SPIAGGIA Chicago - Review / by Richard Schumacher

Feb. 2019

Brought the other Schu with me.

Brought the other Schu with me.

Arrive to Spiaggia and you're met with a poster of the former Top Chef winner and Executive Chef, Joe Flamm. We're in the right place. Yet, it felt like our ride up an escalator felt more like we were attending a cook book signing with the reality TV Chef in a Barns and Noble. We weren't there for photo ops and story time with Joe. This was a Michelin Star mission! Before taking our seat I was ready for our server to say, 'mangia!'

There's no shortage of Italian joints in this city. I don't even need a reservation to eat some decent pasta, let alone cram the thousandth bite of gelato in my mouth. However, when their little truffle boy arrived to our table, he began shaving those fragrant chips over our gnocchi. It was then that I knew we were not on Taylor Street any more.

There were other dishes aside from gnocchi, but it's the only one we wake up thinking about in the middle of the night. It has to do with the fact that each bite was like eating a saucy little pillow wrapped in a truffle blanket. It's a bite you will dream about when you think of gnocchi thereafter.

If we ever get back to Spiaggia, we'll prepare ourselves for a slumber party on a bed of pasta, not story time with the Chef.

What did we devour off Spiaggia’s Michelin Star Menu?

Here’s a rundown of the food we at that night.

  1. INSALATA INVERNALE baby romaine, kumquat, calabrian, walnut, gran mugello

We only ordered this salad because we didn't think it was appropriate to ask for the gnocchi first. Winter salad, you were great at awakening our palates. It was fresh with great acidity, and it was nutty. Nutty kind of sounds like gnocchi...moving on.

Plate 1 - Winter Salad.

Plate 1 - Winter Salad.

2. GNOCCHI black truffle, ricotta, parmigiano

Plate 2 - Gnocchi

Plate 2 - Gnocchi

Let's just assume you have got the picture so far. The gnocchi was pretty damn good. You could order something else, but you shouldn't. In fact, order one when you sit, then tell them to have one ready for your trip home. Are there residential units in the building? Asking for a friend.

3. ANATRA duck breast, cabbage, chestnut, jus:

Plate 3 - Duck Breast

Plate 3 - Duck Breast

Italian food is always rich, luxurious, and usually covered in some sauce. Spiaggia heads a separate direction here, but throws down on some well seared duck. We asked if it came with a side of gnocchi, but it was a firm "no."

4. AGNELLO * lamb chop, potato pave, lamb belly marmalade

Plate 4 - Lamb Chops

Plate 4 - Lamb Chops

Sure the potato pave is French, but lamb speaks everyones language. The well portioned lamb chop stands tall beside the pasta focused menu at Spiaggia. It arrived rare. The sauce was so good, it makes you wish you were at KFC, where it's ok to use your finger to swipe the bowl for the last drop of gravy. We're not the only one who does that, let's be real.

5. Gelato and Sorbet

They wouldn't give us a "refill" on gnocchi so, we ordered the cheapest dessert on the menu. We proceeded to stare at pictures of the gnocchi we took on our phones. In all seriousness, you can make a ball of that pasta and slap it on the dessert menu - it would sell. Oh, and the gelato and sorbet were alright as well.

Thank you for reading!

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Also, I realize there’s no picture of the gelato, but c’mon…

Picture a scoop of gelato in your head, and that’s it.