With the in-laws visiting from the UK, a trip to 798 Art District was called for. Every time we visit 798, there are new stores and gallery’s to be explored, it really is a great place to pick up some unique gifts for those back home. After a couple of hours strolling around the lanes, admiring a vast array of art work, and spending too much money on ceramics, it was time to find somewhere for lunch. Eatalia serves up authentic Italian food, using good quality ingredients, and is the perfect lunch-time spot.
To start, we devoured some of Eatalia’s home-made focaccia bread (RMB 18). It smelt divine, all rosemary, basil, and sundried tomatoes. The crust was rich with olive oil, sprinkled with sea salt, the inside beautifully soft with a perfect airy texture. It was one of the best focaccia’s I had ever eaten. Dipped into the generous servings of olive oil and rich pesto, I could happily have foregone my main course and eaten half a loaf of this beautiful bread.
For mains, we ordered two pasta dishes, the Lasagna di Manzo (RMB 70) and the Penne al Tonno (RMB 58). The robustly savory meat sauce of the beef lasagna, contrasted well with the rich and creamy béchamel sauce, and just a hint of cheese on top. The star of the show was, rightly so, the thin and perfectly cooked sheets of fresh pasta. The pasta in the penne dish was cooked perfect al-dente. Smothered with a rich cherry tomato, tuna, and olive sauce, it was a truly delicious dish.
The rest of the group opted for pizzas. The Marinara (RMB 45/88/176) was topped with mozzarella, capers, olives, and wonderfully fresh and salty anchovies. The Ruestica (RMB48/99/198) combined mozzarella with cherry tomatoes, parmigiana, plenty of parma ham, and finished with ruculo. The Salsiccia (RMB 42/85/169) is topped with slices of herby Italian sausage, onions, and mozzarella. The small pizza size is a generous serving for one, the medium easily feeds 2-3 people, and the large is exactly that.
The toppings on every Eatalia pizza incorporate good quality fresh ingredients. Their pizza base is an authentic Italian base – thin and crispy, achieving the perfect balance with the softer garnishes. Eatalia serves up wonderful Italian cuisine, in a great 798 setting.
Daily 11am-10pm.7 Qixing Xijie, 798 Art District, 2 Jiuxianqiao Lu, Chaoyang District (5978 9813) www.eataliagroup.com 朝阳区酒仙桥路2号798艺术区七星西街7号
beijingkids Shunyi Correspondent Sally Wilson moved to Beijing in 2010 from the UK with her husband and son. Her daughter was born here in 2011 and both her kids keep her happily busy. In her spare time, Sally loves to stroll through Beijing’s hutongs and parks. She is a (most of the time) keen runner and loves reading: books, magazines, news, and celeb websites – anything really. Sally is also a bit of a foodie and loves trying out new restaurants.
Photos: Sally Wilson, courtesy of Eatalia