Eataly USA CEO Nicola Farinetti Wants You To Savor Italian Cuisine And Culture At Eataly Las Vegas

Eataly Las Vegas and Park MGM exterior.
Eataly Las Vegas and Park MGM exterior.

Photo Credit: Francisco Lupini/Eataly USA

Natural light is rare and clocks even rarer at casino-resorts on the Las Vegas Strip.

That’s just one of many reasons why Eataly Las Vegas at Park MGM is a breath of fresh air. Opening to the public on December 27, the 40,000 square-foot culinary destination is spacious and airy with soaring ceilings, tons of windows, and yes, even a clock.

Not that you won’t lose track of time among two restaurants, one cafe, three bars, an educational chef’s table, a marketplace with six fresh counters, several take-away eateries and 5,000-plus retail products (2,000 of which were never before available in Las Vegas). Open 24 hours a day, there’s plenty to do, see and learn, whether grabbing a bite of pizza alla pala, admiring the skills of an expert pastaio, shopping for and sampling imported Italian wine, ogling the meat in the marketplace or spinning three times for good luck on a replica of Milano’s iconic bull.

Gran Caffè Milano and the Milano mosaic bull.
Gran Caffè Milano and the Milano mosaic bull.

Photo Credit: Francisco Lupini/Eataly USA

Though Eataly now calls Las Vegas home, Eataly USA CEO Nicola Farinetti tells Haute Living he wasn’t always convinced that Sin City was a winning bet for the culinary attraction.

“I remember coming off the plane with them [business partners Adam Saper and Alex Saper], coming here the first time ever, saying ‘guys, we’re never going to open in Vegas, I’ll never be in Vegas,’ because I didn’t understand the concept,” he says. “Once I understood the [Park MGM] project that they [MGM Resorts International] were doing, we all together in a second agreed that it was the perfect occasion for us.”

Park MGM, formerly the Monte Carlo, has quickly evolved into a world-class resort with offerings like boutique hotel NoMad Las VegasChef Daniel Humm and Will Guidara’s Nomad Restaurant, star-powered residencies at Park Theater, Roy Choi’s Best Friend, Houston Hospitality’s On the Record and now Eataly Las Vegas.

Chocolates at Eataly's Venchi Counter.
Chocolates at Eataly’s Venchi Counter.

Photo Credit: Francisco Lupini/Eataly USA

Located on the Las Vegas Strip as the grand entrance to Park MGM and steps away from the T-Mobile Arena, Farinetti likens the foot traffic for Eataly Las Vegas to that at Times Square in New York or the Colosseum in Rome.

“In front of the store … there’s going to be 25 million people walking every year,” he says. “We feel confident that with our brand were going to get a good portion of them to come in.”

The son of Eataly founder Oscar Farinetti, he aims to spread the love of food by delivering a true taste of Italian cuisine and culture to Las Vegas tourists and locals. He believes too many people don’t think about the food they put in their bodies and hopes that Eataly will fix that disconnect by showcasing high-quality, sustainable, enjoyable food.

He also hopes you will “eat and have fun, not eat because you need to eat.”

La Salumeria: Cheesemonger & Kitchen.
La Salumeria: Cheesemonger & Kitchen.

Photo Credit: Francisco Lupini/Eataly USA

Eataly CFO Adam Saper adds that from the company’s first Nutella bar to the fine dining restaurant Manzo (opening in January), Eataly has something for everyone. It’s even a great place to stop and catch up on work with an espresso from Caffe Lavazza, biscotti (and the smell of fresh bread) from La Pasticceria or a classic Negroni from one of the bars. Additionally, Eataly Las Vegas is the first location with a Cucina del Mercato (Kitchen of the Market) where you can shop for (and eat) counter-to-table fish, beef, cheese and more.

He also highlights the uniqueness of Eataly’s interactive Chef’s Table, which can be booked for private groups up to 12. “You have a chef and you can go around the marketplace and choose whatever you want and have him cook it for you and cook it in front of you,” says Adam Saper, “so you’re enjoying this bespoke meal with all the incredible ingredients in the middle of Eataly.”

Longtime Las Vegas chef Nicole Brisson, former executive chef at Carnevino at the Palazzo Las Vegas and an opener at Wynn Las Vegas serves as executive chef of Eataly Las Vegas.

Eataly Las Vegas has three bars with classic Italian cocktails, wine and spirits.
Eataly Las Vegas has three bars with classic Italian cocktails, wine and spirits.

Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Francisco Lupini/Eataly USA

Eataly has six locations across the United States and 37 across the globe, each is unique in its own way. All aim to enlighten, educate and entertain guests by providing the best food and beverage options from Italy’s 20 regions and around the world.

Eataly COO Alex Saper considers Eataly Las Vegas the most impressive and unique Eataly so far. “The structure itself is pretty incredible,” he says, noting that it’s rare that the team gets to construct the structure of an Eataly. The design is based on old European markets with metalwork imported from Italy. The atmosphere is inspired by the dynamic demographic and anything-can-happen attitude of Las Vegas tourists.

“This whole interaction between the market and the restaurants is much more difficult in places where people want to be in and out, just get their steak and leave,” he explains. “Here you’re really able to talk to people who want to be here for three hours … and have some fun.”

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