Saturday, November 12, 2022

Lunch at Eataly during Gala Wedding Weekend Chicago

Gala Wedding Chicago Weekend Getaway - Lunch at Eataly Chicago 

We had a momentus getaway weekend to Chicago to attend the gala wedding celebration of longtime dear Hoosier friends Dennis and Bev M's daughter Megan at the iconic Intercontinental Hotel on Grand Michigan Avenue Magnificent Mile.

The ceremony was held in King Arthur's Court hall that was originally the historic Medinah Men's Athletic Club, back during the Roaring 20's, when it was the club's private smoking lounge. It features Edwardian wood paneling and an illuminated stain glassed wall and hand painted ceiling panels, overlooking Chicago's Michigan Avenue Miracle Mile. 

The reception celebration was held in the magnificent Renaissance ballroom on the 5th floor featuring ornate French King Louis XVI design, 22-foot ceilings with intricate hand-painted beams, crystal chandeliers, and ornate wood and stone carvings, dinner and dancing, with views spanning up and down the Magnificent Mile. 

The wedding festivities spanned Friday evening through to Sunday noon brunch in the Tower Suite. 

On Saturday afternoon, we trekked over and lunched at Eataly Chicago, one of our favorites and most vibrant high energy experiences in Chicago, with all things Italian - wine, eateries, restaurants, market, - dining, fooding and shopping.

The name Eataly is a fusion of Eat and Italy for “Eating Italian” which encompasses the history and the food culture of Italy and all aspects of its cuisine.The first Eataly opened in Torino, Italy, in an old vermouth factory in 2007, and has since expanded to more than 35 locations throughout Italy and the world.

Explore All Eataly Locations

While it may be a shadow of the original US Eataly on 23rd Street in the Flatiron neighborhood in New York, Eataly Chicago is a fun adventure and one of our favorite lunches in Chicago, almost, but not as much so as Eataly Flatiron NY.

Eataly is an Italian marketplace that features an array of several dining options, cafes, counters, restaurants, wine bars, a wine shop with over 1,200 labels, a cheese shop, Pasta Pantry, Bakery, Italian Ice, chocolates, meat and fish markets, Italian specialties of all kinds, private events space, even a cooking school.

We dined in the main restaurant and ordered a Kale salad, an Italian Meatball starter and Brinzano fresh fish entree, with accompanying selection of WBTG, wines by the glass. 

The Veal and Pork Meatball dish with red sauce and cheese, was the most succulent and flavorful I've every had, which we paired with a Chianti Classico Corleone Sangiovese.

We had the Brinzano white fish whole and it was succulent, served minimalist style with a side dish of baked then fried potatoes that were also delicious. 

With the fish course we tasted by the glass the Montenidoli Vernaccia Di San Gimignano 2020

We had this Chianti Classico Tuscan Sanviovese with the meatballs. 

Tenuta di Carleone, Chianti, Classico, Tuscany, Sangiovese 2019

Tenuta Carleone di Castiglioni
dates back to the year 1078 when monks first founded it in Chianti, named for the village of Castiglioni meaning “small castle.”
Consequently the winery “Tenuta Carleone di Castiglioni” named after the small village of “Castiglioni” (small castle). The property located in the heart of the Chianti region is covered with wooded hills, vineyards planted to the native varietal Sangiovese vines and olive trees. It was operated as a farm over the centuries, not developed as a winery until Tenuta di Carleone was established in 2012.

Austrian entrepeneur Karl Egger and his family had been visiting the region of Tuscany for decades and were most fond of the small corner, just outside the medieval town of Radda in Chianti between the cities of Siena and Florence.

Karl and his sister Kristine Egger began to restore the ruins of the old Castiglioni castle, just outside of Radda in 2012.
They farm the estate that consists of just under 50 acres of small plots nestled among wooded hills, small streams and aged olive trees. The whole property, which covers an area of approximately 240 acres, comprises of wooded hills, small rivers and fertile plains. Nestled in between there are around 50 acres of mainly Sangiovese vineyards and some olive trees, some of them older than 60 years. 

The Egger Family has renovated the beautiful “Castiglioni” hamlet with its old chapel and the nearby farmhouse of “Pian Vecchio”. Some vines were planted in the 1970’s, with others more recently established or replanted. There is also a typical tuscan farmhouse called “Pian Vecchio” (old plain) on this land, where the family recently planted some white

They teamed up with winemaker Sean O’Callaghan in 2012 to operate the winery. Sean moved to Chianti in 1991 after studying winemaking in Germany. He was head winemaker at a renowned estate for 25 years and upon leaving, joined Eggers to pursue his dream at Tenuta di Carleone. Although not a native, Sean has a special affinity with the Sangiovese grape and a unique knowledge and understanding of the region.

makes Sangiovese in the classic way, with nothing added to the wine, grappa, or cold-pressed olive oils. They produce several labels of estate grown Sangiovese, Il Guercio, Uno, Chianti Classico, and a classic Sangiovese grappa named “Zero.”

They produce the wine in two garages while they are currently renovating an old terra cotta factory to serve as the new cantina. Sean strive as winemaker to producing Sangiovese based wines that are a balance between structure and fruit. 

Tenuta di Carleone, Chianti, Classico, Tuscany, Sangiovese 2019

Winemakers' Tasting Notes: "The Carleone Chianti Classico is a notably fresh take, with red fruit on the nose and palate, notes of red cherry and strawberry. Nice grip with finely textured tannins for excellent drinkability."

“The Winery is right in the middle of Chianti Classico, within the original borders of the Chianti Storico. So we decided to honour the area and make a 100% Sangiovese that expresses our little corner of Radda in Chianti”.

Bright Ruby colored, medium bodied, expressive, polished,
raspberry, plum & cherry red fruits with notes of herbs, tobacco and spice with nice acidity and soft smooth tannins on a moderate finish. 

RM 89 points.


Montenidoli Tradizionale Vernaccia Di San Gimignano 2020 

The estate dates back to Roman times, located just outside of the famed tower city of San Gimignano on the western border of the Chianti zone in Tuscany. The house of Montenidoli was first built by the Etuscans who planted olive trees and the rootstock of their early vines.

Montenidoli Tradizionale
Vernaccia Di San
Gimignano 2020
The Montenidoli estate consists of 500 acres of woods on the hill overlooking San Gimignano, in front of the Chianti Classico, between Florence and Siena. Elisabetta and her husband bought the property in the 60’s, renovating it from its abandoned state. 

When they arrived, in 1965, the land was abandoned and the woods had taken over the fields, the olive trees were running wild, the vines were covered by the bushes. They set upon restoring the property from the soil to the vines. They pruned only in winter when the vegetation was dormant and returned all the cuttings to the ground, fermented to make a compost to go back to fertilize the plants. 

This label is 100% grape varietal cultivated and produced in accordance with Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG appellation rules. It is called “Tradizionale,” a throwback to the old methods of vinifying Vernaccia, which were done like a red wine. 

Winemaker notes: "Not only is this Vernaccia mineral-forward and complex, the skin contact it undergoes imparts texture, concentration, and body." 

"A classic Tuscan white, structured though delicate and elegant white.  It has aromas of hay, white pepper and almond, the palate is medium bodied with notes of citrus, dried herbs, a slight nuttiness and great minerality."

Straw colored, medium light bodied, hints of delicate pear and citrus with stone fruit, hints of almond nut and white pepper on a crisp mineral finish.

RM 89 points.