101. Spiaggia, Chicago, Ill.
Decades before the likes of Mario Batali and Michael White brought us the most recent wave of fine Italian dining, Tony Mantuano taught Chicagoans how to enjoy refined Italian fare at Spiaggia. Taking a cue from its name, which means "beach" in Italian, the food and décor at the restaurant are inspired by the coast. Mantuano has won countless accolades for his accomplishments here; including the 2005 James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Midwest. Chris Marchino took over for longtime executive chef Sarah Grueneberg in November and hasn't skipped a beat, continuing to delight diners with such fare as Pugliese burrata with golden Osetra caviar and potato crisps, squid ink spaghetti with Maine lobster and toasted breadcrumbs, and wood-roasted steelhead trout with honey mussels, black garlic, butter-roasted turnips, and Meyer lemon.
The restaurant is currently undergoing a massive redesign in honor of its 30th anniversary, and when completed in late spring there will be a newly designed dining room, a new location for the bar, and a new lounge area with its own menu. Onward and upward!
Click here to watch The Daily Meal’s interview with chef Tony Mantuano on Spiaggia's 30th anniversary and what's next.