The South Loop has had tons of hits and misses when it comes to restaurants. The successes are a short list of family friendly restaurants that mostly offer American fare and breakfast joints that are some of the best in the city. So when you think of fine dining, the South Loop isn't the first neighborhood you would think of....until now.
Acadia is the latest addition to the South Loop and not even the highly trafficked part of the hood. We're talking the part that semi-borders shadiness. The restaurant is a one that the neighborhood has welcomed with open arms and has received so much buzz that I needed to check this place out for myself. On Saturday Matt and I met some friends to finally check out the new neighborhood restaurant that has gained 4.5 stars in Yelp reviews. Immediately after walking in, you completely forget that you're in the South Loop because of the sleek decor and sophisticated staff. Right off the bat we knew this was going to be a great dining experience.
After placing our orders, we were presented with a lovely amuse bouche of puree, suveed scallop and caviar. It was a perfect bite of creaminess and a fantastic way to start our meal.
Then came our first course. After debating between the pork belly, sunchoke and risotto, it was our waiter's recommendation that influenced a game time decision that steered me in a completely different direction. I ended up with the crab stuffed sunchoke with corn like cake and zucchini puree. The waiter's recommendation was right on point and the dish progressively got better with each bite.
Between our first and second course, the wait staff presented us with mini biscuits served with a sweet butter. It was the perfect size (slightly bigger than a quarter) and cleaned my palette in time for the next dish. For my second course I ordered the deer isle shrimp that was served with squid ink vinaigrette, cuttlefish noodles and a fun foam on top. With every dish, especially this one, I realized that the decor was simple for a reason and it was to make the food stand out. The presentation of all dishes were amazing and this one might have taken the cake. I loved everything on my plate, but without the squid ink vinaigrette it would have just been alright. That small, but powerful taste really made an impact on the dish in a great way.
For dessert there weren't that many options (only 3) and I almost skipped this course completely, but after hearing how amazing the passion fruit toffee was, I knew I had to check it out for myself. The plate was as pretty as it was delicious. The toffee was served with a banana coffee cake and meringue sticks. It was the best dessert for someone like me who doesn't like super sweet things. It was tart to the point that it made my mouth pucker, but balanced perfectly with just enough sweetness. It really was the best way to end my meal...so I thought.
After finishing up dessert, we were served with salted caramel and a mini whoppie pie. They were bite size desserts that packed a ton of flavor and even the next day I was dreaming about the caramels. As we were leaving we were all in agreement that the service was maybe the best in the city and the food was so deserving of every start they've received. Just as when we were going to leave as happy guests, our experience was elevated when we were handed small individual wrapped bags of almond cake to take for the road.
Every penny and every bite was worth it. If you're ever looking for a new fine dining restaurant to celebrate a birthday, anniversary, or a good day definitely come to my hood, the South Loop, and check out Acadia. Hopefully it's just the beginning of what's to come in the neighborhood.