A hoarding in Dubai Mall alerted us to the fact that US superchef Mario Batali is bringing his Eataly concept to the UAE.
Occupying the slot once taken by Organic Foods and Café, the hoarding says the outlet will open in the autumn. We hope that means Batali – a former Iron Chef – will make the trip out here.
But we can’t wait that long to tell you what could be inside, if the chef’s New York City outlet is anything to go by.
Eataly NYC is an Italian food market with seven restaurants inside, which cook what is on sale in the market. That means there’s fish and meat restaurants, a restaurant specializing in vegetables, and pizza and pasta outlets. It gets rave reviews (especially for its daily roast meats) and is perennially packed.
An announcement by the local franchise partner, Azadea (they run Butcher Shop and Grill and Paul cafes) says Eataly Dubai “combines the elements of a gourmet farmer's market, a food hall and restaurants, all combined with an educational element throughout. Eataly claims to be the reference in Italian food, boasting the tagline ‘Made in Italy’ - in line with their manifest ‘we cook what we sell and sell what we cook’.”
And if you need confirmation that it works: Batali has opened several outlets in Italy – and if they like it, it’s got to be authentic.