September 1, 2009

Cafe Spiaggia - Elegant Italian food in Chicago

While planning our trip to Chicago, we often read about Spiaggia, an Italian restaurant considered to be the best in the city. So we decided to take a cheaper route and dine at Cafe Spiaggia. This restaurant served wonderful homemade pastas in a more casual environment. Essentially Spiaggia quality at a fraction of the cost!

So we sat down in the narrow and quiet dining room, enjoyed a glass of the 2005 Foja Tonda Albino Armani (Veneto), and took in the view of N. Michigan Ave.

Olive oil from Tuscany specially made for Spiaggia with house-made flatbread. We loved the Parmesan cheese on the crispy and flaky flatbread.
Hand crafted chitarra ($17) with olive oil poached tuna, capers, olives, San Marzano tomatoes, and oregano. This dish had a nice salty taste with a little spice. The homemade pasta was excellent and the sauce was light.
Perciatelle (thin hollow pasta, $18) with La Quercia guanciale (pork jowl), onions, garlic, basil, and Calabrian peppers. This homemade pasta was thicker and tubular in shape. This was a wonderfully rustic and substantial meal.
Tiramisu ($9) with double espresso ($5.50): This dessert was so light and delicious. The mascarpone cheese and the illy espresso-soaked lady fingers had great texture and flavor.

Cafe Spiaggia is located at 980 North Michigan Ave in Chicago, IL.

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