While in Chicago this past August attending the Chicago area Veggie Fest, my friend and I stopped in to Eataly, an Italian themed market and restaurant in downtown Chicago. This place is relatively new, and it is a European style market featuring high end goods, as well as several mini restaurants and tasting areas. If any of you have been to KaDeWe in Berlin, you will know exactly what I mean.
On the first floor, desserts and fresh produce are featured. There is even a nutella station, where you can load up on any and all of your nutella needs. Upstairs, there is a butcher, and and cheese seller, which I bypassed for the wine and beer tasting stations and mini restaurants. As you walk around there are several themed restaurants, featuring many of the products sold at Eataly. My friend and I settled on the veggie inclined place, which clearly was the best choice, in my opinion.
They had several vegetarian options on the menu, and one vegan main course option. At first, I wanted a delicious sounding cauliflower bake, and was disappointed when I found out I couldn’t remove the cheese from the dish. So, I went with the boring sounding vegan dish, and receiving my dish, and tasting the first bite, I was delighted! I had local sauteed vegetables, with a grain salad. The flavors were surprisingly complex, and the vegetables were crisp and delicious. My friend also accidentally ate vegan, and ordered a mushroom dish with bread. I really do not like mushrooms, but I tried one anyway, and it was the best mushroom I had ever tasted. Bellissimo!
For dessert, I headed down to the nutella station, and had some nutella on bread. This trip was before I went all the way vegan, so I was more than happy with the dessert selections available. I think they did have some dark chocolates that were vegan, but mostly, the choices for dessert were vegetarian friendly, as desserts usually are.
I would highly recommend Eataly if you are in Chicago, or in New York City, as I hear there is also one there. It was a nice place, with a European feel, and a great place to buy some unique food themed souvenirs as well.
Did you eat vegan or vegetarian in Chicago? Where did you eat?