Anyone been to Eataly yet?

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Anyone been to Eataly yet?

Post by Aurabolt » Mon Jan 02, 2017 11:56 am

I swung by yesterday since I happened to be in Copley Square. I was not impressed. In fact, I was angry. No, it would be more accurate to say I was furious.

Everything Eataly offers is taken care of by other nearby businesses and for less. Eataly advertises itself as a hybrid restaurant and upscale market. It's definitely more market than restaurant. The aisles and walkways are intentionally narrow (single file) to control foot traffic, making it almost impossible to walk around without bumping into someone or something. More than a few times I saw or heard something get accidently knocked over.

You could see the awkward expressions on both customers and employees. Everyone knew what had been there before of course. It should come as no surprise for me to say this is probably why the PRU has been aggressively pushing for new restaurants to move in ASAP over the last 10 months. I asked a few people who knew what had been there before and they all prettymuch said the same thing: "They got rid of the food court for this?!"

From what I heard from two employees, they don't expect Eataly to stay once the lease expires. Construction was over budget, the opening was pushed back due staffing issues and sales have been low despite the agressive advertising. The nearby Shaws doesn't feel threatened by Eataly at all so...yeah.

...Nevermind the fact your average congoer is on a tight budget. I obviously have a very biased opinion of Eataly so I'm asking what others think of it.
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Re: Anyone been to Eataly yet?

Post by Selestyl » Mon Jan 02, 2017 12:06 pm

I got a gift card for Christmas, so I was planning to give it a run. I figured I might as well since it might be one of the closest options for AB next year. How expensive was it?

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Re: Anyone been to Eataly yet?

Post by Aurabolt » Mon Jan 02, 2017 7:28 pm

It's more of a marketplace than restaurant. The restaurant side of Eataly's pretty small. It was so crowded, I couldn't get close at all.

As a reminder, a new building sits where the food court used to be as well: 888 Boylston St. Tesla moved into the first floor of the new building actually.
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Re: Anyone been to Eataly yet?

Post by CJ Gren » Mon Jan 02, 2017 8:05 pm

I actually had an extremely hard time getting *into* Eataly at all the day before Christmas Eve. It was packed with lines out the door. The only place I miss from the old food court is Paradise.

I was quite impressed by the selection of meats, cheeses and other items Eataly had to offer. While Shaws may sell the same type of thing, it's not going to anywhere near the quality from Mario Batalli's team. The chocolates and desserts all looked amazing and the pizza smelled so good. I'm hoping to go back once the holiday rush dies down to actually enjoy some of the foods, but I am extremely excited by everything I've seen.
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Re: Anyone been to Eataly yet?

Post by Elli21486 » Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:33 am

Ah, good to be back on the forums after a hiatus. Anyway, I checked Eataly's Yelp and it has 3/5 stars with 112 reviews. Before going into the nitty-gritty of the site known as Yelp, it does need to be advised that this place is fairly new and there is still hype surrounding it. Once it hits the 4 months mark (looks like March 2017), things should start settling down.

Anyway, to sum up what I have read on Yelp may be the one comment that I have seen more than a few times, "think of it like an amusement park." Although a lot of people are excited for the place to finally be open, a lot of the negative reviews appear to go to 2 distinct qualities of the establishment, too small and poor customer service. The too small quality goes to not only the isles being smaller than expected but also to how small the Boston location is compared to it's sister store in New York. I am kind of surprised by that particular statement since they are technically in a new building. The poor service quality appears to be on the restaurant side, where it sounds like they have inexperienced waiters. I mean waiters are responsible for knowing the products, including allergies associated with said product (yes, that was an issue for one of the Yelpers). Food quality-wise, I read that it was average with some saying it's good and others saying it's bad, with one saying they would have rather gone to Taco Bell.

Anyway, I am going to be trying it out either in Late-January/Early-February. When I go, I'll make sure to come back to this and tell of my experience.

Yelp Page: https://www.yelp.com/biz/eataly-boston-boston
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Re: Anyone been to Eataly yet?

Post by Aurabolt » Tue Jan 03, 2017 2:56 pm

CJ Gren wrote:I actually had an extremely hard time getting *into* Eataly at all the day before Christmas Eve. It was packed with lines out the door. The only place I miss from the old food court is Paradise.

