Spiaggia's more affordable little sister.
If Spiaggia is a little too stiff or costly for your taste, step into Cafe Spiaggia - they share the same kitchen and you are getting the same quality food for less. The attention to detail and service is still top-notch.
I love seafood and recommend the trout with brussel sprouts, tuscan white beans, shallots and potatoes or the skate fish with tomato pesto puree. If you have time for dessert - the dark chocolate panna cotta with sicilian almonds and sea salt is an excellent choice. The sea salt is a simple but unique touch that draws out the rich chocolate flavor. Everything on the menu looks great though, so you can't go wrong.
I brought my business partners here a couple of times. They all were very much impressed with the food and service. Table setting is very cafe-like (in a good way), but it is still private enough for any occasion. One of the business partners was a French couple who own a high-end cookware line from France, and they were also very impressed with the overall atmostphere and their dishes. Wonderful restaurant to bring whichever it's your family or people from your work.
Great food, outstanding staff!.
Wow! We were there for an hour and a half on Saturday night and it felt like it was just perfect. The staff made us feel right at home really went out of their way to make us feel special. We never felt rushed and the place was hopping. Bravo to the management staff and the chef's. This place is on the top of my list. What a hidden gem!
How Do You Say "Turn The Table" In Italian?.
The food's OK in a sort of basic Italian way, but don't expect to have much time to savor it. We were there for less than two hours on a busy Saturday night before being bum-rushed out. So, if you need a quick bite, it's fine. But if you want to linger, there are plenty of other choices in the neighborhood that will treat you with more respect.
Best Overall Restaurant Value in CHI?.
First timers. Liked it better than older sibling-Spiaggia. Eclectic layout that is near-cramped. Beautiful frescos, views, high ceilings - you can carry on a conversation in an energetic restaurant. Like the flexible dress code.
Cheese flatbreads -try to stop eating them, Gnocchi/Boar was excellent, Chicken very good+, salads very good, gelato desserts great. You will not go home hungry, and still have a few dollars left.
Wait staff superb.
What's great about this restaurant is that the diner is getting access to one of the great culinary teams in CHI let by Chef Mantuano at a fraction of the price.
A Chicago Gem.
Cafe Spiaggia is a wonderful restaurant in one of the most unexpected places -- the mag mile. One doesn't usually imagine running across farm fresh Italian (and local) ingredients in this neighborhood, but they are there. And they are fabulous. There are generally a number of specials to choose from and the menu rotates seasonally -- so just ask your waiter what is best. You won't be disappointed. Great service. Great food. Great low key atmosphere. If you like authentic Italian (not Italian-American there are other places for that) you can't go wrong.
The setting is more casual, but the upscale Italian food is just as fabulous at Spiaggia's little sibling..
The surroundings aren't quite as luxe as Spiaggia next door, but this is still one of the finest places to dine on the Mag Mile. You're in for a treat, especially since prices are considerably lower here than at Spiaggia. Mediterranean octopus salad is a delightful start: tender, paper-thin slices of octopus kissed with sherry wine vinaigrette. Handmade pastas--from light-as-air potato gnocchi with wild boar ragu to al dente linguine with clams, white wine, garlic and chilis--are some of the best. The tiramisu is famous, but the delectable semi-frozen chocolate torte is a better choice. Renaissance-inspired frescoes and marble floors brighten the busy, narrow space, where businesspeople and shoppers take lunch in view of Michigan Avenue and the lake.
I have been to Cafe Spiaggia on two occasions and each time the food was excellent and the service was impeccable. The only drawback is that the menu is not as extensive as I'd like it to be. Try the clam and pasta if you like seafood. If you have room for dessert, be sure to try the gelato, especially coconut and mint. It's the best I've ever had. Bon Appetit!