Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018 | 2 a.m.
The NoMad Hotel, Restaurant and Bar components have arrived and the Britney Spears and Lady Gaga residencies at Park Theater have been announced, but there’s still one very big piece remaining before the Park MGM resort renovation is complete and it will finally hit the Strip on Dec. 27.
Eataly Las Vegas, a 40,000-square-foot culinary destination and Italian marketplace fronting Las Vegas Boulevard, marks the sixth U.S. location of the Italy-based food and restaurant company Eataly, which has more than 35 stores worldwide. Its location at the resort formerly known as Monte Carlo, adjacent to The Park and close to T-Mobile Arena, makes it perhaps the most prominent piece of the renovation and Eataly’s international reputation for an authentic, high-quality experience is sure to attract Vegas visitors from all over the world to eat, drink and shop.
But Eataly officials are hoping to attract Las Vegas locals, too. “We are integrating our retail store and restaurants further than ever before to create a more immersive and interactive experience,” said Nicola Farinetti, CEO of Eataly USA. “We can’t wait to share our country’s delicious cuisine and culture with the Las Vegas community.”
The Las Vegas Sun took a tasty tour of the massive marketplace on Tuesday. Here’s what you need to know about Eataly Las Vegas:
You can create your own experience. Eataly isn’t a restaurant but it has restaurants, including an all-day bar concept serving coffee and pastries, cocktails and panini and a specialty menu afterhours; an 80-seat fine dining, butcher-centric destination called Manzo that will open on Jan. 23; and a pasta and pizza nook. But you can skip those and make the rounds of many market-style vendor stations for fresh fish and meat cooked to order, pasta made fresh right in front of your eyes, Roman-style pizza and much more. You can order a dry-aged steak grilled to your specifications and share it with your friends at a communal table, or you can buy the same steak, take it home and cook it yourself. It’s big, bright and comfortable and you can spend an entire day snacking your way through it all or shopping for that perfect bottle of wine to go with that steak. There’s nothing quite like it anywhere in Las Vegas.
It’s all about quality. Authenticity and sharing the best possible product are the core values at Eataly. There will be more than 100 types of salumi and more than 300 types of cheese, and the ingredients and items go beyond just getting the best of everything — some of these foods will be available for the first time in America here at Eataly Las Vegas. And the woman in charge of it all is veteran Vegas chef Nicole Brisson, who previously led the B&B restaurant empire on the Strip.
You can snack on the Strip. The strip of sweets shops, the Lavazza coffee spot and the bakery serving specialty breads and pizzas all have service windows lining Las Vegas Boulevard, so Strip pedestrians will be teased to come in and taste more. Wait until you try the pistachio gelato.
There are unique features for Las Vegas. The Eataly team is still working out which parts and pieces will be open 24 hours, but there will definitely be around-the-clock action at Eataly, and no other location does it. There's also the Chef's Table, a mini-kitchen with countertop seating where you can sit, customize your meal and watch a skilled cook prepare it in front of your eyes, or you can rent out the space for a group cooking class and wander around the marketplace shopping for the ingredients for your masterpiece meal.
There’s traditional street food. One of the “kiosks” expected to be very popular is a street food-themed station serving three favorites: a simple yet brilliant prime rib sandwich on light, crackly bread; fresh-made burrata, fior di latte, mozzarella and stracciatella cheeses; and lightly fried vegetables and seafood known as fritto misto. It could be habit forming.
You’ll want to take it home with you. Though you can order fish and meat and other foods from those booths, there is a sprawling, dedicated retail area with more than 5,000 different products for sale, including wine, cheese, pasta, olive oil, sauces, chocolate and everything else you can imagine. All Eataly locations are market-focused, but the Vegas location switches it up to accommodate tourists and locals.