Tucked away inside frosted windows on south Wabash Street and intriguing an area that is fairly barren and quite devoid of heavy night traffic, Michelin Star-rated Acadia Chicago brings to the South Loop what L20 or Alinea brings to Lincoln Park: strongly recommended fine dining.
Chef/Owner Ryan McCaskey is a Saignon, Vietnam transplant who was raised in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago and has built quite the following of chefs. McCaskey’s broad skill set and diverse kitchen experience—Trio under Grant Achatz and TRU under Rick Tramonto, Goose Cove Lodge in Maine and the Black Locust in Wisconsin, to name a few—has layered the talents and techniques required for McCaskey to build a successful, harmonious fine-dining hot spot.
His culinary style, described as simultaneously contemporary and classic, has certainly lent itself to not only the menu, but the experience and even décor at Acadia. The simple bar area is paralleled with beautifully soaring ceilings and neutral, two-toned walls. The chairs, wrapped in white, don’t-spill-on-me fabric are a serene accent for the large dark tables. The minimalist design sets the table for the modern American cuisine that’s featured in both the twelve-course chef’s tasting menu and the more approachable bar offerings (at gastropub pricing.) Beyond its first AAA Five Diamond Restaurant rating and second One Star Michelin Guide Award, the restaurant is touted for its bar food—though I use that term loosely, it’s still the technique-driven quality that Chef McCaskey is known for—including his award winning Acadia Burger (a double patty with house made apple wood bacon, double crème gouda, “special sauce”, garlic dill pickles and potato salad) and the Stonington, Maine Lobster Roll with paprika and chives.
For a la carte options, check out the 62 Degree Swan Creek Farm Egg with pistachio bread, frisee, radish and allium juice. Or the Foie Gras Torchon with Asian pear, Maine blueberry gelee, almond, brussels sprout leaves, and vin santo.