Since it opened in 2011, I have been dying to try Acadia, which has since earned a Michelin Star both in 2013 and 2014. The dining room at Acadia offers both an 8-course tasting menu, in addition to à la carte options. Recently, I visited Acadia with Brittany of The F Bombs and Tiffany of Style Sidebar, and, instead of the dining room, we chose to dine in the front lounge, which does not take reservations and is a bit more casual and approachable. It is also where Acadia serves its award-winning lobster roll!
I started with a glass of wonderfully crisp Champagne, Brittany ordered the Bellinimo, made with Aperol, sparkling Vouvray, pink peppercorn liquer, and grilled peach ice cubes, and Tiffany chose the Old Fashioned, prepared with bourbon, smoked vanilla-saffron syrup, and lots of bitters. Our waiter and bartender, Ian, masterfully executed each cocktail, and was such a pleasure to get to know over the course of the evening. When you go, be sure to ask for Ian!
We each ordered the lobster roll for dinner. Stonington lobster was tucked into a perfectly buttered bun, and was topped with paprika and chives. Tasty salt and vinegar chips were served on the side. We each savored the buttery lobster, flavorful roll, and crisp and delicious chips. It was an absolute winner.
The lobster roll was the perfect portion to allow room for pastry chef Ji Yoon’s fantastic desserts, and we were so glad that we did. Ian sung the praises of the elotes dessert, and for good reason. It was one of our favorites, both for presentation, as well as taste. This dish featured sweet corn mousse, blueberries, and cajeta, made from sweetened, caramelized milk.
While I adored the elotes, my surprising favorite was the plum tart, with vanilla chiboust (pastry cream), matcha (powdered green tea) streusel, and raspberry. Maybe it is because I drink my body weight in green tea on a daily basis, but the earthiness of the matcha streusel blended so nicely with the sweet plums. It was a light and refreshing dessert and perfectly seasonal.
Also drool-worthy was the dark chocolate semifreddo, with macadamia, cherry, and caraway cream. The tart cherries balanced nicely against the rich chocolate. It was very satisfying, and a little went a long way.
We had such a wonderful time at Acadia, thanks to the service, food, and of course, fantastic company. I will certainly return to dine in the lounge once again, as well as for the tasting menu in the more formal dining room. For Michelin-star quality food at reasonable prices, however, I highly recommend ordering from Acadia’s bar menu very soon.
1639 South Wabash Avenue, Chicago, IL