I am sure by now that you have all heard the plans announced last week by Eataly that they are planning to open stores in DC and and LA by the end of 2012. The Italian food and drink behemoth chain is reminiscent of a collection of nation-states, each named for a famous Italian culinary tradition: La Pizza e Pasta, Le Vedure, La Pizza, Manzo, I Panini, Pasticceria, Birreria, and of course, La Gelateria.
While this should be exciting news for a city with an ever-burgeoning population of Italophiles, DCist.com explains their "muted" response with evidence of Eataly's lackluster beer and wine menu. While they are giving the benefit of the doubt to the abundance of specialty foods at Eataly, they also question its need, given the influx of superb restaurants like Fiola and Graffiato.
Although, the October 2010, New York Times' appraisal of the New York location applauded the wine selection at Manzo, Eataly's only sit-down restaurant that takes reservations. They also spoke highly of the food at Il Pesce and La Pasta.
One of the looming questions that will remain until its opening here in DC, will this location be the same sort of congested circus as its American flagship store in the Big Apple? Let's hope not.