I was quite impressed by the selection of meats, cheeses and other items Eataly had to offer. While Shaws may sell the same type of thing, it's not going to anywhere near the quality from Mario Batalli's team. The chocolates and desserts all looked amazing and the pizza smelled so good. I'm hoping to go back once the holiday rush dies down to actually enjoy some of the foods, but I am extremely excited by everything I've seen.
Like I said before, everything Eataly offers you can get better from somewhere nearby: You can get all of the same quality meats and cheeses they offer for less in the North End, which is a few stops away on the Green Line. Pizza, there's too many other options. Same with Desserts and Wines.

Elli21486 wrote:Ah, good to be back on the forums after a hiatus. Anyway, I checked Eataly's Yelp and it has 3/5 stars with 112 reviews. Before going into the nitty-gritty of the site known as Yelp, it does need to be advised that this place is fairly new and there is still hype surrounding it. Once it hits the 4 months mark (looks like March 2017), things should start settling down.

Anyway, to sum up what I have read on Yelp may be the one comment that I have seen more than a few times, "think of it like an amusement park." Although a lot of people are excited for the place to finally be open, a lot of the negative reviews appear to go to 2 distinct qualities of the establishment, too small and poor customer service. The too small quality goes to not only the isles being smaller than expected but also to how small the Boston location is compared to it's sister store in New York. I am kind of surprised by that particular statement since they are technically in a new building. The poor service quality appears to be on the restaurant side, where it sounds like they have inexperienced waiters. I mean waiters are responsible for knowing the products, including allergies associated with said product (yes, that was an issue for one of the Yelpers). Food quality-wise, I read that it was average with some saying it's good and others saying it's bad, with one saying they would have rather gone to Taco Bell.

Anyway, I am going to be trying it out either in Late-January/Early-February. When I go, I'll make sure to come back to this and tell of my experience.

Yelp Page: https://www.yelp.com/biz/eataly-boston-boston
...I caught wind of this when I was there. Granted they recently opened but they should have known expectations would be high.

Yes the Eataly is technically in a new building and has a street entrance (888 Boylston St.) but it takes up all of what used to be the Food Court. For some reason, whoever designed the layout thought the unit would fit in that area. In comparison, Boylston St.'s Apple Store is the biggest in the Northeast (5 floors). Eataly should have spanned two full floors. It's pretty obvious they forced everything in that location. A poor location choice. Should've put Eataly in a much larger space clearly.

...If a waiter doesn't know if there are allergens in the menu items, I'd have gotten up and left. You should be able to easly answer "This contains Eggs" or "That doesn't have Nuts". That's asking for a lawsuit. The restaurant and cafe both looked like they were tacked on at the end like "Wait we forgot to add the dinning areas!"

...By the way, I'm pretty sure the Paradise Bakery/Sandwich shop and Legal Sea Foods are reopening in the PRU if I read right.

None of the area businesses who overlap with Eataly are worried because they know it won't last. They should have put a full service restaurant in that space, not a marketplace with a restaurant tacked on. Maybe move Bertucci's or UNO in there. Those would have been guaranteed to last several years and wouldn't have opened at a loss like Eataly is now.
Last edited by Aurabolt on Thu Feb 09, 2017 1:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Anyone been to Eataly yet?

Post by Elli21486 » Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:19 pm

Aurabolt wrote:Yes the Eataly is technically in a new building and has a street entrance (888 Boylston St.) but it takes up all of what used to be the Food Court. For some reason, whoever designed the layout thought the unit would fit in that area. In comparison, Boylston St.'s Apple Store is the biggest in the Northeast (5 floors). Eataly should have spanned two full floors. It's pretty obvious they forced everything in that location. A poor location choice. Should've put Eataly in a much larger space clearly.
Just how big is the Eataly? Is it just in the former Food Court? It was my understanding that the Eataly would take the space of the first and second floor of the new building and spill over into the food court.

Also, took a look at the Facebook reviews and they did have a higher rating there. However, there are still multiple comments of size issue and it being overcrowded. Before I leave though, I will mention that it appears Eataly is now in PR Control mode on both Yelp and Facebook, with newer comments getting a response from them.
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Re: Anyone been to Eataly yet?

