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  • solarastills

Meh-taly

Updated: Jul 23, 2022



If you haven't been up to date on the latest buzz of the Bay Area, Eataly has opened it's first location in NorCal, at the Westfield Valley Fair mall in San Jose. Eataly currently has 9 locations in the US and over 35 locations internationally. For those who haven't visited an Eataly destination before, it is a multi-level Italian shopping and dining experience.



The new Silicon Valley Eataly has 3 levels. The first floor has a cafe with coffee and pastries, a gelateria, and a pizza and panini cafe. The second level is all about wine, with walls lined with all different kinds of wines and a small sitting area for wine tasting. The third floor hosts 2 sit-down restaurants and a marketplace to buy both fresh and processed Italian food and produce. Surprisingly, even though all 3 floors were crowded, there were no lines at the cash register, making us think that folks were mostly browsing the aisles and hesitant to splurge on comparable items they can be found at a local Trader Joes or Whole Foods.


Having been to the Eataly in Chicago, we were interested in checking out their newest location close to home. Much to our surprise, we realized if you've been to one Eataly, you've been to them all. The restaurants, cafes, and market were all essentially the same at both locations, including the names, foods, and products. As of July 2022, reservations are hard to come by! The wait time for walk-ins for either of the two sit-down restaurants is around 2 hours on a weeknight. We booked our table 4 weeks in advance for a Thursday 6:30pm seating at La Pizza and La Pasta restaurant.

 

>> Got a question about Eataly that you need answered quickly? DM me on Instagram @SolaraStills and I’ll be happy to help! I only accept DMs from followers, so hit the follow button before sending.

 

Once seated, the service was very slow and our waiter was incredibly forgetful. We had to ask him 4 times just to receive water once we were seated. In fact, the water came out after the food did! We would have been understanding of the slow service had this been a busy day, but there were multiple empty tables all around us and plenty of staff walking around the restaurant. Our table was near the bar and we couldn't help but notice that drinks would sit for anywhere from 5-15 minutes waiting for a waiter to retrieve them and deliver them to their table. The meal started off with complimentary bread and olive oil that had a slightly bitter taste.



We ordered Arancini, fried risotto balls, for an appetizer. They were lukewarm when they were served and did not come with a dipping sauce that traditionally accompanies this dish at most restaurants. The filling



was decent but lacked much flavor.

For the main course we ordered an eggplant pizza, a pesto pasta, and a mushroom pasta. All of the food came out extremely quickly, probably within 5 minutes of ordering. The pizza was the first to arrive, even before the appetizer. It was topped with fresh parmigiana and mozzarella cheese and eggplant. The eggplant was very flavorful and the pizza was cooked well, but the pizza sauce was a bit bland. It was a very thin crust pizza with about 6 slices.



The pesto pasta was cooked al dente, which our family wasn't a fan of, but the pesto sauce tasted good. Unfortunately, while we had asked for fresh vegetables to be added to the pastas, they said that the menus were set and they were unable to accommodate any modifications other than allergies. Combined with how fast the dishes came out, it begs to ask how made-to-order the dishes actually were.



The mushroom pasta was definitely the better of the two plates of pasta. It was made with pappardelle noodles and fresh mushrooms with a buttery, flavorful sauce. This may have been the better of the 3 entrees we ordered.



We decided to skip dessert or drinks, as we were frustrated with the service and disappointed with the experience, despite waiting for almost a month for a table.

Overall, for the price, the quantity was good but the quality was disappointing. We don't know about the other restaurant at Eataly, but La Pizza & La Pasta was definitely overhyped merely because its new. If you want Italian food, save your time and money and go to Olive Garden! This restaurant receives a measly 2 Solara Stars out of 5!!!

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