Monday, February 12, 2018

After 6 Years, Our Second Acadia Dining Room Experience Leaves Us Satisfied

Scallop at Acadia circa 2018
It's been a grip since we've ventured past the bar at Acadia and into the dining room (hello 2012?!?), but recently that changed.

When we first went to Acadia it was their opening week in January of 2012.  At the time we knew we were going to have a nice meal at what we presumed was a good addition to the neighborhood, but looking back we definitely didn't anticipate this unassuming, yet immaculate restaurant would reach the upper echelons of the Chicago dinning universe.

Some things have certainly changed since then.  An expensive traditional menu has been replaced with an expensive tasting menu.  They're closed on Mondays and Tuesday and oh yeah...reservations are still tough to come by.

Another softer feature, but one noticed by us was the level of service.  Not saying our first experience was bad, but it was clear that the staff has upped their game and was super attentive, coordinated and professional.

The decor was the same as we remembered - high-end, simple but comfortable.  A fun change was the music at the restaurant.  Pretty sure we got some Radiohead and Outkast subtly complementing our experience.

So let's move to that!

Our tasting menu consisted of Acadia staples and upon further review many similar dishes that we had back in 2012:

We had the Scallop, "Risotto" and Biscuit before and all were excellent again.  As you can see in the picture above, the scallop presentation was simply amazing and something that clearly has improved since Acadia's early days.

Beyond that the premium A5 beef was good - but maybe not spectacular IMO.  Others in our party thoroughly enjoyed it though, so take that for what it's worth.

Surprisingly, one of my favorite dishes was the carrot.  Again, you can see it's beautiful but the mix of ingredients really made this one sing.  Different textures, temperatures and taste profiles made a truly unique dish.

This was a school night (aka weekday) soiree so our crew didn't get super aggressive on the booze front - although we did opt for the wine pairings.  As expected, Acadia did well on this front.  Not gonna even try, this part of the experience is lost on me.  I like wine, but don't have enough of a sophisticated pallet to give you much color here.  Everything seemed to pair well - so cheers to that Acadia (seems like this is table stakes for a two-star Michelin restaurant)!

The overarching experience this time was better than the first.  They've been doing this for 6 years now and clearly have assessed what works and what doesn't.  Additionally, the tasting menu portions seemed appropriate and we left satisfied, but not stuffed.

We'll be back, but likely next time at the bar to consume the Lobster Roll.  That being said, hopefully we don't have to wait another 6 years to make back to the dinning room.

We're lucky to have Acadia in the Sloop.  If you haven't been, we suggest you splurge!

(Hat tip: AS & DK!) 

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