Post by Nenie » Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:06 am

So that building where the outside access to the food court use to be is not part of Eataly? So Eataly has only take some of the space of that area and there is also a tall building there? Ok.... can anyone confirm you can purchase a slice of pizza at Eataly? With that option at Eataly I can at least bare.
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Re: Anyone been to Eataly yet?

Post by Elli21486 » Sat Jan 07, 2017 11:42 pm

OK guys, mother nature presented an opportunity to visit Eataly with less people with today's storm. Since I was in Boston anyway taking pictures, I visited the establishment, this is what I saw.

Overall Size: Not Impressed
The Eataly is technically a a 3 story establishment (from what I saw) but the overall size was definitely over-hyped and disappointing.

On the first floor is a cafe (coffee) and that is it. It has some seating but not much with an escalator to go up to the second floor. Size-wise, I will say the entire first floor of the Eataly is definitely bigger than the Dunkin Donuts in the Prudential and I will say it is probably double the size of it. This is all in the new building.

The second floor is where the rest of the Eataly is for now. Walking in there from the Prudential side feels somewhat nostalgic as it still holds the shape of the food court and does take the entire space of the food court and some change (looks like the building was extended as far as the outdoor seating area). The side where the flower shop was is now the entrance and the side where Qdoba was are the registers/exit. Here, I can definitely see why people felt it was small. The main isles are roughly 5 feet with the isles for the shelves are about 3 feet. That really isn't much room to navigate the area, especially if it is crowded. Add to that the fact that there are table sections scattered makes it feel smaller than it actually was. Now, the main seating, which I assume is the restaurant portion, is blocked off with 1 entrance but it open to the room (I believe it was separated from the market by a small wall). It looks like that is where the pizza and pasta are made for general dining. If I was to guess, it can hold up to 75 people but that's just a guess. Personally didn't bother going in as I wasn't going to eat.

As for the third floor, I have no comment on that since it was closed and roped off with a sign saying to check for updates. It did give a hint that it was going to be a restaurant so I am going to guess that the third floor will be the actual restaurant.

What is in the new building then if not the Eataly?
As of now, I only saw 3 stores that are in the new building, Hammer Made, Under Amour, and Tesla.

From the mall corridor, you can enter Hammer Made and Under Amour with Under Amour being 2 floors (2nd and 3rd). There is also a corridor to go into the 888 Building and what looks to be 1 or 2 other stores being built. From the outside (first floor), you can get into Tesla as well as another entrance for the 888 Building. I am not sure whether you can enter Tesla from the first floor at the bottom of the escalator though.

Restrooms
This was completely surprising to me. Yes, the bathrooms in the Eataly is still in the same place but nothing has changed inside the bathroom (well, Men's bathroom anyway.) I would have figured that they will invest in upgrading the restrooms but looks like they didn't even bother.

Grab-N-Go? Maybe no!
The only things I saw that could be considered Grab-N-Go was the coffee, desserts, paninis, salads, and possibly pizza and pasta. In all honesty, not much variety but then again, it is suppose to be strictly Italian. The pizza and pasta are in the possibly because that area of the restaurant has a To-Go counter so I am going to assume that you can call to order and pick-up. However, since it was on the side of the pizza, I am not sure if it can apply to the pasta too.

Pizza, Pizza, and Pizza
Since someone asked about pizza, I thought it would be fitting to answer this here. Can you buy a slice of pizza from Eataly?... NO????

Ok, let me explain a little on this. From the restaurant's pizza, it appears you can only purchase whole pizzas which looks to be somewhere between 8 inches to 10 inches in diameter. That would typically be 6-8 slices. However, I noticed they served single slice "Roman-Style Pizzas" in one of the areas. If you like the thin-crust, this isn't for you as the dough looked to be 1 inch thick. If you want to try it, just be aware that the slices start at ~$4.50 per slice.
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Re: Anyone been to Eataly yet?

