Thursday, I wished I had learned to speak Italian because….I followed a friend’s suggestion and visited the new Eataly Las Vegas at the Park MGM Las Vegas.
Eataly is one of 37 Italian marketplaces around the world, and the Las Vegas location in the former Monte Carlo Las Vegas, is indeed a food wonderland…with groceries, restaurants, bakeries, bars, street foods and demonstrations… all within walking distance. The products are Italian, and a number of signs are in Italian as well. “Guessing” at what the words on signs meant can be frustrating…all the while being rather romantic as well.
The Las Vegas Eataly is big: 40,000 square feet on two levels. The establishment features six different fresh food counters and has a theme, “Anything is Possible”. Hours are generally 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. with some exceptions.
Chef Mario Batali was formerly the marketing face of Eataly, but he is no longer associated with the chain following sexual misconduct allegations. Cookbook author Lidia Bastianich, an owner of Eataly, now represents the company and has her products on Eataly’s shelves.
So much is going on at Eataly, it is difficult to describe. One can buy groceries there. One can buy food and have an open-air meal at tables set up for dining. One can drink at a couple of lovely bars. One can actually go inside restaurants that are part of Eataly. One can order and take out. One can simply wander in and watch cooks and chefs do their thing. For the curious, cooking classes and tours are also available. The meat, fish and cheeses look delicious; the pastries give the impression they long to be with you; the street foods, I was told by one customer, are worth a try and the wines are everywhere.
The attached video visits many of the corners of Eataly, I recommend a personal visit, however, to get a real sense of scope. Bringing along an appetite is probably recommended as well. AND…
Once you have walked enough and eaten enough, a visit two doors down from Eataly isn’t a bad idea either. That is the location of the “Haus of Gaga”, a new store built and outfitted to take advantage of the fact that Lady Gaga appears periodically at the nearby Park Theater. The store is mostly a museum showing off Gaga’s various outfits lit in changing colorful hues. The store also fetures a video and background music (by Gaga) and T-shirt souvenirs.
When I visited Gaga’s “Haus”, I had no trouble entering and walking around, but a sales gal told me that on the evenings of Gaga’s concerts, lines to enter the museum snake through the casino. If Gaga herself stops by, all kinds of chaos breaks out as well and.. lots of t-shirts are sold.