Acadia

Maine Man

Your New Spot for Lobster and Romance

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At some point, you’ll look back on 2011. Things will be fuzzy.

A blur of champagne. Lobster. And absinthe ice cubes.

Which, come to think of it, explains that fuzziness.

At the nexus of all of it: Acadia, an elegant addition to your list of spots to visit before the end of the year, opening next week in the South Loop.

The chef is Ryan McCaskey, whose résumé is gilded with places like Rushmore and Courtright’s. What you really need to know: his early cooking career was spent in Maine buddying up to lobstermen. So that crustacean in your lobster pie or lobster roll—well, let’s just say it was happier a mere 36 hours before you two met.

The gauzy white-on-white dining room is ideal for soft-focus holiday dinners. Beet salads will be attended by goat cheese noodles. Pork tenderloins with crab apple kimchi. Grape-Nuts will be pudding-ified. (Again, a Maine thing.) There’s a New Year’s Eve five-course menu with plenty of Wagyu—which, really, should be as much a tradition as Dick Clark and bubbly.

But fast-forward. It’s February. You’ve been to the Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place and need a place for an impromptu discussion about torque with a spokesmodel for an Italian import. Sit at the front bar while sipping an Amnesiac, a cocktail made in part with Chartreuse and orange bitters and chilled by those absinthe ice cubes.

Not that this is an occasion you want to forget.

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