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  • Cafe Spiaggia

    Post #1 - November 30th, 2005, 4:28 pm
    Post #1 - November 30th, 2005, 4:28 pm Post #1 - November 30th, 2005, 4:28 pm
    I'm a longtime lurker -- this is my first post. In any event, I was hoping to get some feedback on Cafe Spiaggia. I've read the rave reviews about Spiaggia, but have never been fortunate enough to dine there. Is Cafe Spiaggia a good (yet relatively informal) choice for a special occasion, or is it too casual? Thanks in advance.
  • Post #2 - November 30th, 2005, 4:31 pm
    Post #2 - November 30th, 2005, 4:31 pm Post #2 - November 30th, 2005, 4:31 pm
    Cafe Spiaggia should be great for a special occassion. It's informal, but not terribly informal. You might feel out of place in jeans, but you won't be turned back.

    There are some lovely 2-tops by the windows that overlook Michigan Ave, that can be nice.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #3 - November 30th, 2005, 4:34 pm
    Post #3 - November 30th, 2005, 4:34 pm Post #3 - November 30th, 2005, 4:34 pm
    Preface: I've never eaten at Spiaggia proper, though years ago I had both an office Christmas party and my own wedding reception there. Haven't eaten at Cafe Spiaggia in a few years.

    That said, Cafe Spiaggia is... at least was... very nice for casual; cozy, dark and romantic with its views toward Michigan Ave. and the lake. The view, plus good quality Italian food (simpler stuff, like pizzas and pastas, but real dinner food nonetheless) make... er, at least made... it one of the better choices and relatively better values in a part of the city that tends toward the expensively plastic. Is it special enough for a special occasion? Hard to say for you, but it's within the realm of plausibility for that, at least.
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  • Post #4 - November 30th, 2005, 10:22 pm
    Post #4 - November 30th, 2005, 10:22 pm Post #4 - November 30th, 2005, 10:22 pm
    Simpler stuff? Caffe Spiaggia serves fabulous real regional Italian food. Simpler maybe than Spiaggia, but still in the highest echelon of Italian restaurants in the city. I highly recommend it. I think it's a perfectly appropriate special occasion place for those that sy away form 14 course fussiness ala Moto etc....
  • Post #5 - November 30th, 2005, 11:43 pm
    Post #5 - November 30th, 2005, 11:43 pm Post #5 - November 30th, 2005, 11:43 pm
    I meant simpler as in pizzas and pastas as opposed to osso bucco, I guess. Less formal, more casual.
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    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
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  • Post #6 - December 1st, 2005, 8:34 am
    Post #6 - December 1st, 2005, 8:34 am Post #6 - December 1st, 2005, 8:34 am
    If there was any pizza before, there isn't now...

    As long as the OP doesn't mind that some or most people won't be wearing jackets, I think the atmosphere is fine and the food more than fine.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #7 - December 1st, 2005, 8:50 am
    Post #7 - December 1st, 2005, 8:50 am Post #7 - December 1st, 2005, 8:50 am
    What, the menu's changed since 1992?
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #8 - December 1st, 2005, 9:36 am
    Post #8 - December 1st, 2005, 9:36 am Post #8 - December 1st, 2005, 9:36 am
    I was just at Cafe Spiaggia for lunch about a month ago and I ate pizza there. Maybe it's a lunch item only.

    But I really like it, especially for lunch - good quality food (it's not cheap by any stretch), in a nice setting.

    As for it being too "casual," only in the sense that the food is (pizza, pasta, simpler entrees). The setting is very beautiful - wall to wall marble, the service is relaxed but polished, and the clientele is very well-heeled, so don't be fooled by the "Cafe" in the name - this is a relatively serious place.
  • Post #9 - December 1st, 2005, 10:34 am
    Post #9 - December 1st, 2005, 10:34 am Post #9 - December 1st, 2005, 10:34 am
    Mike G wrote:I meant simpler as in pizzas and pastas as opposed to osso bucco, I guess. Less formal, more casual.


