Eataly Chicago, A Must-Visit for Valentine’s Day & Beyond
Since my recent move to Chicago in 2022, I have found there is literally no shortage of things to do, especially when there’s any kind of holiday or national day. Well, thankfully for Valentine’s Day (or I should say, the week before V-Day) I stumbled upon an incredible experience for my boyfriend and I to partake in a celebration of love, food, and vino galore: the “Valentine’s Taste-Around” at Eataly Chicago.
Chicagoans like myself who came out for the Eataly pre-Valentine’s Day tasting event certainly fell in love with all the delicious bites of Italian cuisine and fragrant vino that was available at ten tasting stations that took place throughout the entire marketplace.
Let’s Talk Wine
In the romantic spirit of the national day of love, an Italian red wine and rosé were available for sipping throughout Eataly Chicago’s tasting excursion. The best part about this for me was being able to walk around the entire store toting a glass of wine. Grocery shopping with wine? Yes, please! Sign me up.
The decor in Eataly is seriously a vibe and what every wine lover dreams of. There’s an entire wall of wine along with wine paintings and quotes about wine. It’s just dreamy.
Anyone who knows me knows just how much I love my wine shipped and delivered to my doorstep in a case of fourteen international bottles from WSJWine. But I must say, with only living a few blocks away from Eataly Chicago, this just might become my next go-to wine supplier. Or maybe I’ll just do both because let’s be honest, there can never be too much wine.The Top 12 wines you need to try—ONLY $69.99 + bonus gifts
Savory Bites to Die For
On the second floor, visitors of Eataly Chicago could kick off the tasting event by trying savory bites of two different flavors of pizza. That included pizza alla pala siciliana (topped with olives) and pizza alla pala funghi (topped with mushrooms). Salumi roses were also served with a side of freshly baked focaccia bread.
Read the blog, “Quartino Ristorante & Wine Bar, A Restaurant Review”
At the same counter, patrons could try a rich and distinctive flavored chunk of Trentingrana cheese. But this cheese wasn’t just pulled out of a package (Eataly Chicago is much too classy for that). Instead, it was carved straight from the wheel. Plus, this cheese was served with a heartwarming love story about the cheesemaker who wanted to create a cheese that reminded his daughter of home. Tear. Jerker.
A Bite, nay Boat, of Oysters
Freshly shucked oysters topped an ice-filled boat and could be drizzled with red wine vinegar and minced onions. I amateurishly went overboard on the vinegar and ruined the taste of mine. But my boyfriend (who did not) said his oyster tasted like the absolute freshest seawater. And he’s from the Jersey Shore so he’s kind of an oyster snob.
A tangy and dense truffle ricotta agnolotti pasta dish also certainly teased the tastebuds. And personally, by the end of this dish I was stuffed. But of course I powered through and was able to at least try a small bite of a deep-fried risotto ball known as quattro formaggi arancini.
Are Cocktails a Palate cleanser?
I’d like to think so. Patrons could top off with a refreshing cocktail by FEW spirits between bites that included the option of a lavender flavor or whisky. I personally could have done with more wine, but for someone who doesn’t love cocktails I actually enjoyed mine quite a bit.
We had our cocktails right before transitioning to sweet bites. To finish up the stations on the top floor, we stopped at the chocolate fountain where skewers of strawberries and marshmallows could be dipped. SO good. Magnifico!
A First Floor Fairy Tale
Personally, that’s how I think of mouthwatering, gorgeous desserts… Down on the first floor of Eataly Chicago, two more decadent dessert stations attracted long lines that swept through the store.
No seriously though, this line of at least like twenty people went all the way from the front doors and around towards an eye-catching pastry counter lined with colorful desserts adorned with fresh fruits, drizzles of chocolate, and puffs of cream.
Oh yeah, and we even found chocolate cigars amid the shelves of sweets?! I don’t think they were actual cigars, but I plan to go back and actually find out.
For the tasting event specifically, a rich chocolate mousse bite called cioccolato e lampone came topped with a sweet raspberry. To finish, foodies wanting a more hands-on approach to their tasting experience could fill their own cannoli.
Do V-Day at Eataly Chicago
For Valentine’s Day, those wanting to get their hands on a sweet treat or romance their Valentine — or even themselves — with a spread of Italian meats, cheeses, pasta, and wine can head to Eataly Chicago for a few options.
- Explore and shop their very vast market
- Pick up a gorgeously designed dessert from Caffè Lavazza
- Reserve a table at their restaurants Vino &… (which BTW features 100 bottles of Italian wine by the glass) OR La Pizza & La Pasta
Book an Exclusive Wine Event
Looking to develop your wine palate to perfection? Next month from March 8-10, Eataly is hosting Vino Camp: An Immersive Wine Experience. This three-day camp will boast three incredible ways to learn the art of fine wine:
- Sicilia Camp: A Private Dinner with the Winemaker
- Sicilia Camp: A Walk Around Food and Wine Tasting
- Sicilia Camp: A Wine Seminar in La Scuola
Grab your tickets before they sell out peeps because this popular hot spot books up fast! Have you been to Eataly Chicago — or any of the other thirty-five Eataly locations around the world? Let me know about your experience in the comments below!