Post by Kagomechan » Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:05 am

Aurabolt wrote:
Tue Jan 03, 2017 2:56 pm
...By the way, I'm pretty sure Harvest and Legal Seafoods are reopening across from Wagamama if I read right.
Three restaurants are opening across from Wagamama in February:

Anna's Taqueria
num Pang (Vietnamese sandwiches)
Dig Inn (similar to sweetgreen with a lot of vegan/vegetarian friendly options)

Four of us went to Eataly over the weekend. We went to the sit down restaurant and yes, it's a bit pricey.

The roma pizza/foccaccia counter has pizzas for $8-12.
The sandwich place was also in that range.
The salad place is $8-10.

I grabbed a map while I was there, I just need to scan it in so I can post it here.
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Re: Anyone been to Eataly yet?

Post by Elli21486 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:07 pm

Kagomechan wrote:
Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:05 am
I grabbed a map while I was there, I just need to scan it in so I can post it here.
A map would be quite helpful.
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Re: Anyone been to Eataly yet?

Post by Nemra » Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:24 pm

Kagomechan wrote:
Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:05 am
I grabbed a map while I was there, I just need to scan it in so I can post it here.
no need! there's a map here: https://www.boston.com/culture/food/201 ... d-emporium

is this the same map as yours or did they change the layout around a bit since November?
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Re: Anyone been to Eataly yet?

Post by Elli21486 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:08 pm

Nemra wrote:
Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:24 pm
Kagomechan wrote:
Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:05 am
I grabbed a map while I was there, I just need to scan it in so I can post it here.
no need! there's a map here: https://www.boston.com/culture/food/201 ... d-emporium

is this the same map as yours or did they change the layout around a bit since November?
Don't know if the map was changed but the layout was what I saw when I went there. Focacceria was where I saw the single serving Roma-Style Pizzas.
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Re: Anyone been to Eataly yet?

Post by Nenie » Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:37 am

Thank you all for your investigations. 2 and half more months to go.
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Re: Anyone been to Eataly yet?

Post by Aurabolt » Thu Feb 09, 2017 1:35 pm

At the end of the day, Eataly probably won't be that big of a draw for Congoers. While yes I get it caters to consumers with a bigger budget that your average congoer, that alone won't be enough to sustain it past its lease with the PRU. Same thing happened with the Best Buy that used to be in the area, actually: Best Buy renewed their lease once since sales were good but couldn't renew it again because sales nosedived despite it being an anchor for area businesses.

Eataly was brought in for that role. Again, I will be very surprised their lease is renewed.
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Three restaurants are opening across from Wagamama in February:

Anna's Taqueria
num Pang (Vietnamese sandwiches)
Dig Inn (similar to sweetgreen with a lot of vegan/vegetarian friendly options)
Yes, I remember all 3 of those. I made a typo which I will correct in my previous post but I'm sure the two restaurants being brought back in the Pru from before are Legal Sea Foods and Paradise Bakery/Sandwich shop from the old food court (due to popular demand). They'd just be somewhere else in the mall. The Cheeseboy and Flamers have both apparently also expressed an interest in returning to the PRU or somewhere nearby but those are just rumors as far as I know.
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Re: Anyone been to Eataly yet?

Post by MandaTifa » Thu Feb 09, 2017 2:07 pm

Aurabolt wrote:
Thu Feb 09, 2017 1:35 pm
The Cheeseboy and Flamers have both apparently also expressed an interest in returning to the PRU or somewhere nearby but those are just rumors as far as I know.
Oooh, I can only hope Cheeseboy comes back. :o
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Re: Anyone been to Eataly yet?

Post by Aurabolt » Thu Feb 09, 2017 2:46 pm

I think Cheeseboy has a good chance of coming back, more so given their South Station location closed a few months ago. They still have their Downtown location though.
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Re: Anyone been to Eataly yet?

Post by Selestyl » Thu Feb 09, 2017 6:26 pm

When I went in, it was so crowded! I can't imagine people in cosplay trying to navigate that. The wait was nearly three hours to sit down and eat, too.

Though honestly the gelato is so delicious it might be worth the snare :D
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Re: Anyone been to Eataly yet?

