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Time Out Says Spiaggia Needs a Little Refinement; Packing House Packs Punch

Photo: Marc Much

Spiaggia is still "elegant and beautiful" but just needs a "little refining," Amy Cavanaugh writes. She sits down at the revamped space and is impressed by a "snappy and lively" yellowtail jack crudo featuring a "mix of textures." Other dishes are more problematic: turbot is "perfectly cooked" but "outrageously salty;" a mélange of vegetables is marred by an "overpowering" horseradish crema; and seafood risotto suffers from "underseasoning." Dessert is a revelation with a dolcini board featuring "magical and surprising" bites of four-layer cake, cookie, blue cheese macaron, rice pudding and more. [TOC]

Packing House is a solid, overlooked lunch option in the West Loop, according to Laura Bianchi. A seasonal pickle jar "jump-start[s] your palate" and the snapper ceviche can "light up your taste buds" with chilies, feta, cilantro and citrus juices. The "bold" burrata salad features foraged morels in deep-fried lard and an "exquisite" vinaigrette while the pizzas have "notably chewy-crisp" crust. Finally, crab spaghettini is "worth the splurge in cost and calories" and a summery lemon and vanilla tart is thickened to a "silky creaminess." [Crain's]


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