    I had a dish of osso buco there that inspired moaning.
    http://www.chowhound.com/midwest/boards ... 44013.html

    But I take your meaning ...
  • Post #10 - December 1st, 2005, 11:12 am
    Post #10 - December 1st, 2005, 11:12 am Post #10 - December 1st, 2005, 11:12 am
    Thanks for the info, all.

    Seth, your March '04 Chowhound post is making me hungry!
  • Post #11 - December 1st, 2005, 11:16 pm
    Post #11 - December 1st, 2005, 11:16 pm Post #11 - December 1st, 2005, 11:16 pm
    Ate at Cafe Spiaggia today and I am happy to say it was awesome. This was my first visit and I am kicking myself for having taken this long to discover such a great place!
  • Post #12 - December 5th, 2005, 11:29 am
    Post #12 - December 5th, 2005, 11:29 am Post #12 - December 5th, 2005, 11:29 am
    Good to hear it's still a good eat. I was there for New Year's dinner for 2003. It was still quite "upscale" despite having "Cafe" in the title and was a great dinner for a special evening.
  • Post #13 - December 5th, 2005, 12:52 pm
    Post #13 - December 5th, 2005, 12:52 pm Post #13 - December 5th, 2005, 12:52 pm
    ChefGEB - what'd you eat?

    seth
  • Post #14 - December 5th, 2005, 1:43 pm
    Post #14 - December 5th, 2005, 1:43 pm Post #14 - December 5th, 2005, 1:43 pm
    Below is a list of some of the items (taken from the Levy Restaurants/Cafe Spiaggia webpage):

    OLIVE AL FORNO CON CROSTINO
    Wood oven roasted olives with balsamic braised red onions and ricotta crostini

    CRESPELLE DI RICOTTA
    Wood oven baked ricotta filled crepes with Tropea onions, basil, garlic, and tomatoes

    SPAGHETTI AL FARRO CON VONGOLE
    Farro spaghetti with clams, white wine, garlic and chilis

    GNOCCHI CON BRASATA DI CODA DI BUE E PARMIGIANO-REGGIANO
    Our own potato gnocchi with braised oxtail and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

    UMIDO DI BRANZINO E CECI
    Wood-roasted wild striped bass with chickpeas, tomatoes and Swiss chard

    ANITRA DELLA VENDEMMIA
    Olive oil braised duck legs with roasted moscato grapes and buckwheat polenta
  • Post #15 - December 5th, 2005, 1:54 pm
    Post #15 - December 5th, 2005, 1:54 pm Post #15 - December 5th, 2005, 1:54 pm
    ChefGEB wrote:Below is a list of some of the items (taken from the Levy Restaurants/Cafe Spiaggia webpage)...


    Those are pretty much the items that caught my eye the other day, when I followed the link and perused the menu. All in all, I think the menu is pretty well conceived. Now maybe I ought to go there...

    Antonius
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #16 - August 19th, 2006, 10:21 pm
    Post #16 - August 19th, 2006, 10:21 pm Post #16 - August 19th, 2006, 10:21 pm
    I found myself here around noon this Saturday. This place is tiny, so reservations are highly recommended. We hadn't made reservations, but I imagine that early on a Saturday is one of the least busy times.

    I ordered:

    MAIALE AL FORNO
    Double cut brined pork chop with creamy buckwheat polenta and grilled apricots 23.00

    I think my three dining companions had ordering envy. The portions of polenta and apricot were modest in size, but both were wonderful. The polenta was very creamy and rich. The pork chop was a skyscraper, but the footprint of it was about average in size. The chop was done perfectly, with a wonderful, but simple flavor that ran throughout this huge hunk of chop.

