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The Chicago Traveler


by Matt B on December 13th, 2007

SpiaggiaAt the intersection of Oak Street and Michigan Avenue, where Chicago's Magnificent Mile and all its great shopping begins, corporate businesspeople and Gold Coast foodies take in the breathtaking view offered by Chef Tony Mantuano's Spiaggia. The sights inside aren't so bad either with marble accents, plush fabrics, beautiful chandeliers, and stunningly white tablecloths. And being one of the town's premiere dining destinations, this four-star Italian restaurant offers a menu that is just as lavish as its surroundings.

Enjoy the quiet elegance of spigola e cappesante con purea di aglio, scarola e colatura'wood-roasted Mediterranean sea bass and scallop with sweet garlic puree, escarole, Calabrian chili vinaigrette and Colatura. Lose yourself in the filet mignon with mushrooms, red pearl onions, and potato puree. And after you've had the handmade saffron spaghetti with lobster, ginger, chives, and sea beans, you'll never want to go back to plain ol' pasta again.

Finish the experience with a glass of wine; there are more than 700 bottles to choose from. And yes, they do have a cheese to go with that wine. Just ask their full-time ma'tre fromager (cheese expert) about which gourmet cheeses to sample: one for $8, three for $12, five for $19, or the entire selection for $32.

If you're in the holiday mood, try the linguine con vongole (long pasta strands with clams, white wine, and garlic) at Caf' Spiaggia, the casual yet still intimate space down the hall. The dish speaks to Chef Mantuano's childhood memories, served by his grandmother every Christmas. This less formal (and more affordable) spot also features handmade potato gnocchi and wood-roasted lamb loin.

Dressed up or dressed down, the cuisine at Spiaggia is the best around.

Photo credit: (c/o Flickr) polomex

Spiaggia ($$$$): 980 N Michigan Ave (2nd floor); 312-280-2750
Dress Code: Jacket required, tie optional
Reservations recommended
Mon ' Thurs: 6:00 p.m. ' 9:30 p.m.
Fri ' Sat: 5:30 p.m. ' 10:30 p.m.
Sun: 6:00 p.m. ' 9:00 p.m.
Street parking difficult, paid lot and valet available
Public trans: Bus # 151

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POSTED IN: Restaurants

1 opinion for Spiaggia

  • Jon - The DC Traveler
    Dec 15, 2007 at 4:34 pm

    I’ve eaten at Spiaggia a couple times as well as hosted a private event there. It is simply one of Chicago’s best.

    I love the view overlooking Oak Street Beach in the winter, when there’s snow on the ground and the lake is rough.

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