There are many reasons why Spiaggia remains one of Chicago’s most beloved Italian restaurants. There are high-end bells and whistles aplenty, but to hear the staff recite the effort and intricacies behind, say, the culurgiones is to compel you to order them. History isn't just on offer, it's celebrated here, where the bucatini pulls from the archives to show off a recipe from 1985. Bread is a noteworthy artisanal assortment, including a crusty sesame seed-coated morsel begging to be smeared with whipped ricotta. Tutto il coniglio, a gorgeous presentation of sliced rabbit loin stuffed with forcemeat, is buoyed by flavorful lentils cooked in rabbit stock and a bowl of decadent blue corn polenta with shredded braised rabbit meat that is just oh-so-good. Up for something sweet? Olive oil cake layered with white chocolate mousse, topped with yuzu gelee, and composed with torched honey meringue as well as honey ice cream is a superb choice. All in all, to dine at Spiaggia is to celebrate a Chicago grande-dame. The stunning dining room is designed with marble columns and alcoves to enhance its dramatic views, thereby making it an idyllic spot to appreciate the Magnificent Mile by night.
- MICHELIN guide inspectors