For an amazing upscale Italian restaurant, Spiaggia is definitely the place to be! The restaurant is overlooking Lake Michigan which offers an amazing view and ambiance! Looking at the menu was quite overwhelming at first but the waiters are super friendly and will help you with any confusion! This is definitely one of the best fine dining Italian restaurants I've been to in Chicago!
This restaurant by far is the worst Italian restaurant I have ever experienced. The service is arrogant and ridiculously unprofessional. As soon as me and my fiance sat down at the dinner table, the waiter rapidly ran to him and said "sir you need a blazer, dont sit without a blazer!" My fiance than followed the waiter thinking he will give him a nice presentable blazer. He came back wearing a CINTAS uniform blazer with huge shoulder pads. As soon as we sat down, the servers began replacing big spoons with smaller ones. The waiter than came to take our order. I glanced at the menu and the prices thinking to myself, wow, this food must be enough for two people to share. So we ordered three courses. The first thing we ordered was ravioli, which was 4 pieces enough for a kid. The second meal was shrimp with rice which had TWO pieces of shrimp. The third meal was pasta, which was 5 ounces. After our lousy three course meal, the non-Italian unknowledgeable waiter handed us a dessert menu which we didnt even look at. He than gave us a complimentary dessert which consisted for 5 cookies the size of grapes. I am all about fancy schmancy upscale restaurants but this one I definitely will not recommend to anyone. We walked out of Spiaggia hoping this was all a dream, definitely a stick up.
Pros: free mandatory blazer
Cons: food portions, service
The service is arrogant and unknowledgeable about Northern Italian cuisine, the decor is extremely outdated, and the company that owns this restaurant is totally reprehensible!! Levy Restaurant is a company which thrives on cheating people out of their money. Their modus operandi is to see how fast they can fleece people out of their money while giving them nothing in return!! The restaurants "TRU" "Charlie Trotter's" and " Seasons" are all considered Chicago's top rated restaurants, Spiaggia's does not belong in this exclusive group of eating establishments, not by any stretch of the imagination!! By no means should Spiaggia's be put in such an exemplary category of excellent restaurants, especially since they are emphatically second rate!!
Pros: On Michigan Avenue
Cons: Basically Bad Everything!!
I took out of town friends intending the evening to be special.
The waiter was generous in his suggestions, helpful in choosing among the wines that caught my interest. We ate 3 course from the a la carte menu. You're free to mix: some can eat a la carte while others choose the fixed price menu and they'll match courses for you. The reviews here of the truffle gnocchi are uniformly raves. Our waiter's modest opinion: best pasta in the universe. It was fantastic. All pastas can be served as main courses, but this one is too rich for that. Be prepared for smaller portions than usual. The shrimp appetizer was outstanding. And yes, as others have pointed out, it is two shrimp for $15. They're perfect, though.
All three of us chose the herb crusted filet as our entree. We all agreed it was the best filet we'd ever eaten. I'm mostly a vegetarian yet I found myself restraining my knife so as not to leave my guests in the dust. Perfectly pink center, crusty outside, flavorful, moist, yum. The pastry with browned butter and herbs was fantastic.
The lemon vodka cream desert with a polenta cookie and chunks of Meyer lemon was divine. Just right to share. We enjoyed sharing three different desserts. Of the three, the gelato selection was my least favorite, the lemon cream above and the chocolate carmel concoction left us licking the plates. We left satisfied yet not stuffed.
The waiter didn't bring our coffees till after we'd finished dessert (like they do in Europe, he informed us when we wondered if he'd forgotten). So if you like yours with dessert, ask. The 2003 Brunello di Montalcino ($155) he recommended was perfect with our filets,and he decanted it. The only service glitch:some of that wine I had been looking forward to drinking was cleared away for desert! Service was great, atmosphere was special, food was outstanding. Bill before tip was $535 for three of us.
Pros: best ever herb crusted filet mignon, extensive wine list, truffle gnocchi is divine, validated parking.
Cons: very expensive.
