Nearing its 30th anniversary, Spiaggia (980 N. Michigan Ave., Gold Coast, 312-280-2750) closed for remodeling on January 1. When it returns, the jacket-required, white-tablecloth splurge you knew will give way to a business-casual, no-linen splurge more in line with contemporary fine dining.
“When I travel and go to places like Dinner by Heston Blumenthal [in London], there’s no linen on the table,” says Spiaggia paterfamilias Tony Mantuano. “Every attention to every detail on every plate—and to service—but a relaxing of the rules.” Mantuano also cites Metamorfosi in Rome among the no-tablecloth vanguardists, as well as Alinea, the name of which could etymologically resemble “without linen” if you squint at it just right.
The made-over Spiaggia also will introduce a lounge in the dining room, à la New York’s Le Bernardin. Loungers can order from a dedicated lounge menu or off the dining-room menu if they prefer.
The dining-room menu will change only in graphic design. “As far as stature of ingredients and presentation, nothing will change,” Mantuano says. The executive chef since November, Chris Marchino, is now stageing in Italy during the renovation. Spiaggia, which opened lucky Friday the 13th, April 1984, will celebrate its three-decade tenure starting the day they plan to reopen, April 1. April Fool’s Day—we’ll really know they’ve gone casual if you see any Whoopee cushions.