    Dining companions had:

    BIANCA CON FUNGHI (PIZZA)
    With wild mushrooms, fresh mozzarella, Parmigiano Reggiano
    and white truffle oil 16.00

    GNOCCHI AL RAGU DI CINGHIALE
    Hand crafted potato gnocchi with wild boar ragu and Parmigiano Reggiano 17.00

    SPAGHETTI AL FARRO CON VONGOLE
    Farro spaghetti with clams, white wine, garlic and chilis 17.00

    Hubby was a bit underwhelmed with his Gnocchi, and I agree that it could have been a stronger dish. I think other dining companions were satisfied with the pizza and pasta, but not necessarily overwhelmed.

    We finished off the meal by sharing one order of gelato. You get to pick 3 flavors out of about 12 options. We selected a chocolate-cherry, mint, and coffee or espresso. They were all great, and the mint was totally different than what I expected. More of a fresh, fresh mint leaf taste, rather than the regular mint ice cream flavor that we're used to.

    All in all, I think Cafe Spiaggia is a nice option. The setting with views and decor is great. Service was friendly and accomodating. Food could have been better overall, but there were some great things. I'm not anxious to return, but I certainly would not mind returning for a nicer meal in that area. Plus, it was rather peaceful, a nice break from the bustling below on Michigan Avenue.

    Now, I'm trying to decide how eager I am to dine at the regular Spiaggia. I saw the room, and it seems cool. I expect the service is excellent, but the food?
  • Post #17 - June 4th, 2007, 9:24 pm
    Post #17 - June 4th, 2007, 9:24 pm Post #17 - June 4th, 2007, 9:24 pm
    Cafe Spiaggia last Wednesday:

    Friends in town(former Chicagoans) from Bay Area with two year old in tow. I'd made reservations, but upon learning the toddler'd be joining us I hastily-called over to ascertain the possible reception and availability of ye olde high chaire ..."no problem!" offered the amiable receptionist. Good start.

    We arrived to find there'd been a bit of a mixup; receptionist thought it was three of us with toddler not the actual 4-plus. Again, absolutely not an "issue." They quickly rearranged our table.

    Two had the Charbay blood orange Campari cocktails. Myself and M's husband chose the refreshing, intriguingly-medicinal saffron-infused vodka/limonata/etc aperitif...a rather odd, sharp taste, not necessarily unpleasant...more...unexpected.

    The table shared two app.s: the Caprese...very small portion to split amongst four, but the house-cured San Marzano's lived up to *my* imagination---tart, concentrated sweetness, yet maintaining a fresh bite...where they could easily, one thinks, fall straight into unctuousness... a la *too much*...and one, lone basil leaf...well, it looked purty...

    AND

    the octopus...jeebus fucking gawd

    everyone else proclaimed it *best octopus they've ever had*(well, much larger portion than the cheese, at least)...I offer, really damn good...

    meltingly-tender, just the right bit of toothsomeness, a droolworthy purple and charred black, the most intense scrumdillyumptious smoke...celery still crisp, yet cooked through just enough...an afterthought of potato...afterthought mainly due to gilding-the-lily-itis...

    a fucking gorgeous dish

    we split pastas:

    s/o and I the tagliatelle special...not knock-your-socks-off, but there's something to be said for savory fat dripping from one's chin...and even split these were surprisingly-hefty portions...

    friends had the gnocchi with cinghiali...pronounced yummy(I was gnocchi-d out having experimented with several dishes including it over the past couple three weeks...tho' I suppose if one's hellbound for gnocchi Cafe and Spiaggia might be taken under consideration)

    entrees:

    friends did halibut and the special zuppa di frutti di mare: apparently good choices

    s/o had the veal: declared "eh"...there was some overly-junipery thing going on that threw it off

    I requested the woodsmoked trout which turned out to be a *ginormous*
    plate laden with giant beans(tinned-tasting, metallic...but, I'm not a connoiseur so maybe they're *supposed* to have a flinty taste? ...the texture was pleasant at least) and potatoes. The fish was beautiful once you dug through all the frou-fra. I ended up taking most of it home.
    I'm peckish as is.