This is an upscale, award-winning establishment meant for the sophisticated palate. If you don't mind forking over big money for a great meal, read on. The valet was efficient and very reasonable for Chicago at $14. The host was friendly. We were promptly seated, honoring our reservation. Our waiter was informed, efficient, friendly, and helpful. The other wait staff was equally as wonderful. The decor is a bit outdated, but the atmosphere is clean and upscale. We had a romantic table with a view of Michigan Ave and Lake Shore Dr. Our booth was comfortable and roomy. We chose the prix fixe menu, a DOP (Denominazione di Origine Protetta) tasting menu. Every one of the eight courses was magnificent. Yes, the portions are small, but when you eat eight of them, you leave full. If you want to stuff yourself until you're uncomfortable, this is not the place. This restaurant is geared toward gourmands, not gluttons. If you appreciate 100 year old balsamic vinegar and artisan produced ingredients, then this place is for you. The prix fixe tasting menu we enjoyed is comprised of protected designation of origin products. In other words, they are produced within the specified region using defined methods and satisfy a defined quality standard. A nice touch was the Moscato d'Asti they served with our dessert, compliments of the house, in honor of our anniversary. We also thoroughly enjoyed the complimentary bottled still water served with our meal. Our glass never got below half-full. The dolci they serve with dessert were very tasty and a highlight of our dining experience. Other highlights were the rabbit, which we substituted for the Dover sole, and the cheeses served throughout the meal from the appetizer to the cheese course. $500 for our meals, cocktails, valet parking, and tips. We feel it was priced a little high, but we will definitely return. Next time, we may trying dining a la carte. Definitely highly recommend for special occasions.
Pros: Service, Parking, Food Quality, Atmosphere
Cons: Decor Outdated, A Bit Pricey
We have been to many 4 and 5 star restaurants and I can't believe that Spiaggia is considered anything above 1 or 2 stars! The scallop appetizer sounded absolutely delicious on the menu and to our surprise, for $24, the ONE measly medium-sized scallop that arrived at our table was only so-so tasting. I ordered ravioli with my meal and AGAIN, for $18, I got ONE small piece of bland tasting cheese-filled ravioli! The main course of sea bass (a few bites) was very bland. I can justify paying high prices if the food is exceptional, but it wasn?t any tastier than the food court at a local shopping mall. Also, every time you touched your fork to your lips, or used your knife, a server would come by and replace them with a new, clean set. It was actually annoying. The owners and staff of this place are laughing their way to the bank. They kiss a little booty, change your fork like you are royalty, pretend the mediocre food in front of you is ?art? and then giggle and they hand you a GIGANTIC bill as your stomach is still growling. If you are on a diet, this is the place to go! Four bites served per guest.
I felt so bad for my boyfriend. He was so excited to go to this place and we ended up laughing at the service and food the entire time. A few hours after we left, he looked at me and said ?I?m hungry. Do you want Taco Bell?? Spiaggia was a $285.00 joke on us! At least now we have a fun story to tell our friends!
Cons: Bite-sized portions, Over-priced, Over-rated
So I ate at Spiaggia while at a conference last week. I really thought this meal was going to be the culinary highlight of my trip (as I had dined at 3 other restaurants as well during the conference). I was largely disappointed for several reasons. The food was good but not amazing. The portions were just too small. In fact, I had to eat a lot of bread in order to feel reasonably satiated. I just expected more. Perhaps, Spiaggia is a victim of its own hype. You hear about it, but, just by reading some of the other reviews, the post-dinner reaction seems to largely be the same. The dining experience doesn't match the hype. The ambiance is nice. The jacket requirement is okay. The drink menu is average. The wine list is good. The staff was very good. Nonetheless, all those things are secondary. It comes down to the food, and if you have to eat bread in order to make the dining experience even an average one, something is wrong.
Eating at Spiaggia won't be the worst thing you can do, but I feel confident it won't be the best either. For the price, it comes up short IMO.
