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Spiaggia/Cafe Spiaggia

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Chicago, Illinois
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Spiaggia/Cafe Spiaggia

Looking for some advice on going to Spiaggia to celebrate my 1st anniversary. Skeeter has mentioned $400 per couple as a guideline, which is out of my price range....

I'd like to keep it around $200 before tax/tip...for people who have been here can you advise me of my best option

Go to Spiaggia and skip the wine and maybe a course

Go to Cafe Spiaggia

Do lunch at Spiaggia on Fri/Sat with their Prix Fixe special.

Ideally I would wait until my 5 year anniversary and go all out but with Tony Mantuano rumored to leave, I'd love to experience his work while I still can.

Chicago, Illinois
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1. Re: Spiaggia/Cafe Spiaggia

CP,

First, I wouldn't do lunch there. I never have, but I have heard people report that it is not up to standards at lunch time.

I am actually torn on this, due to some rumors I've been hearing that Chef Mantuano will be moving on from Spiaggia. If that is true, I might go with the main restaurant and have a few fewer courses and skimp on the wines. You might view it as a genuinely once in a lifetime experience to enjoy the work of an incredible chef in a stunning room. I have heard recent reports that the top flight degustation now goes for $150.00 per person, and I also heard that the meal is amazing and well worth it.

That being said, however, I probably would go with the Cafe, and let them know well in advance that it is your anniversary. A few of the tables are set into windows. Those tables provide some seclusion along with nice views. I would actually tolerate spending extra time in the bar waiting for one of those tables (or in the alternative, you can walk over to the main Spiaggia bar and wait there -- the bar area there also has some great tables overlooking Oak Street Beach).

The last time I was at Cafe Spiaggia, the bill was about $150 or so before tax/tip for two people. Pretty reasonable. The food was roughly similar to the main restaurant (with far fewer courses).

I think you are making a great choice either way. Happy Anniversary.

Chicago, Illinois
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2. Re: Spiaggia/Cafe Spiaggia

Thanks for your advice Skeeter.

When I looked at the menus, it appears you could do a typical 4 course meal at Spiaggia within my price range from the a la carte menu...if I did this how would the two compare?

I made my reservation at the Cafe, but I'm thinking of changing. My goal is making sure I have an experience representative of Tony's creation...I don't need his best of show.

Chicago, Illinois
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3. Re: Spiaggia/Cafe Spiaggia

If you could do a real four course meal at Spiaggia within your price range, go for it. The place is more formal than the Cafe, which is nice for an anniversary.

I would also let them know about the anniversary. A few of the tables by the window are outstanding. My wife took me there for a birthday a few years ago and hounded them about it. We ended up at a great table right by the window. As with the Cafe, I would agree to hang out at the bar for a while waiting for a table if they can provide you with a table right by the window.

Enjoy your meal.

Thinking about it puts the place back on my list of places to return to in the next few months.

Alabama
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4. Re: Spiaggia/Cafe Spiaggia

What is the dresscode for Spiaggia? The website says jackets required for men. Sorry, but I'm not wearing a jacket in July.

Chicago, Illinois
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5. Re: Spiaggia/Cafe Spiaggia

Spiaggia is a very nice place. It is one of the elite Italian restaurants anywhere. People dress for that sort of dining.

If you don't want to wear a jacket, you should look at other options.

Personally, I just don't understand the aversion to putting on a sportcoat, but that is another matter completely.

Swartz Creek
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6. Re: Spiaggia/Cafe Spiaggia

If your first choice doesn't work out, a good 2nd choice is Volare, 201 E Grand ave... I don't presume to be an expert on Chicago restaurants, I just know this was a recommended Italian, and we enjoyed it. It gets great reviews. Granted, if you have your heart set on the other already because of the chef then disregard my post ... Good general info for others that might be reading the thread perhaps. Hope you have a great time either way. What a city.

Chicago, Illinois
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7. Re: Spiaggia/Cafe Spiaggia

Skeeter...thanks for your insights. We went to Cafe Spiaggia on Wednesday and had an excellent meal. The service was what I expected for the cafe, but the atmosphere was lacking. It really isn't a proper atmosphere for a meal. The food was spectacular...easily the best meal I've ever had...and in going there we expected to sacrifice a bit of service and atmosphere for top notch food.

I think the big thing for me was it proved a dinner at Spiaggia is fully worth it....and it kind of showed me how I would expect to order when that time comes allowing me to easily bring myself into my price range for a a la carte dinner at Spiaggia, though we still may have to skip the bottle of wine. Luckily it looks like we'll have some time for that next special meal...

I mentioned the rumors going around to the server...I've heard it in multiple places...he said Tony and Mr. Levy have a joint venture down in Miami with a Tapas restaurant which is set to open at the end of the summer, though he doesn't believe Tony would end up going down there. The original rumor I heard was Tony was leaving to start his own venture in Miami...so all of this is kind of coming together, including the timing...the big question will be weather Tony heads down there or not....if he did it would be a huge suprise to our server....hopefully he doesn't.

8. Re: Spiaggia/Cafe Spiaggia

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