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Eataly Boston

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The Eater Boston Guide to Eataly Boston

How to eat your way through Back Bay’s giant Italian food emporium

It’s here. Three years after rumors started flying that it was coming to town, Eataly Boston finally opens its doors at the Prudential Center (800 Boylston St.) today (November 29) at 4 p.m. After today, it’ll be open daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Note that not all sections will be open throughout that entire time range, but you’ll definitely find breakfast options starting at 7 a.m., including crepes and coffee.)

In short, it’s the biggest opening Boston has seen in recent memory in terms of its size (45,000 square feet over three floors), staff (more than 500 employees), buzz (household name Mario Batali is one of several partners), and immense number of items it sells (10,000). There are sit-down restaurants, fast-casual dining options, bars, cafes, a wine store, cooking classes, and tons of retail options, featuring imported Italian items as well as plenty of local products.

It’s a lot to take in. Head this way if you just want to look at a bunch of photos of the space, or stay here to get the lowdown on what you’ll find at Eataly Boston. Note that the vast majority of Eataly Boston’s components are located on the second floor of the complex; anything on the first or third floor is marked as such.


Full-Service Restaurants

All Eataly Boston restaurants are first come, first served, with the exception of Terra (which is not yet open), which will accept reservations.

Il Pesce (and Il Crudo)

Eataly Boston
A mackerel dish at Il Pesce

One example of Eataly’s efforts to make its Boston location truly Boston is Il Pesce, its seafood restaurant — a collaboration with local culinary legend Barbara Lynch. Il Pesce, which seats 64 in the main dining area and 12 at a bar, also has a 10-seat raw bar, which is called Il Crudo. Il Pesce and Il Crudo highlight New England seafood in an ever-changing variety of Italian-inspired dishes. There’s even “Italian-style sashimi.” When dining at Il Pesce — or buying seafood anywhere at Eataly Boston — you can collect stamps on a card that rewards you for trying certain types of sustainable fish, such as Massachusetts porgy. Nine stamps get you 10% off your next purchase.

La Piazza (and La Cucina)

The central section of Eataly Boston’s second floor is home to La Piazza, where diners can stand at high tables and drink wine, beer, and cocktails; share meat and cheese plates; eat raw bar items and salads; and more. La Piazza includes La Cucina, a rotating concept where different chefs will take over the menu at various times, highlighting the cuisine from different Italian regions. For Eataly’s first couple of months, Alba white truffles will be featured.

La Pizza & La Pasta

Eataly Boston
La Pizza & La Pasta

Well, this one’s obvious, but more specifically, the 162-seat, open-kitchen restaurant offers Neapolitan pizza (courtesy of Rossopomodoro pizzaioli working with a couple of gorgeous gold wood-fired pizza ovens) and a wide range of pastas — made fresh in-house as well as imported from Gragnano. And there’s a wine bar, too. (Prefer Roman-style pizza alla pala? That’s available at one of Eataly’s grab-and-go counters, La Focacceria.)

Terra

The Eataly team has been tight-lipped about the “special project” taking over the third floor, opening later this winter. It’ll be an Italian restaurant that accepts reservations; stay tuned for more information. (Update, 3/9/17: Terra is slated to open on April 4 and will feature a variety of shareable dishes and entrees cooked on a wood-fired grill, from meat and vegetable skewers to quail. There will also be pasta, bruschette, and more. Bisq and Bergamot alum Dan Bazzinotti — Eater Boston’s Chef of the Year in 2015 — is chef de cuisine.)

Eataly Boston

Fast-Casual Eateries

Interspersed throughout the second floor (except where otherwise noted), 13 quick counters feature a huge number of grab-and-go snacks, meals, and desserts. There are a few places to sit, particularly by the Boylston Street entrance — find a seating area on the first floor and another on the second floor, just off of the escalators. Are you looking for coffee, a sandwich, chocolate? Check out each item below to see which counter(s) may meet your needs.

Coffee (and Boozy Espresso)

Eataly Boston has not one but two cafes — well, caffès. On the first floor, just inside the Boylston Street entrance, there’s Caffè Lavazza, serving up a wide range of hot and cold Lavazza beverages, including an orange- or amaretto-flavored espresso “shakerato”; espresso with grappa or sambuca; and Italian hot chocolate with whipped cream. Up on the second floor by the Prudential Center mall entrance, Caffè Vergnano — which has a standing bar — also features Italian espresso-based drinks.

Sweets (Pastries, Baked Goods, Crepes, Gelato, Chocolate...)

Each of the aforementioned caffès also serves some sweets (assorted pastries at Lavazza; croissants and cakes at Vergnano). But the main pastry spot is La Pasticceria, located near the Prudential Center mall entrance, serving up tons of pastries and cakes, including single-portion servings. Want a tiny bit of tiramisu for breakfast? Do it. Next to La Pasticceria, Il Cioccolato Venchi offers Italian chocolates. Venchi has been around since 1878. Across the aisle from La Pasticceria and Il Cioccolato Venchi, Il Gelato serves gelato as well as dairy-free sorbetto, and there are two chocolate fountains so that you can get Venchi chocolate drizzled over your order. Back on the first floor by Lavazza, Pastella — Creperia Italiana serves sweet and savory crepes, and if you take the escalator up from there, you’ll find the Cannoli Cart at the top, serving up cannoli filled with ricotta, chocolate, and candied fruits.