Cons: small portions
Spiaggia, Form the moment I entered the restaurant to the time we left we felt cared for. The service was outstanding. The sommellier, Steven Alexander, was not only good looking but very helpful. For $135 we felt like the Chef's tasting menu was a steal. We left full and can't wait to come back.
Pros: Staff, Food, Wine
Enjoying a meal at Spiaggia is not just the epitome of culinary delight, but also a truly tasteful experience for all the senses. Upon entering the restaurant, your eye is immediately drawn to the breathtaking view of Lake Michigan. After being seated, the extremely courteous and knowledgeable service team will acquaint you with the many delights of the menu, attend to your every desire and insure you will enjoy a meal marked by splendid and attentive service, excellent wine pairings and sublime Italian cuisine inspired by James Beard Award-winning chef Tony Mantuano. After you dinner, should you choose to indulge, an unparalleled cheese selection will be presented to your table, from which you may select an array of diverse choices. And no dinner at Spiaggia is complete without a sampling of their excellent homemade gelato or pastries.
When you step into Spiaggia, expect excellence in cuisine, ambiance, service and management. A night at Spiaggia is truly without equal in Chicago.
We found this restaurant in a Chicago guide book last July, and I went there with my mom, my two aunts and my cousin. When we were almost done with our appetizer, we noticed a COC*ROACH crawling on the wall. Our extremely officious waiter jokingly disposed of the insect. A few minutes later, there was A SECOND COC*ROACH -- this one nearly crawled onto my cousin's shoulder. Again, our waiter brushed this off. To make up for it, he offered us...a few free desserts.
Now, there were dozens of other patrons nearby. We didn't scream or yell "COC*ROACH!" We remained calm and polite -- none of the diners knew what had happened. And for our efforts, we were rewarded with...free dessert. What better way to placate a group of four women?
So, if you happen to be dining there and see one of these insects, please scream as loudly as you can. Then, maybe *your* meal will be as free as the COC*ROACHES that accompanied ours.
Cons: C**KROACHES, officious waiters, sexist management
un-attentive service, basically the experience was very bad. food was disappointing, portions were ridiculously small. don't waste your time. any other restraunt in Chicago would be a better choice.
Have always heard great things about this place, but never went until recently. Decor has a kind of Carnival cruise line dining room feel to it. More just elegantly bland than cheesy. Service is what you'd expect...top notch. The pasta course was superb, but the main (veal chop $42) was the smallest I'd ever seen and the fattiest I'd ever tasted. And the taste itself didn't was very ordinary. I felt annoyed afterwards and I didn't even pay for it. It's one thing to charge these prices for near perfection, but this is far from it. Rather, this is a dated place where the reputation exceeds reality.
Pros: Service, Pasta course
Cons: Tired, price, small portions, mediocre food
Spiaggia was such a great experience. The food was great and the service very experienced, knowledgeable, and attentive. I ordered the tasting menu, which proved to be too much food, but enjoyable nonetheless. The only complaint I have is the lobster, which was quite chewy and overcooked; otherwise, every course was great, especially the lamb and cheese courses. The robiolo langhe was the best cheese I have ever had and the cheeses were well paired with the honey. I find the true test of a restaurant to be how great the dessert is, because so few do it well. The dessert was fantastic! I highly recommend Spiaggia, and will definitely be dining there again, this time trying the truffle tasting menu.
Pros: Food, service, ambiance
What I liked about Spiaggia:
-Romantic, private, has a park/lake view, not too noisy-high ceilings, high classed patrons
-Gnocchi, a signature dish
-High quality food prepared excellent with a sophisticated but not overwhelming menu
-Great wine list with sufficient amount of 1/2 bottles
-Knowlegable and professional waitstaff
-Parking is resonably priced and seamless
What I don't like about Spiaggia:
-Portion sizes ( except gnocchi ) are small
-Felt like being in a fish bowl over Michigan Ave.
