple cultured/pasture raised varieties. Too pricey on some available cheaper at the Bloor Street Market.

Cheese: A very good selection of premium hard cheese and mozza, among others. But most noteworthy, I thought, was the depth of the blue cheese section. Also the hard cheeses are well priced for premium product.

Bread: Focused mostly on baked in-house, didn't buy any, selection was ok; have to say I did try the raisin bread on sample, fresh from the oven, I don't even care for raisin bread, but that was very good.

Miscellaneous; decently deep selection on Olive Oils, appears to be set up for tasting, but no sample cups out when I was there. Some good information on brands and geography on offer to the consumer as to how to select product.

Selection of tomato products (canned/jarred) was deep and varied, as was the pesto category, which included a pumpkin offering that intrigued. Prices were moderately high for what it was, but not brutal.

Truffles available fresh and in many canned varieties typically mixed w/porcinis and sauce/oil in order to lessen the price.

Chocolate and Cookies are both deep categories with a wide range of price points from $3 or so to many multiples higher.

***

Summing up, looks pretty good overall, looking forward to trying more of their product.

Needs some tweaks; value for money will vary widely, you need to know what you're looking at.

Also someone asked about walking around w/wine, I believe that is permissible, both because there is a non-table service bar, and because the person before me left an empty wine glass on the fresh pasta counter.....

Or just take a trip up to Woodbridge where you'll find most of the products at Eataly for half the price.

Pro-Tip: Quality Cheese and Seafood Depot Inc.

I couldn't believe it when I saw a bag of Mulino Bianco "Abbracci" cookies for $9.00. They retail for about 1,63 € in Italy.
 

raptor

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Or just take a trip up to Woodbridge where you'll find most of the products at Eataly for half the price.

Pro-Tip: Quality Cheese and Seafood Depot Inc.

I couldn't believe it when I saw a bag of Mulino Bianco "Abbracci" cookies for $9.00. They retail for about 1,63 € in Italy.
You need to factor in the exchange rate, oh and also the $1000 return airfare. 🤣
 

JasonParis

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My parents live in the southern half of Etobicoke and do most of their grocery shopping in Woodbridge.

Ironically, I'd say my British mom is more interested in Eataly than my Italian dad, but his generation of Italo-Canadians are not huge with "going out for dinner" and are suspect of a lot of what passes as "Italian." Although, I think Eatlay would easily pass his test if I could get him there.
 

JoeParez

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My parents live in the southern half of Etobicoke and do most of their grocery shopping in Woodbridge.

Ironically, I'd say my British mom is more interested in Eataly than my Italian dad, but his generation of Italo-Canadians are not huge with "going out for dinner" and are suspect of a lot of what passes as "Italian." Although, I think Eatlay would easily pass his test if I could get him there.
It definitely would. However, I've been so spoiled with the fact that I grew up in Woodbridge and knew of other places to find imported Italian products that I get turned off by Eataly as well. But I appreciate the eye that it brings to actualy Italian products and truly celebrating every region (even though Calabria is poorly represented.)

I really suggest everyone head to Lady York on Dufferin just south of Lawrence as well. Great Italian selection and reasonable pricing.
Legendary.
Also Tre Mari bakery on St. Clair carries some decent products as well
 

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