Sandwiches (Hot and Cold)

Eataly Boston
La Focacceria

Find I Panini e le Ciabatte by the Prudential Center mall entrance on the second floor for hot and cold panini featuring Eataly produce, salumi, cheeses, and bread. Meanwhile, at the top of the escalator at the Boylston Street entrance, La Rosticceria sells rotisserie meats that are available served on baguettes as panini. Try, for example, a prime rib panino.

Bread

La Focacceria specializes in focaccia with a variety of sweet and savory toppings. (Looking to take home a loaf? You’ll find plenty at this counter as well.)

Pizza

As noted above, there’s Neapolitan pizza at sit-down restaurant La Pizza & La Pasta, but at La Focacceria, you can grab thin-crust, Roman-style pizza to go.

Juices (and Smoothies)

Because Boston’s juice bar flood will continue forever, Eataly has its own Juice Bar, featuring beverages packed full of fruits and vegetables.

Soups and Salads

Connected to Juice Bar, not far from the Prudential Center entrance, Le Insalate features salads (suggested combinations as well as a create-your-own option) made with local greens and Italian oils and vinegars. There’s also soup.

More

At Eataly’s casual counters, you’ll also find rotisserie meats by the pound and related sides at La Rosticceria, plus assorted prepared meals based on recipes from two of Eataly’s partners, Mario Batali and Lidia Bastianich, at La Gastronomia.


Retail

You’ll find thousands of products — food, beverages, and housewares — all throughout Eataly (mostly on the second floor, although there are some coffee and tea products available for purchase by Lavazza and Pastella on the ground floor. Many are imported from Italy; many are from Massachusetts or nearby. Eataly loves signs, so keep an eye out for signage explaining more about what you’re buying. Here’s a brief summary of what you’ll find.

Fruits and vegetables; candies, cookies, and other sweets; coffee beans, teas, and other related items; local dairy products, including milk, cream, yogurt, and ricotta; so much cheese (Italian imports as well as locally produced, such as Grafton Village cheese); cured meats (also some Italian imports and some local producers, such as Waltham-based New England Charcuterie); fresh mozzarella and occasionally stracciatella and burrata (keep an eye out for Fiore di Nonno’s Lourdes Smith, who is working on Eataly’s cheese team); seafood supplied by Wulf’s, Red’s Best, Island Creek, and more; meats, including sausages, sourced from Stillman’s Quality Meats and beyond; loaves of bread; dry pasta and other grains and rices; sauces and condiments; olive oil (tons of it); kitchen utensils and decorative items; cookbooks; and beer and wine.


Miscellaneous Tips

  • Registers are located near the Prudential Center mall entrance on the second floor. Items eaten at Eataly (from the sit-down restaurants and the counters) are paid for where you get them, before you eat them, but any retail items are paid for at the registers.
  • No reservations, except for Terra, which isn’t open yet.
  • Keep an eye out for free demonstrations as well as ticketed classes at La Scuola di Eataly by Valcucine, located on the second floor.
  • Every day at 5 p.m. is “tasting hour” — stay tuned for more details on what that entails.
  • Snag the aforementioned seafood rewards card to encourage yourself to try out some less familiar fish.
  • There are signs everywhere, so if you want to know about Eataly’s philosophies, where your food comes from, or any other number of things, keep your eyes peeled. Example: “The customer is not always right. Eataly is not always right. It is through our differences that we find harmony.”
  • Go hungry.
Eataly Boston Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

Getting There

Driving and parking in Back Bay can be generally unpleasant, but the Prudential Center does have a garage; here’s more information on rates, validation, and location. The area is highly accessible via public transportation, which may make your Eataly visit easier (unless you plan on bringing home many bags of food, which is likely).

Via the T: Take the Green Line to Copley or Hynes Convention Center and walk to the Boylston Street entrance (about four minutes and seven minutes, respectively). Or, go to the Prudential station and walk through the mall to Eataly’s Prudential Center entrance. You can also take the Orange Line to Back Bay and walk 10 minutes.

Via bus: Routes 39 and 55 stop at Dalton Street at Boylston Street, a few minutes from the Boylston Street entrance. Just a few minutes further away, the 1, 57, and CT1 all stop at Hynes Convention Center. Routes 9, 10, and 170 stop at Copley (along with 39, 55, and 57).

Via the commuter rail: Four lines come through Back Bay Station — Framingham/Worcester, Needham, Franklin, and Providence/Stoughton.

All photographs by Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

Eataly

800 Boylston St., Boston, MA Visit Website
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