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Eataly Toronto Features Plenty of Italy’s Other Great Export – Design

High-end Italian marketplace-meets-restaurant Eataly joins Toronto’s Mink Mile

By Evan Pavka

Eataly Toronto, the 40th location for the luxury grocer and the latest addition to the remodelled Bay-Bloor intersection, is a sprawling 4,645-square-metre, three-storey complex devoted to the best of Italian cuisine. And as with the country, there’s far more here than just good food – there’s equally great design, too. That’s thanks, in part, to local architecture powerhouse Giannone Petricone.

On the ground floor, Il Gran Caffè Illy offers
high-quality coffee, snacks and aperitivo,
 while below, the concourse level’s 36-seat 
Birroteca – anchored by a substantial wood 
bar clad in untreated copper panels – sees 
the retailer pair up with world-class Junction-
based brewery Indie Alehouse to serve
 exclusive craft beers made using ingredients inspired by the market above. Linking the floors is a mural celebrating Toronto’s multiculturalism by photographer Oliviero Toscani of Benetton campaign fame.

Crowning the complex, the third-floor market, with its circular layout, is a journey through Italy in miniature: an illuminated bar with an interior patio dubbed La Piazza for after-work drinks, a seafood-centric restaurant with steel blue banquette seating, a gelato and cannoli station – the list goes on. Riffing on the Old-World influence throughout, a rustic bread oven custom-built for the location and refined art deco–inspired fixtures combine with a coordinated tile scheme and warm wood accents to conceptually connect these programs (and regional cuisines) together.

Indeed, from the sleek lighting to the cooking school by Ernestomeda and two gilded pizza ovens straight from Napoli, the space “includes more pieces of Italy than simply food,” according to Eataly’s global CEO, Nicola Farinetti. It’s a feast for the eyes as much as for the stomach. EATALY.CA; GPAIA.COM

Click here to read our initial take on Eataly Toronto.