-View had a lot of traffic and people in their apartments next door
-Vegetables with lamb entree were over salted
-Service was great at 6 PM and progressively got less attentive by 8 PM as restaurant filled
-Chocolate crepe dessert had too much bitter chocolate and too much salt
-Bring plenty of money
It's not as perfect as the James Beard award implies.
I don't love Spiaggia, but I don't hate it either. It is recommended with the above caveats
Cons: Small portions, Bring money
We got there at 6pm and it was pretty dead... it filled up soon afterwards, though. At first they offer you a choice between still water and sparkling water... I highly recommend the still water. It was so liquidy, clear, and water-like. OK I'm joking. I got some kind of seafood appetiser, gnocchi, and some kind of lobster main course. The gnocchi was the best thing I have ever tasted in my life. Everything was good... I wasn't always sure about what I was eating but it was nice to try different things and see how the chef paired it all together and how the wine goes with it all. I know the portions look small so I got a piece of sour dough bread every time the bread guy came around but honestly I was so stuffed after the 3 courses and dessert. So were the 3 other people I came there with. Just eat it all slowly and enjoy. Our bill for my husband and I came out to about $420 including all the wine and the tip. (We both had 3 courses, wine with each course, dessert, and coffee. One of my little half glasses of wine came out to $25. We had them pick out which wine would go best with each meal, so that's why. The service is great. Our waitress had this ritzy kind of accent and she has to be making way more than I do... and I'm doing well enough to afford to go here at least once in my life so that has to tell you something. Our table's total tip (4 people) was about $140. I mean... think about it... 10 tables with that is $1400!
Cons: I won't be as excited the next time ny husband says "let's go to Bennigans." AlsoI haven't had any pleasure in eating since my Spiaggia experience. Lean Cuisines don't taste as good as they used to.
I've eaten at top-notch restaurants my whole life and don't mind paying a pretty penny for a terrific meal, but Spiaggia was obnoxiously over-priced and you are guaranteed to leave the restaurant hungry. The ambiance was upscale, but the food portions were woefully inadequate. Service was superfluous. But come on folks, I would MUCH rather spend $350 for a family of 4 eating at Ruths' Chris Steakhouse. It's also generous of them to keep refilling your soda at $3 a pop! Keep 'em coming boys -- sheesh!
I can list about 20 other outstanding restaurants in Chicago that I would rather eat at, spend one-quarter the money, and leave the restaurant full: Ruths' Chris, Maggianos, Gibsons, Roys, etc. First and last time I'll dine here until the prices are more in line with the food portions. I mean, really. $43 for a 4 oz piece of filet mignon? Who are they kidding?
Pros: Get your butt smooched all night long by the top-notch service
Cons: See my review
Had ddinner there Labor Day weekend 2004 with another couple. Great meal, great evening but very pricey. A special occasion place. Oh by the way the service was exemplary.
Pros: Food, Views
Cons: Cost, Sterile building
I've gotta admit that it gets very expensive here. But it's worth it for a special occasion! I've been the the next door Cafe Spiaggia a couple of times before finally going to Spiaggia! What a difference! the food was amazing! the wine excellent, the service fantastic! but the food! i loved from the appetizer to the pasta to my meat to the lemon pannacotta! delicious! i'll go back for sure when another special event rolls around!!
Pros: food, food, wine
Totally not worth it. The portions are very small. The wait staff thinks they are doing you a favor. There are much better restaurants with much better service in Chicago for fine dining
we loved it all - great view, great service, great food and wine - very romantic. but pull out your wallet folks. my husband and i paid $500. for just the 2 of us (including the tip). we ordered the chef's tasting menu and were there for about 3-4 hours - so much wine with each course i lost track of time. lol Cheers
I took my girlfriend for her birthday and we were extremely impressed with the service, ambience and food/wine. From the hostess to the wait staff, the service was impeccable. We were given a very private table by the window as requested. The dining room was very elegant and ideal for a romantic dinner. I will say the food was very good, but not excellent for the price. This was partially compensated for by the wine pairings which were well done. Overall, an excellent experience.
