It’s here, San Jose. After years of anticipation, Eataly Silicon Valley finally opened its doors at Westfield Valley Fair on Thurs., June 16. This is the first NorCal location of the global brand + is one of the fruits of Valley Fair’s recent $1 billion expansion. 🏗️
We were honored to attend the private pasta “ribbon” cutting ceremony — alongside Mayor Sam Liccardo, Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor, Eataly executives + Italian dignitaries. Umm, who are we?
While there, we also got a personal tour with Eataly’s Global VP, Dino Borri + one of Eataly USA’s business partners, Adam Saper. We tried tons of delicious local + in-house products, met with Bay Area retail partners, and had a delicious dinner at one of their in-demand restaurants — La Pizza e La Pasta. 👌
We couldn’t keep a visit like this to ourselves — read on for our inside look + food highlights.
👀 So much to see + do
For the uninitiated, Eataly is so much more than a store — the three-story, 45,000-sqft emporium includes:
- Grab-and-go pizza, coffee + gelato
- Space for cooking classes
- A store with over 1,000 Italian wines + spirits
- A full market with a bakery, fishmonger, and butcher
- Two sit-down restaurants
🇮🇹 Italy — by way of the Bay Area
So wait, where are the products coming from? Adam assured us that Eataly is less about importing Italian food + more about importing “Italian know-how.”
In fact, less than 30% of Eataly Silicon Valley’s products are exported from Italy — the majority are sourced locally including:
- In-house mozzarella, stracciatella, and burrata cheese made from Bay Area-based Straus Family Creamery milk
- Freshly caught striped shrimp from Half Moon Bay
- Heirloom tomatoes from Green Bee Farm in Sunol
- Salume from Journeyman Meat Co. in Sonoma
🍝 Buon appetitio
It wouldn’t be right to talk about Eataly without talking about the flavors. During our tour we tried so much food, but we want to highlight La Pizza e La Pasta — one of Eataly’s two sit-down restaurants. Here are our recs, for your next date night or inaugural outing:
To drink, we’d recommend an Aperol Spritz ($15) — this popular Italian cocktail is refreshing + bitter and is best enjoyed in the late afternoon.
For appetizers, we chose the Bruschetta al Pomodoro ($10) + the Prosciutto e Burrata ($22). The 22-month-aged prosciutto and housemade burrata was simply divine — perfectly balanced despite being a little messy to eat.
On to the mains. We opted for a dried pasta, the Vesuvio Al Pesto ($19), lightly-dressed with an enjoyable bouncy texture — and a fresh pasta, the Pappardelle Al Ragù Di Funghi ($24), which had a rich, umami flavor and a soft, pillowy texture that melted in the mouth.
Think that was all? Think again. The Panna Cotta dessert ($10) was a highlight of the meal. It’s just-set texture combined well with the juicy, fresh fruit + crunchy almond cake topping. It was cool, refreshing, and had a delicious, creamy, eggy flavor.
🗓️ Planning your trip
If you’re excited for your trip to Eataly (and maybe drooling a little) — here’s a few essentials to know:
- A few areas are not operating at 100% quite yet. But, in the next few weeks, we’ll see more than twice the flavors of gelato and a new meat + cheese counter.
- Cooking classes, including Sip & Learn events, will start later this summer.
- Terra — Eataly’s rooftop restaurant + bar is in high demand. The earliest reservation available (as of Fri., June 17) was in August, so book sooner than later.