Monday, May 31, 2010

Cafe Spiaggia

The reason I didn't cook the food I bought at the farmers market on Saturday (post below) is because my sister surprised me with a visit to Chicago! We decided a special dinner was in order, and went to Cafe Spiaggia. Cafe Spiaggia is the little brother of Spiaggia - it's a more casual and affordable version of the main restaurant, right next door. Tony Mantuano, James Beard award winner and recent Top Chef Masters contestant, is the chef at Spiaggia - one of the best restaurants in Chicago, and one President Obama's favorite restaurants.

First up, a drink at the bar - bellinis with peach puree and a lemon twist.

Once we were seated we got a bread basket, which included parmesan flatbread.

For appetizers, I ordered buffalo mozzarella encrusted with bread crumbs with Calabrian pepper vinaigrette and spring onions. Elizabeth got asparagus soup with cresenza cheese, foccacia croutons, blanched asparagus, and Parmigiano Reggiano.

And for the main course - I went with handmade potato gnocchi with wild boar ragu and Parmigiano Reggiano. Elizabeth ordered the duck special - wood roasted duck leg with creamy white polenta, spinach, and eight year balsamic vinaigrette.

The gnocchi was SO good. They were shaped more like penne than little round gnocchi, and so soft. And the wild boar ragu was amazing.

Last but not least, dessert. We got two things to share - tiramisu, and Valrhona torta with stracciatella gelato.

There were also Italian style doughnuts on the menu. How we didn't order those, I'm not sure...but I'll definitely be back to try them.

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