    What I shoulda done was order more octopus just for me. *That* woulda been a great meal.

    All-in-all, and with our attentive, friendly waitress, involved busboys, considerate front-of-house expediters(all 3!), and general high points...this was a superb, welcoming, relaxing repast.

    And toddler? She sat stuck to her Elmo computer game for the entire time...such that waitstaff began congregating marveling at her intensity...
    it was pretty funny and dealt with any (mis)perceived possibility of tacit kid-in-tow anxiety...they were excellent, too, in that regard...
    Being gauche rocks, stun the bourgeoisie
  • Post #18 - August 6th, 2008, 10:14 am
    Post #18 - August 6th, 2008, 10:14 am Post #18 - August 6th, 2008, 10:14 am
    Had lunch at Cafe Spiaggia on Friday 7-25-08. Excellent food and the service exceptional. Pics included below.

    Image
    Entry to the restaurant.

    Image
    Our bread basket and pre-meal snack. High-quality olive oil was provided on the table. Traditional Italian bread served with big sheets of very thin and crusty bread that was dusted with romano or asiago? cheese.

    Image
    We started with some carpaccio: thin slices of raw beef with lemon dressing, arugula, and shaved Parmigiano Reggiano.

    My date and I also ordered salads. I had the Italiana and she had the Rucola. Nothing spectacular and the Rucola was decidedly better than the Italiana.

    Image
    For my main, I ordered the Prosciutto di Parma and ricotta filled ravioli with spring peas, pine nuts, and mint. Absolutely delicious. The sauce you see is a sort of lemon-butter-garlic that was refreshing and nicely complemented the ravioli.

    Image
    Better view of the ravioli filling.

    Image
    My date ordered the special pizza for the day, and it had the best and freshest ricotta I've tasted, an Italian spicy salami-type meat I've never heard of and can't recall. Crust was perfectly crispy and seasoned, too. All of the toppings were balanced and of high-quality.

    A great lunch spot if you're in the North Michigan Ave area and want to go a little higher end. It was not crowded, either. If possible, request a window table enabling a view of Michigan Ave and the Drake across the street.
  • Post #19 - September 2nd, 2008, 8:49 am
    Post #19 - September 2nd, 2008, 8:49 am Post #19 - September 2nd, 2008, 8:49 am
    I dined here with nine others on Sunday night. I was, at first, put off a bit when making my reservation by telephone as the staff seemed to not be interested in seating a party of ten on Sunday night of Labor Day weekend. I was put on hold twice while they apparently discussed this issue - and after a few minutes we had our reservation, though we were seated in two tables of five. After seeing the layout of the place I understand not being able to sit together but it would have been nice of them to tell me up front...

    Wine: I selected a 2005 Viette Nebbiolo which, at $70, is priced quite resonably for purchase in a restaurant. As I expected, it was excellent. I can recommend this wine without hesitation if you seek a solid medium-bodied red with great tannins and strong finish. Once we ordered our meals, I asked the sommelier to suggest our second bottle based on what everyone had ordered. The 2005 Il Poggiono Rosso di Montalcino was spot on. His knowledge of Italian wines was extensive and enlightening for me. I could have probably spent an hour just talking about wines - and I am sorry I cannot remember his name (probably because I also had a grappa for a digestivo :wink: more on that later)

    Food: Our group selected a lot of salads rather than antipasti, and the salads were well-executed. Mains included porchetta (my choice - the depth of pork flavor in the dish was awesome and nicely complemented by the creamy polenta and braised fennel), trout, gnocchi with ragu, and the linguine dish. All were delicious and we ate every bit!

    Desserts: the gelati were a bit hit as was the spongy cake dish. The name escapes me.

