Any parent knows that taking kids out to a restaurant is anything BUT relaxing. You worry about them being quiet, staying seated, waiting patiently, actually eating the expensive meal you ordered…the list goes on and on. Well, I am here to encourage you to pack your diaper bag, grab your kids of any and all ages, and head out to dine at one of Chicago’s most popular restaurants, Eataly Chicago. Why? Because it addresses all of the things that stresses parents out so that they can actually enjoy a glass of wine and conversation about things other than sippy cups and naptime schedules.
Thanks to Eataly Chicago for hosting my family and I for a complimentary meal. All opinions are my own.
So why is Eataly Chicago such a magical place for families? Because it is a feast for the eyes…and the stomach. There are olive oil fountains, gelato and cannoli bars, fresh farm stands…even blocks of cheese that are larger than any preschooler in Chicagoland. I mean, even a ride up and down the escalator was an exciting adventure for my boys. And to top it off, the smells wafting from all of the different stations will undoubtedly make your mouth water and stomach growl.
Once you are done looking around the vast displays of treats and goods located on the multiple floors of Eataly Chicago, take a break by indulging in the new children’s menu at their most popular restaurant, La Pizza and La Pasta. While parents get to choose from delicious handmade pizzas and pastas, kids also get to take a culinary adventure Sundays through Thursdays through their interactive children’s menu. Kids under ten receive a menu to color in their preferred pizza shape (bunny, heart, butterfly, or fish) and toppings (sausage, mushrooms, basil, ham, salami, zucchini). Five to ten minutes later, their whimsical and personalized pizza appears.
My boys absolutely loved that they had so much choice over their meal, especially my picky eater who absolutely HATES cheese on his pizza. There was a bit of a snafu with his order, but within minutes his perfect pizza arrived, sans cheese and in the adorable fish shape that he ordered. The Neopolitan style pizza crust was a hit with my boys and generous enough for leftovers the next day, which made my life so much easier the next day. The price of $9 was just right for the amount of food provided, although we do wish there were child friendly drinks available (our choices were restricted to Italian sodas, which we passed on).
As for the rest of our meal, my husband enjoyed the Tartufella pizza (buffalo mozzarella, black truffle cream, sausage and basil) while I swooned over the Pappardelle pasta with the most flavorful braised brisket ragu I have ever tasted. Additionally, our entire family shared the fresh Insalata di Rucola, consisting of arugula, lemon vinaigrette, and parmesen cheese. And of course, we both enjoyed a glass of wine while catching up and the boys busily coloring their menus and devouring their pizzas. Our waiter was so kind and knowledgeable and gave us wonderful suggestions on not only the most popular dishes, but also his personal favorites.
While looking around the restaurant, we saw that we were not the only family enjoying a meal together…and for good reason. The restaurant is loud and bright, two things I’m always on the hunt for when choosing a family friendly restaurant, and the service is wonderfully quick. We didn’t feel rushed at all and spent the perfect amount of time enjoying our meal as a family, but if your kids get a bit squirrely, take a few laps around Eataly and talk about what type of gelato you are going to enjoy for dessert.
Two last things to be aware of when dining and exploring Eataly Chicago: ditch the stroller (baby wearing is so much easier) and make reservations. Because no matter how efficient the service is, no toddler likes to wait to eat…speaking from experience of course.
Hope you enjoy your trip to Eataly Chicago. Caio!
Don’t miss a post…follow me on Blog Lovin’.