You hear the term “fine dining” and you probably jump to the conclusion that the evening will be outrageously expensive. McCaskey has been sure to maintain the restaurant’s accessibility for the neighbors. Upon entering the space (note there is no signage to the restaurant, so your only guide will be the valet signage out front) you are greeted by the host stand and a minimalist white bar off to the right. There are a handful of seats for guests to enjoy a more relaxed evening with hand-crafted cocktails and a less expensive bar menu that includes a burger ($12), a lobster roll ($14), and a few other items all under the $16 mark.
The dining room has a few different areas and can even be sourced for private dining. The walls are white and there are large rectangular windows that offer views to the north of area condos and the Willis Tower. There is not much to look at on the walls; the Chef wants you to notice his food. To relish in the dining experience. The chairs are comfortable; the tables are nicely spaced. Though the setting is modern you will feel at ease. The staff, though perfectly on par with their formal fine-dining service, is relaxed and friendly. The wine list is extensive and the sommelier is passionate about his selections. There are a variety of cocktails that are worth sampling; they could warrant a visit to Acadia’s bar all themselves.
Bucking the Chicago dining trend, menu items at Acadia are meant to be enjoyed individually. Diners will start with an amuse bouche followed by their first course. The “Risotto” ($10) is an imaginative play on its namesake dish using tiny cubes of Yukon potato standing-in fo the grains of Arborio rice topped with hairs of black truffle. The Charcuterie Platter ($15) would be the one item that would easily be shareable and boasts some rich chicken liver mousse. Though bite size, the petite biscuits are buttery slices of heaven and the perfect separation between courses. The presentation of the entrees is stunning and a true work of art. The Stonington Lobster Pie ($34) is a deconstructed take on the traditional pot pie complete with a generous portion of lobster and colorful pearl onions. All of the entrée portions are substantial by fine dining standards. The Black Cod ($30) is nestled next to a delicate sprout leaf salad. The Deer Isle Shrimp ($26) flaunted large prawns resting atop milky white noodles.
There are digestifs, dessert wines, French press coffee and a handful of desserts ($10) to round out the meal. A decadent chocolate and bite-sized whoopee pies were presented with the check. Upon collecting coats (sans the use of any coat check tokens or direction from the diners) a parting slice of almond cake was gifted; a small remembrance of the fine dining experience in our very own South Loop. The devil is in the details and the Acadia staff makes sure that every detail is looked after with care.