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Eataly Sets Sail With Two Cruise Ship Restaurants

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Photo: MSC Cruises

Ahoy, mateys, Eataly is going to sea. MSC Cruises has announced their forthcoming ship, the MSC Preziosa, will boast two Eataly restaurants when it is christened in March: the Eataly Restaurant and the Ristorante Italia. Eataly will be the more casual of the two, with 80 seats and "will mirror Eataly's original concept" at lunch and dinner. Ristorante Italia will have 24 seats and will serve "a different ultra-high-quality 'table d'hôte' menu every night." The partnership is with the Turin-based grocery chain; Joe Bastianich and Mario Batali, owners of the New York City location of the chain, appear to be uninvolved.

Here are some fun facts about the MSC Preziosa: she was originally built by the fourth son of Muammar Gaddafi, complete with a 120 ton aquarium that was to house six sharks. The Gaddafi regime fell before the ship was completed, and MSC bought her and is now completing her. (But they didn't keep the shark tank.) Also, she will boast the Vertigo, the world's longest cruise ship waterslide. Here's a press release:

MSC Preziosa set to host first Eataly restaurants at sea

MSC Preziosa will be christened in Genoa, Italy, on 23 March 2013 and, with just over two months to go until the latest flagship in the MSC Cruises' fleet sets sail, the company is today delighted to announce an exciting new partnership which makes their latest cruise ship an entirely unique jewel of the seas.

Renowned for its commitment to ensuring that the food and beverage offer on board its fleet is constantly evolving to provide a real gastronomic experience, MSC Cruises has recently signed an agreement with Eataly, the popular Turin-based chain founded in 2007 by Oscar Farinetti, which today counts several food and restaurant emporiums in Italy, Japan and the US, with plans to open new branches in Dubai, Turkey, Brazil and UK.

True to its Mediterranean roots, MSC Cruises believes that good food is about more than just delicious meals, that it's a real way of life, and that eating is above all about quality and diversity, experience and knowledge, discovery and sharing. Since the first MSC cruise ships set sail, the company has focused on choice, quality and strict control in terms of the sourcing and processing of products destined for the fleet's restaurants, working hard to offer delicious, ethical dishes at sustainable prices.

The partnership with Eataly, a company which shares a very similar philosophy and approach to food, should come as no surprise to those who know MSC Cruises. Eataly's manifesto opens with the following declaration: "We're in love with quality food and beverage. In love with their history, their tradition, the men and women who produce them, the places they come from." The enterprise was in fact founded upon the principles of the Slow Food philosophy, with its emphasis on local, artisanal producers, food education, accessibility and affordability, sustainable sourcing and production.

A shared attitude towards quality, traceable food and beverages and a strong conviction that they should be available to everyone at sustainable prices, and not just to a limited circle of privileged people, is the foundation of the new partnership between MSC Cruises and Eataly, the first step of which involves opening the first two Eataly restaurants at sea on board brand new flagship MSC Preziosa.

In the area that hosts the Tex Mex speciality restaurant on her Fantasia class sister-ships, MSC Preziosa will instead feature two entirely unique dining venues: the Eataly Restaurant and the Ristorante Italia.

With around 80 seats, the Eataly Restaurant will mirror Eataly's original concept, creating a stylish, minimalist space where people can eat, buy and learn about the best Italian food. A choice of 18 dishes will be prepared and served at lunch and dinner, including pasta, vegetables, seafood, meat, cold cuts and cheese. Travellers on board MSC Preziosa will enjoy delicious, simple and top quality dishes, savoured in a relaxed, uncluttered and fun atmosphere, as per Eataly's tradition.

Meticulously arranged aisles will showcase a varieties of products from olive oil to dried pastas from Gragnano (Na), artisanal sweets, wines without chemical ingredients, natural beverages and aged balsamics: the best excellences of Italian regions.

The exclusive 24-seat evening-only Ristorante Italia will offer a different ultra-high-quality 'table d'hôte' menu every night, especially conceived by Eataly chefs, with dishes made from Slow Food Presidia products – a foundation created to protect small producers and to preserve the quality of artisan products. In the 'authoritative and informal atmosphere' classic to Eataly's spaces, where controlled, high quality raw materials are guaranteed and where staff couple professionalism with the simple, genuine relationship between people, MSC travellers can focus on the food itself, pairing each dish with a glass of wine and learning something new every day from their truly magnificent culinary journey.

The MSC Cruises and Eataly partnership will be officially inaugurated tomorrow, 19 January 2013, with the launch of a special contest in participating Eataly's restaurants in Italy and US, in which clients will have the opportunity to win an MSC cruise. More information can be found on the following websites and, as well as in participating stores.

· MSC Preziosa set to host first Eataly restaurants at sea [Press Release]
· All Eataly Coverage on Eater [-E-]