Since 1984 Spiaggia is recognized as one of Chicago’s top eating houses. Chef and Partner Tony Mantuano and his team still go strong when it comes to serving contemporary Italian fare, combined with some great views from the three-story picture windows of Oak Street Beach and the shores of Lake Michigan.
Spiaggia means beach in Italian and the restaurant’s name comes from founder and chairman of Levy Restaurants, Larry Levy, who owns Spiaggia. Larry Levy has a passion for Italy and he liked to bring the spirit of Italy to his hometown Chicago. He started with a trip to the Mediterranean beach Forti di Marmi, but the whole project soon evolved into something much bigger which today has become one of the finest restaurants in Chicago.
Spiaggia is located on the second floor of a building at the One Magnificent Mile in Downtown Chicago. Larry Levy and his team really made a great job. It took several years before the restaurant finally opened in 1984 and by then Larry had found the talented and skilled Chef Tony Mantuano who also became a Partner of the restaurant.
Tony Mantuano worked in several top rated restaurants in Italy before he became the head of Spiaggia. He has achieved numerous accolades and he has also been locally famous after several appearances on television and published cookbooks. The Chef also manages other ventures such as Mangia Trattoria in his hometown of Kenosha, Wisconsin.
You come to Spiaggia to have Italian cuisine, such as the Arancino nero con sepia with crisp rice fritter with mozzarella di bufala and butter poached baby cuttlefish. The seafood is what really distinguishes the restaurant and makes it great – seafood dishes like the sweet pea filled rye pasta with smoked baby octopus and fresh horseradish.
Spiaggia has been around for a long time now and hopefully the restaurant will continue for many more years to come, because it is one of the essential reservations when you are in Chicago looking for an Italian treat.
Images curtesy of Spiaggia
Written by Andy