Eataly is gearing up to open the doors of its first Canadian location next month, and based on the looks of the offerings, you’d best start saving your appetite now.
Sprawling out over two floors and featuring the talents of more than 100 chefs, the long-awaited Italian marketplace is set to open in the Manulife Centre in Toronto, located near Bloor-Yonge, on November 13.
Each Eataly location contains a combination of restaurants, cafés, to-go eateries, fresh counters, a grocery market with more than 10,000 products, and a cooking school. Founded in Italy in 2007, and has since expanded to more than 35 locations around the globe.
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The new Toronto marketplace marks the first of the brand’s locations in Canada, but there’s no need to think it’ll be the last.
While there are no confirmed plans at this time, the store and eatery is continually looking to expand. There’s already been discussion about the potential for more locations across the country, a spokesperson told Daily Hive.
Carb-lovers across the GTA have been awaiting the arrival of the massive market for years, with the original projected opening planned for early 2019.
The huge space features pasta stations, pizza parlours, and plenty of preserves, jams and jellies.
To top it all off, the smell of bread wafts through the building, carrying across planes of carb-heavy creations.
Shopping at Eataly, the pasta is priced as low as “a dollar, more or less,” and it goes up from there. According to Eataly’s team, the restaurant section of the space uses the highest quality selection they have.
The classic spaghetti dish, made with bright, flavourful tomato sauce and topped with basil, goes for $12. The eatery’s team says they want to make biting into fresh meals made with whole foods as accessible as possible.
And in addition to packaged versions, visitors to the space will also be able to snag freshly-made pasta from one of the shop’s many counters.
If you’re planning to make your pasta dish at home, there’s plenty of produce available for mixing into your creations — and the focus is on food that’s “good, clean, and fair.”
And of course, if you’re not keen to DIY sauce in your own kitchen, the shelved options are seemingly never-ending.
There are a wide range of refreshments available too, in varieties of everything from Italian sodas to Toronto-made cold-pressed juices, so you can infuse a little bit of Yorkville into your European-indulgence.
And speaking of indulgence… the space is a carb-lovers paradise. With bread made from the same mother yeast used in Eataly locations across the world (yes, she travels across borders), there are countless loaves being spun out of this spot’s oven — all day, every day.
And in the family of leavened breads, foccacia-style pizzas are just one of the many styles of ‘za you can get your hands on here.
But if you prefer a more classic, round pie, the Margherita, baked in a stone oven, is your indulgence of choice. Trust us, that cheese stretches far.
On the topic of cheese, what do you know… a great majority of it is made in-house. Hand-stretched, fresh mozzarella isn’t something most get to enjoy on a regular basis. So when you stop by this space, make sure it’s on your list of must-eats.
Wheels of harder, aged cheeses line the walls and are always delicious, but are certainly best enjoyed when freshly cracked.
The cheeses are so bold and full of flavour that they truly don’t need any pairing. But if you feel so inclined, there’s nothing quite like a strong cheese dipped into a tart balsamic.
And alongside the many delicate, dairy-full options, there are plenty of antipasti pieces on deck for your pre-dinner pleasure.
The seafood section is also bursting with options, ranging from whole fish to oysters and shrimp, that are the perfect add-on to your dinner party appetizer.
And once you’ve moved past the spaghetti, the salumi, and the overall savoury, it’s time to think about the post-meal excitement.
Crafted in the space are crunchy and creamy cannoli, fresh gelato made with local, sustainably farmed milk, and what is arguably the most delectable tiramisu you’ll ever taste.
There are also huge varieties of tiny, transportable treats that you can take with you on-the-go.
And, of course, there’s plenty of panettone.
If you choose to stay and dine in-house, you have a few different options in terms of vibe.
Some areas of the marketplace feel slightly warmer, such as the spots around the bar, or at the tables near the pizza oven.
Other sections of the space are crisper and flooded with light, such as the tables overlooking Bay Street and the seats near the pasta station.
Still to come in the space is a “special project,” that’ll serve as both a restaurant and the kitchen behind the space’s grab-and-go counter.
And further still, you can head downstairs to enjoy beer brewed in-house in partnership with Indie Ale House. Beer will be available for purchase to take home, or you can head down and enjoy a pint alongside your bites.
Or, you know, both.
Eataly will officially open at 5 pm on November 13, after a
ribbon pasta-cutting ceremony takes place in the afternoon.
So grab your Tupperware containers and ensure your tummy and tastebuds are both ready for some serious eats — this spot is not playing around.
When: Opening November 13 at 5 pm
Where: Manulife Centre, 55 Bloor Street West, Toronto