980 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago
Spiaggia has been the darling of Chicago’s dining scene for more than 30 years, and it is still going strong. This Magnificent Mile stalwart is the only four-star Italian restaurant on a culinary landscape that is constantly growing. Former President Obama and Mick Jagger are among the celebrities who have enjoyed meals here.
Chef/partner Tony Mantuano is at the helm of Spiaggia, which has garnered accolades from the James Beard Foundation, Wine Enthusiast, and others. Executive chef Joseph Flamm competed recently on Top Chef on Bravo.
The Tasting Experience and a la carte menus at Spiaggia include beautiful, hand-pulled pastas and standout seafood items. On a recent visit, I enjoyed beet and ricotta casonsei, which consists of little purses of dough spiraled with poppyseeds. Fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rounded out the dish. The trota po (smoked trout, frog legs, and caviar) was flavorful and well executed.
I have eaten my share of burrata across the continents but I dream of Spiaggia’s obscenely creamy version. It’s accompanied by a luscious pool of olive oil and lemon. And don’t skip dessert: Spiaggia’s homemade gelato is light and lovely.
The restaurant’s elegant dining room—hidden on the second floor of an office building on the corner of Michigan Avenue and Oak Street—offers a dramatic view of Lakeshore Drive.
BJT’s reviewers dine anonymously and pick up the tab.