    Service: overall, just OK and I couldn't help but feel as if we were a bother to them. The other table actually lost its server sometime during the meal - I never did find out what was up with that. When I asked our server for an off the menu dessert item (vin santo and cantucci - ubiquitous in Tuscany) he said he would check. I told him if there were no cantucci available then I would select something else. After being gone for a long time he delivered what seemed to be a tiny version of an Italian wedding cookie and said the chef thought this would be an adequate substitute for the cantucci they didn't have. I tasted it and told him, no - it wasn't so I would order something else. Another long time later he delivers a glass of vin santo to me anyway, which I refused because I had made it clear no cantucci - no vin santo. What I wanted was a grappa by itself. This seemed to fluster the young fellow and he offered the glass on vin santo to the table "because it had already been poured." No one wanted it so back it went and out came my grappa - fifteen minutes after the whole thing started.

    I know the Cafe isn't the big house - Spiaggia - but I would have thought the service would have been much better. I had heard Larry Levy has sold his interest in the two restaurants, so perhaps that explains the slippage. In any case, we would consider returning as the food was very good.

    Davooda
    Life is a garden, Dude - DIG IT!
    -- anonymous Colorado snowboarder whizzing past me March 2010
  • Post #20 - September 3rd, 2008, 11:59 pm
    Post #20 - September 3rd, 2008, 11:59 pm Post #20 - September 3rd, 2008, 11:59 pm
    Davooda wrote:I dined here with nine others on Sunday night. I was, at first, put off a bit when making my reservation by telephone as the staff seemed to not be interested in seating a party of ten on Sunday night of Labor Day weekend. I was put on hold twice while they apparently discussed this issue - and after a few minutes we had our reservation, though we were seated in two tables of five. After seeing the layout of the place I understand not being able to sit together but it would have been nice of them to tell me up front...

    Wine: I selected a 2005 Viette Nebbiolo which, at $70, is priced quite resonably for purchase in a restaurant. As I expected, it was excellent. I can recommend this wine without hesitation if you seek a solid medium-bodied red with great tannins and strong finish. Once we ordered our meals, I asked the sommelier to suggest our second bottle based on what everyone had ordered. The 2005 Il Poggiono Rosso di Montalcino was spot on. His knowledge of Italian wines was extensive and enlightening for me. I could have probably spent an hour just talking about wines - and I am sorry I cannot remember his name (probably because I also had a grappa for a digestivo :wink: more on that later)

    Food: Our group selected a lot of salads rather than antipasti, and the salads were well-executed. Mains included porchetta (my choice - the depth of pork flavor in the dish was awesome and nicely complemented by the creamy polenta and braised fennel), trout, gnocchi with ragu, and the linguine dish. All were delicious and we ate every bit!

    Desserts: the gelati were a bit hit as was the spongy cake dish. The name escapes me.

    Service: overall, just OK and I couldn't help but feel as if we were a bother to them. The other table actually lost its server sometime during the meal - I never did find out what was up with that. When I asked our server for an off the menu dessert item (vin santo and cantucci - ubiquitous in Tuscany) he said he would check. I told him if there were no cantucci available then I would select something else. After being gone for a long time he delivered what seemed to be a tiny version of an Italian wedding cookie and said the chef thought this would be an adequate substitute for the cantucci they didn't have. I tasted it and told him, no - it wasn't so I would order something else. Another long time later he delivers a glass of vin santo to me anyway, which I refused because I had made it clear no cantucci - no vin santo. What I wanted was a grappa by itself. This seemed to fluster the young fellow and he offered the glass on vin santo to the table "because it had already been poured." No one wanted it so back it went and out came my grappa - fifteen minutes after the whole thing started.

    I know the Cafe isn't the big house - Spiaggia - but I would have thought the service would have been much better. I had heard Larry Levy has sold his interest in the two restaurants, so perhaps that explains the slippage. In any case, we would consider returning as the food was very good.

