Best of 2011: Spiaggia (Chicago, IL)

Best of 2011: Spiaggia (Chicago, IL)

This one-Michelin starred eatery offers Italian cuisine using both imported and local Midwestern ingredients. It also boasts a cava di stagionatura, a climate-controlled cheese cave that holds up to 40 Italian cheeses, and an artisanal Italian beer program.

Destination Bottles:

G.D. Vajra 2005 Bricco delle Viole (Barolo)
Cornelissen 2006 Magma 5 (Etna)
Movia 2002 Puro Ros茅 (Slovenia)

The wine list is predominantly Italian, featuring classics as well as emerging regions.

For more information聽about this Chicago, IL, restaurant, click here.

For more Chicago restaurants, visit Avenues, Blackbird, Charlie Trotter’s, Frontera Grill, Longman & Eagle and L2O.


Hot Chef: Tony Mantuano

Wine Enthusiast: Epiphany wine experience in a restaurant?

Tony Mantuano: It was at La Locanda di Alia in Calabria drinking Ciro Riserva, Duca San Felice from Librandi. The food and wine coming from the surrounding soil鈥攖he same soil as my paternal ancestors鈥攆illed me with the truest understanding of pairing wine and food from the same region.

WE: What is your current favorite ingredient?

TM: Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale, because there are no substitutions. It鈥檚 made in a process that is thousands of years old. It may be the most misunderstood ingredient in the world鈥攎ost Americans think it鈥檚 the salad dressing. This balsamico is made from cooked grape must and allowed to age in wooden casks.

WE: Since you keep about 25 varieties of Italian cheese in your own cava di stagionatura, what have you learned about pairing wine and cheese?

TM: E very cheese is friendly to a different wine. Gorgonzolas are best with dessert and fortified wines, goat cheeses go well with Fruilano, Parmigiano Reggiano is outstanding with Franciacorta sparklings and we pair fresh pecorino with Chianti Classico.

WE: Where do you go for an amazing food and wine experience?

TM: I go to Italy, because the food tastes better there.