|White-asparagus cremeaux anchors a miniature garden of baby vegetables |
that is surrounded by a hot, charred-onion broth. (Via Chicago Tribune)
True enough, Acadia, just south of 16th Street on Wabash Avenue, doesn't present much to the outside world. From the street, it's a drab little building on a very quiet stretch (at 10 p.m. that night, the sidewalk was populated by me, the car valet and a guy walking his dog). But once you walk through the front door, it's like Dorothy stepping out of her farmhouse.
The dining room is drop-dead gorgeous, a warmly minimalist, softly lit and serenely quiet space with alabaster walls, neutral carpeting and beaded-metal curtains. Seating, replaced a year ago, is plush and comfortable. And the kitchen is absolutely killing it right now, producing a parade of eye-candy dishes that display intelligence, humor and, occasionally, clever riffs on the food of chef/owner Ryan McCaskey's beloved New England region.
Had McCaskey opened Acadia on Randolph Street four years ago, he'd probably be driving a Lexus by now.
"I think about it every week," McCaskey said, in a mixture of ruefulness and defiance. "Whenever I talk to Nick Kokonas (Alinea, Aviary, Next, Roister), he tells me, 'You know, you'd have doubled your revenue in the West Loop.' But the South Loop will have its day; I know it's going to happen."
The article goes on to give a vivid description of what you can expect when dinning at Acadia. Beyond this, the Tribune has rated the restaurant the #7th best in Chicago (you can find an interactive maps here).
Lucky to have this one in the neighborhood.