Post by CJ Gren » Sat Feb 11, 2017 2:11 pm

Aurabolt wrote:
Thu Feb 09, 2017 2:46 pm
I think Cheeseboy has a good chance of coming back, more so given their South Station location closed a few months ago. They still have their Downtown location though.
Their downtown location closed months ago. It's becoming Chicken and Rice Guys.

Also, Eataly was still busy today when I went in to get lunch. While it may not be the best for attendees, it's popular with locals and tourists.
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Re: Anyone been to Eataly yet?

Post by Old_School_Anime_Lover02 » Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:07 pm

CJ Gren wrote:
Sat Feb 11, 2017 2:11 pm
Aurabolt wrote:
Thu Feb 09, 2017 2:46 pm
I think Cheeseboy has a good chance of coming back, more so given their South Station location closed a few months ago. They still have their Downtown location though.
Their downtown location closed months ago. It's becoming Chicken and Rice Guys.

Also, Eataly was still busy today when I went in to get lunch. While it may not be the best for attendees, it's popular with locals and tourists.
people are dumb and don't know what "real pizza" is...i can say this because I've been to Italy (Tuscany and the new York Etily) and got really exited when they said they had something like this going to boston...The chocolates looked amazing and i can't wait to get my chocolate fix! Italian chocolates yummy!
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Re: Anyone been to Eataly yet?

Post by LadyTuesday » Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:44 pm

I know a lot of my friends were planning to go in big groups for lunch/dinner, but I just went a couple weeks ago and there is barely any seating! The restaurants have decent sized tables, but those are only for restaurant seating and are VERY pricey. If you want one of the take out items, like pizza, salad, sandwich, etc, you'd have to fight over one of the 8 teeny tiny tables with only 2 seats that are also in a really awkward place between aisles. Not a place that really encourages sticking around to eat.

(double posted in other eataly thread in general discussion)

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Re: Anyone been to Eataly yet?

Post by Aurabolt » Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:42 pm

LadyTuesday wrote:
Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:44 pm
I know a lot of my friends were planning to go in big groups for lunch/dinner, but I just went a couple weeks ago and there is barely any seating! The restaurants have decent sized tables, but those are only for restaurant seating and are VERY pricey. If you want one of the take out items, like pizza, salad, sandwich, etc, you'd have to fight over one of the 8 teeny tiny tables with only 2 seats that are also in a really awkward place between aisles. Not a place that really encourages sticking around to eat.

(double posted in other eataly thread in general discussion)
You said verbatim what I overheard to three mall employees say last night. They all said it was a bad deal bringing in Eataly to the PRU. It might have worked in the Seaport District though. The lease is not expected to be renewed either. So, yeah.
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Re: Anyone been to Eataly yet?

Post by Elli21486 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:37 pm

Aurabolt wrote:
Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:42 pm
LadyTuesday wrote:
Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:44 pm
I know a lot of my friends were planning to go in big groups for lunch/dinner, but I just went a couple weeks ago and there is barely any seating! The restaurants have decent sized tables, but those are only for restaurant seating and are VERY pricey. If you want one of the take out items, like pizza, salad, sandwich, etc, you'd have to fight over one of the 8 teeny tiny tables with only 2 seats that are also in a really awkward place between aisles. Not a place that really encourages sticking around to eat.

(double posted in other eataly thread in general discussion)
You said verbatim what I overheard to three mall employees say last night. They all said it was a bad deal bringing in Eataly to the PRU. It might have worked in the Seaport District though. The lease is not expected to be renewed either. So, yeah.
The problem, and I think this was stated before, is that the Eataly is catered to residents in the area and not the visitors nor employees. It would have made much more sense to put the Eataly in a separate building than the Pru and keep some kind of food venue for mall visitors.
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Re: Anyone been to Eataly yet?

Post by glimmer94 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:37 pm

I live in Boston and went to Eataly in early February. I personally disliked it. I have a service dog, she's a 30 pound poodle so not huge, and people were not making space for her at all. We really could not eat there again unless we had someone go pick up the food for us which is frustrating. They are absolutely not set up to handle the kind of traffic they are going to get from the con. The place is tiny and there is A LOT crammed in there. They do have some quick service counters but there really is not a lot of room to wait in line without running into other parts of the store where people are trying to eat or shop. It is also quite pricey for things like pizza and salads.

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