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Cafe Spiaggia - 35 Reviews - 980 N Michigan Ave Ste 2, Chicago, IL 60611-4501, Chicago, IL - Restaurants Reviews - Phone (312) 280-2755

Cafe Spiaggia

980 N Michigan Ave Ste 2, Chicago, IL 60611-4501
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 280-2755
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I took out of town friends intending the evening to be special. Pros: best ever herb crusted filet mignon, extensive wine list, truffle gnocchi is divine, validated parking. ...


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 th...

Worst Italian Place in Chicago 2/28/2010

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 more

Second Rate!! 2/10/2010

The service is arrogant and unknowledgeable about Northern Italian cuisine, the decor is extremely outdated, and the company that owns this restaurant is totally reprehensible!!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!! more

Great place to show someone they're special to you 5/26/2008

I took out of town friends intending the evening to be special. Pros: best ever herb crusted filet mignon, extensive wine list, truffle gnocchi is divine, validated parking. Cons: very expensive. more

Exemplary service, Outstanding food, Wonderful atmosphere, Reasonable parking fee 3/18/2008

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 more

A Dieter's Dream- 1 bite Portion Control....all for only $285.00!!!!! 8/27/2007

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. Cons: Bite-sized portions, Over-priced, Over-rated more

Average dining experience...honest review 6/5/2007

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. Pros: staff Cons: small portions more


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 more

A simply unforgettable culinary experience 5/16/2007

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. more

Been there for lunch 4/10/2007

It's pricey...but if you've had an afternoon of label shopping and wanna treat yourself like an heiress,... more

Been there for lunch 4/10/2007

G Provided by Partner
It's pricey...but if you've had an afternoon of label shopping and wanna treat yourself like an heiress, the food's really good. I've had their roc... more

Enjoy the lovely views and complementary COC*ROACHES 2/20/2007

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. Cons: C**KROACHES, officious waiters, sexist management more

The Big Lie 12/25/2006

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. more

Surprisingly Anticlimactic 12/19/2006

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 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 more

Great culinary experience 11/4/2006

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 Cons: Lobster more

Spiaggia - Restaurant of Extremes 9/11/2006

What I liked about Spiaggia: Pros: Gnocchi Cons: Small portions, Bring money more

Hi please take me back there I'm hungry 8/6/2006

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! Pros: Yummmy 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. more

Food Was OK -- Prices Were Obnoxious 7/27/2006

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! Pros: Get your butt smooched all night long by the top-notch service Cons: See my review more

Excellent but Pricey 4/9/2006

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 more

a special occasion 4/6/2006

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 Cons: expensive more

Not worth it 12/22/2005

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 more
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  • Neighborhoods:

    Central, Near North Side