    Davooda


    First of all I thank you for your feedback on the food and I'm sorry about the service. I work in the kitchen at Cafe Spiaggia and was there to prepare your meals on Sunday and specificaly remember your table due to size. I believe I remember you server and personally...I don't believe he's trained for the position. If there's anything I can do to make your experience better the next time please let me know. Also if you have any questions/comments you can either post them here or send them directly to me and I'll try to get back to them asap.
    GOOD TIMES!
  • Post #21 - September 4th, 2008, 7:23 am
    Post #21 - September 4th, 2008, 7:23 am Post #21 - September 4th, 2008, 7:23 am
    Wow Jayz - I hadn't thought I would receive such direct contact but I appreciate it very much! As I said, we loved the food - it was the service that disappointed. The waters were filled, plates cleared, salads and mains served as they should have been but our group felt the servers' attitude was as if they were doing us a favor. And the whole cantucci thing was the capper for me. I could not have been more clear about it.

    Anyway - thanks for taking the time to respond. It shows a genuine interest in customer satisfaction and that bodes well for Cafe Spiaggia!

    Davooda
    Life is a garden, Dude - DIG IT!
    -- anonymous Colorado snowboarder whizzing past me March 2010
  • Post #22 - September 5th, 2008, 2:53 am
    Post #22 - September 5th, 2008, 2:53 am Post #22 - September 5th, 2008, 2:53 am
    Davooda wrote:Wow Jayz - I hadn't thought I would receive such direct contact but I appreciate it very much! As I said, we loved the food - it was the service that disappointed. The waters were filled, plates cleared, salads and mains served as they should have been but our group felt the servers' attitude was as if they were doing us a favor. And the whole cantucci thing was the capper for me. I could not have been more clear about it.

    Anyway - thanks for taking the time to respond. It shows a genuine interest in customer satisfaction and that bodes well for Cafe Spiaggia!

    Davooda


    My pleasure, it's my job to make sure each guest is more than happy with what's delivered to them. In past jobs (and somewhat even this job) my responsibilites are limited. I can't personally talk to guests, tell them about our fresh ingredients, or even say thank you at the end of each meal. I got into this industry to make people happy with my food...and I hate that I'm limited to preparing the food, cleaning the kitchen, and going home. Cooks/Chefs make very little compared to any other field that requires a 2-4 year degree and to be honest...I'd be happy with this low pay if I could just see the smile on the guests face or the "thanks Chef, that was the best meal I've had in a while...we'll be back for sure" comment every now and then. I work to please, and someday I hope that shows.

    Once again thanks for your feedback and I hope you'll tell others about the restaurant because that's what keeps me busy each week. :D
    GOOD TIMES!
  • Post #23 - September 5th, 2008, 8:19 am
    Post #23 - September 5th, 2008, 8:19 am Post #23 - September 5th, 2008, 8:19 am
    Jayz,

    I don't know if you have personally prepared any meals for my wife and I during any of our numerous visits to the Cafe, but rest assured, we always leave with a satisfied smile and an appreciative belly!

    Thanks to you and the rest of the team for great simple Italian fare in a beautiful setting.

    It's in the top 5 of our most recommended restaurants to visitors.
    "Your custard pie, yeah, sweet and nice
    When you cut it, mama, save me a slice"
  • Post #24 - November 23rd, 2008, 4:27 pm
    Post #24 - November 23rd, 2008, 4:27 pm Post #24 - November 23rd, 2008, 4:27 pm
    We had a terrific lunch at Cafe Spiaggia and missed chef Jayz by just a few minutes, unfortunately. But it was a lovely lunch nevertheless. I had the grilled octopus as an appetizer and a pizza with prosciutto di parma and arugula. The octopus was done very well and the pizza excellent. My partner had the potato leek soup which was also good and the ravioli with cheese, prosciutto, pine nuts and a wine reduction. The ravioli was our least favourite but still quite good. GM Jason Goldsmith made sure all was good and our server was on top of things and in good form. All in all, a really terrific lunch and made us want to go back and back. Having recently moved here from NY, its fun exploring and now we can't wait to try the main restaurant, Spiaggia as well. Bravo!
  • Post #25 - December 28th, 2008, 11:33 pm
    Post #25 - December 28th, 2008, 11:33 pm Post #25 - December 28th, 2008, 11:33 pm
    We had lunch at Cafe Spiaggia a couple of years ago. We had a fabulous Gnocchi (with wild boar ragu).
    shorty
  • Post #26 - February 8th, 2009, 5:10 pm
    Post #26 - February 8th, 2009, 5:10 pm Post #26 - February 8th, 2009, 5:10 pm
    The skatewing was good.
  • Post #27 - February 8th, 2009, 5:34 pm
    Post #27 - February 8th, 2009, 5:34 pm Post #27 - February 8th, 2009, 5:34 pm
    riddlemay wrote:The skatewing was good.

