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A South Loop Gem Full of Delicious Surprises

by Azure Nelson – March 19, 2012
1639 S. Wabash Ave., Chicago

Scallop appetizer at Acadia, a new high end dining spot in Chicago's South Loop

Acadia is one of the South Loop’s newest gems, an elegant and sophisticated restaurant serving high-end, seasonal fare. Situated in an industrial part of the city across from an abandoned lot, the name (derived from the Greek word Arcadia, meaning refuge or idyllic place) is perfectly fitting, as Acadia truly is an idyllic refuge from the harsh, sometimes ugly south side.

My boyfriend and I love our Chardonnay, so a wine list void of a good oaky chard could spell disaster for the night. We have a few go-to favorites (Far Niente, Lewis, Cakebread) that weren’t on Acadia’s wine list, but the sommelier suggested a South African bottle based on our tastes, and his recommendation was spot on. But before we got our wine on, we would try a few of Acadia’s creative cocktails! I ordered the Rum Coke Smash and it was a classic Sidecar for Reid. Both were delicious and clearly made with love.

Creative cocktails at Acadia restaurant

The amuse-bouche we started with—a panecotta bite with a little bit of crisp and citrus zing—didn’t knock my socks off, but it was a nice way to begin the meal. We then ordered Penobscott Bay Scallops and a potato Risotto with truffle, green apple and herbs for our starters. My scallops were cooked to perfection and plated like a piece of art, and Reid finished his risotto before I could even ask for a taste. So I assume it was pretty darn good.

One of my favorite bites of the night came next. Once our appetizers were cleared and entrees ordered, our server delivered two mini buttermilk biscuits dusted with sea salt with homemade butter on the side. They were warm, fluffy and just so SO good, I could have eaten five and called it a night. But my Stonington Lobster Pie would be coming out soon, and that too would be a little piece of heaven in my mouth.

I was expecting something similar to Chicken Pot Pie (a rich man’s version?), but was pleasantly surprised when my dish arrived. Big chunks of mouth-watering lobster, surrounded by pearl onions, baby carrots and savory pastry puffs, finished with a generous pour of classic lobster bisque soup. It was divine, and I enjoyed every last bite. Reid ordered the Wagyu Beef and while he liked it, it didn’t satisfy his hankering for a hardy, juicy steak. He knew we weren’t going to Capital Grill or Mastro’s though, so he was prepared and walked away pleased.

Delicious Lobster Pie entree from the South Loop's Acadia restaurant

We were feeling fat and happy and decided that ordering dessert would be gluttonous. So we stood firm despite our server’s gentle nudging, and were perfectly content to finish our wine and head out. But Acadia had two more tricks up its sleeve… and they were super sweet! Chocolate truffles and Turkish Delight Petits Fours were delivered with our check, and the coat check gals sent us off with two mini whoopee pies tied up in a cute bag with a Thank You from Acadia. Those little extras go a long way with me, so Acadia…I’m a fan!


About the Author: Azure Nelson

Azure is the Editorial Director and Social Media Manager for, a top wedding planning website. After graduating with a finance degree from the University of Illinois, Azure happily changed gears, from number crunching and Excel modeling (sorry, Mom and Dad) to inspiring brides across the nation.