Pros: Service, Wine, Ambience
Cons: Value (Food)
Spiaggia has excellent Italian food that is deftly prepared. Fresh made pastas are perfectly cooked and all ingredients are fresh, seasonal, and cooked to bring out their best flavor. Wine list was top notch and the by-the-glass selection matched the quality of the food.
HOWEVER, I havent seen a dining room this devoid of charm or warmth since my last trip to Vegas. The environment is sterile. The lighting is neither romantic nor high class though that seems to be what its trying to be. Then theres a "no jeans" dress code. Im sorry, but seeing pot-bellied middle-aged men wearing Dockers and a Blue blazer does not make for good atmosphere. Spiaggia suffers from the if its expensive it has to be fancy mentality that plagues all of Chicagos best restaurants. I dont mind paying $350 for a meal but it should be fun and romantic. Spiaggia is not.
Pros: Fresh Pasta, Wine List
Cons: , No Fun, No Charm
I recently proposed to my fiancee while dining at Spiaggia, and they made the entire experience truly memorable. From the attentive and flawless service, to the sophisticated and delicious food, the night was perfect. The staff creatively presented the engagement ring, without much guidance from me. The manager, Chris, delivered the best overall service imaginable. I found the gnocchi and lamb chops to be without peer.
Follow-up to the review:
We had since been back to Spiaggia to celebrate our 1 year wedding anniversary. Again, the service was completely flawless and the food nearly reached perfection. The gnocchi were as heavenly as before, and the rabbit loin was surely the best that it could possibly be. 10/10 rating again.
Pros: wonderful service, classic food, rewarding atmosphere
This dining space is tucked away in a most unobvious place. However, once there, your senses come alive. You can see the lake from the oversized windows, which is splendid.
You actually experience this food as opposed to just enjoying or tasting it. The thoughtful spices and arranged dishes is like a long awaited trip of relaxation. Your taste buds pop with every bite. The pumpkin ravioli is superb.
Pros: Beautiful view, wonderful selection, attentive service
My wife took me here for my fortieth birthday. Spiaggia was perfect in every way except for the price. Excellent place for that really special dinner.
I was extremely disappointed in the food. The service was excellent. Some of the food was ok, but overall just very plain. Nothing stood out. I am curious how they removed all taste from the tuna tartar.
Save your money and go elsewhere.
Pros: good service
Cons: overpriced, average food
We ate here for an anniversary this fall. It was an absolutely beautiful evening. What an experience!
Pros: Fantastic food, Beautiful setting, Very relaxed
Still the best Italian dinner I have ever had in America. The service was perfect, the setting romantic and the food exquisite. They had a spaghettini with ossetra caviar that remains one of the tastiest things I've ever eaten! If you can only do one, go here and skip Trotter's--you'll save $$ too.
I have been to spiaggia, and it was honestly no big deal. Not only was it loud and extremely crowded (with a two hour wait), but the portions were small, and left nothing to be desired!
I had a group dinner there for 20 people on the 3rd floor with AV. Fantastic service, great food, and happy attendees were all I needed to recommend it to anyone looking for a restaurant in Chicago. It is GREAT for groups! I can't wait to go back!
Pros: Great service, Great food
o my God.. it was horrible. I can't describe the amount of money we spend and I left hungry. each plate is around $25 and it comes with 2 things. for ex.. the ravioli is like $27 and there only 2 ravioli. can you believe it? Please Don't go because you'll be dissapointed. and the food is not THAT good.. rose bud is wwayyy better.
Cons: very expensive, small quantity food
The service was wonderful and the food was amazing. Their prices are high, but well worth such a wonderful dining experience.
Pros: Outstanding Food, Excellent Service, Beautiful dining area
Cons: Parking is expensive, Food prices are high
The service, food, and view were wonderful! It was a great dining experience.
Pros: clean, lovely view, romantic
Too magnificent to describe in words. Value? Well, that depends on your purpose of dining. Is it to fill your stomach or is it to give pleasure to your palate.
Pros: Heavenly Good
Cons: Break the Piggy Bank