    What made it good? How was it prepared? Brown butter, that's one that I like.
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #28 - February 8th, 2009, 6:00 pm
    Post #28 - February 8th, 2009, 6:00 pm Post #28 - February 8th, 2009, 6:00 pm
    G Wiv wrote:
    riddlemay wrote:The skatewing was good.

    What made it good? How was it prepared? Brown butter, that's one that I like.

    I'm in my minimalist period. :)

    It wasn't in brown butter, although I'm with you, I like it that way. So, what was it like? Oh hell, it's not on the online menu, so I can't cheat that way. It was in more of an olive-oil-with-herbs sauce, if my taste buds and taste memory can be trusted. And it had a noticeable saltiness that was just the right amount of saltiness to bring out the flavor of the fish, rather than distract from it. And there was a goodly amount of skate on the plate, so I knew I wouldn't go hungry. And it tasted very fresh. And I didn't get tired of eating it--if anything, I kept noticing more and more flavors in it the more of it I ate.
  • Post #29 - February 8th, 2009, 10:39 pm
    Post #29 - February 8th, 2009, 10:39 pm Post #29 - February 8th, 2009, 10:39 pm
    riddlemay wrote:
    G Wiv wrote:
    riddlemay wrote:The skatewing was good.

    What made it good? How was it prepared? Brown butter, that's one that I like.

    I'm in my minimalist period. :)

    It wasn't in brown butter, although I'm with you, I like it that way. So, what was it like? Oh hell, it's not on the online menu, so I can't cheat that way. It was in more of an olive-oil-with-herbs sauce, if my taste buds and taste memory can be trusted. And it had a noticeable saltiness that was just the right amount of saltiness to bring out the flavor of the fish, rather than distract from it. And there was a goodly amount of skate on the plate, so I knew I wouldn't go hungry. And it tasted very fresh. And I didn't get tired of eating it--if anything, I kept noticing more and more flavors in it the more of it I ate.


    That was a wood roasted Skate wing served with celery root puree, shaved celery and a tomato almond pesto. I'd say this is my favorite item on the menu at the moment.
    GOOD TIMES!
  • Post #30 - February 9th, 2009, 9:52 am
    Post #30 - February 9th, 2009, 9:52 am Post #30 - February 9th, 2009, 9:52 am
    Ron: As a high maintenance chick with high date-night expectations, I'd say you're on fairly safe ground with Cafe Spiaggia. In terms of overall experience, you're not getting the same fuss and fluff as in some of the four-star restaurants in the city, but other things make up for it. The Michigan Ave view (be sure to ask for that or your companion will be disappointed--the other areas are more casual, plain), the mysterious escalator ride up seems almost like you're going to a private club, and the service is really good (at least during the few times I've been there). For the small, window-side tables, you'll be sitting side-by-side--very romantic, though might seem a little cramped or squished for some people.

    Oh yeah, the food is good too, and the little Italian donuts with powdered sugar are delicious and way more fun than your creme brulees and what not. At the time I went they had this really, really tasty butternut squash pasta. WIsh I had snapped a pix.

    And people do dress up a bit, though it's slightly more on the casual side. Enjoy.

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