Acadia – South Loop, Chicago

Acadia - South Loop, Chicago
What I Ordered

Review By: Christianna Klangides –

Imagine a room full of chefs drinking tall boys of PBR with their legs dangling in the air. There’s a cheerful vibe contrasting against the meticulously clean kitchen. Now picture this at a Michelin Star restaurant… It may not seem fitting, but it’s perfect. This, is Acadia.

The exuberant host let us know that our table was not quite ready when we got there, but that gave us enough time to nestle up at the bar. The cocktail list is filled with unique cocktails that even had me abandoning my whiskey for the night. Somehow, I was mesmerized by a tequila drink. This never happens, but I’m so glad it did. The Posh Paloma was carefully crafted with tequila ocho reposado, combier pampelmousse rose, citrus and grapefruit bitters. I could drink that by the pitcher.

After a round of drinks, we were showed to our table. I was surprised by the space because it was actually spacious. It had an openness to it that is hard to find in similar restaurants. The conversational tone was pleasant yet private. Our server was extremely friendly and informative throughout our entire experience. She started us with a glass of champagne, and we decided to do the tasting menu which was perfectly paced.

Our amuse bouche definitely invigorated my palate, and I was excited to dive right into our tasting menu. Our first course was paired with a 2011 Tenuta Sella Coste della Sesia. I loved watching our server pour with such grace and precision as she explained our first course, Medai. A scoop of sushi rice ice cream was a playful accompaniment to the fish. The contrast of textures and temperatures was brilliant. The dish was garnished with radish, lime, cilantro and cocoa nibs. Yum!

Moving onto the Wild Mushrooms. An artistic sum of panna cotta, amber cremini, mushroom soil, mushroom dashi and mushroom “bacon” was presented as the second course. The broth was poured table side along with a 2007 Inman Pinot Noir. The flavors were wonderful. I only wished the broth had been a bit hotter.

Two homemade biscuits were served next. They were warm and flaky. I could have done away with an entire basket of them

Our next course was paired with a 2009 Jermann Tocai/Chardonay. The Tagliatelle pasta was dressed in a miso butter sauce. I wanted an entire bowl of that pasta. The tagliatelle was topped with bottarga and hackleback caviar which tied all the ingredients together. This was perhaps my favorite dish. Following this was a unique interpretation of lobster. It was absolutely divine. I may be biased because I love anything with peanuts and chai, but who would have thought to pair them with lobster? Chef Ryan McCaskey is brilliant. The bottom of the held a pumpernickel sponge bread which was topped with lobster, peantus and grapefruit. A chai froth finished the dish which was paired with a 2009 Qupe Roussanne.

The Bone Marrow was served on a bleached bone with peeky toe crab, veal cheek and truffle. It was also really great and served with a 1991 Max Ferd Richter Riesling.

Next came the Wagyu which looked like a color palate. The plate was decorated with broccoli, oyster, oyster sauce and micro herbs. The best bites included a little bit of everything. This was paired with a 2002 Cappos-Osso Priorat. The wagyu was perfectly cooked to medium rare and melted in my mouth.

Last but not least, dessert. The Ile Flottante was the perfect end to a wonderful tasting menu. Tropical fruits highlight the honey custard while the olive oil adds a sweet and savory flavor. The 2011 Cascina Pian d’Or Moscato/Brachetto offered a sweet pairing with a touch of acidity. A perfect match.

Chef Ryan McCaskey and Sommelier Jason Prah have combined their talents and passion for food and wine to present an evolving tasting menu. Acadia is the perfect spot for a romantic dinner, catching up with old friends or (from what I hear) a great lunch break with the best burger in town! I will be back to try more.

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