Chicago >Food & Dining > Spring A Restaurant
2039 W North Ave, Chicago, IL | Directions 6064741.910390 -87.678989
Tues-Thurs 5:30-9:30pm; Fri-Sat 5:30-10:30pm; Sun 5:30-9pm
Neighborhoods: West Side, Wicker Park
Fancy, romantic dining - but I experienced an off-night – I had high expectations, and was a little disappointed. The Charred Tuna Sashimi 'Nicoise' appetizer is great, and the quail egg is divine.
However the Atlantic Skatewing with crispy bacon and leek risotto was sabotaged by someone on a salt rampage, and I found myself reaching for ice water between every bite. The dish was beautifully presented though, so perhaps it was just an off-night.
The atmosphere is very reserved and romantic, good for a date, but a little too dark. I felt like I could hardly see the people I dined with!
Awful service – I was so excited to come to Spring after hearing great things about it but found the actual experience to be highly disappointing. The online menu is seldomly updated and thus I found such a limited selection for me to eat that I ordered a highly priced appetizer as my entree. The food was decent but nothing special and the service was slow and lackluster. Our entrees actually took 1.5 hrs to come! Would recommend Naha or Zealous over Spring.
Loves It! – I have been dining at Spring with my husband for his birthday for the last 3 years. Each and every experience has been a pure delight. The food is so fresh and prepared superbly. . The staff is friendly, attentive and knowledgeable. The ambiance is warm and relaxing. Loved the food loved the staff loved everything. We look forward to returning next year if not sooner!
Great Service, Above Average Seafood – I must start by applauding Spring on their detail to service. Our waiter was very knowledgeable and made the night delightful. Upon being seated, we received custom menus that had Happy Birthday Amy printed at the top as we were celebrating my sister, Amy's birthday. We tried the scallop and potato raviolis and the special seared ahi tuna appetizers. I felt that they were both very small for the price. The scallops should have been a bit bigger. The entrees were much better. The presentation of all of the food was notable. My girlfriend really enjoyed the salmon, which I will say was very soft. My New Zealand Grouper, on the other hand, was a bit tougher than I expected, however, still tasted good. I think that next time I will take the waiter's suggestion and try the scallops. My parents had the beremunde and monkfish. I believe that the monkfish was also a bit tough, but the beremunde was prepared very well. For dessert, I would definitely recommend the pear tart. We ordered a second one after we devoured the first. I am confident that I have had better seafood, however, the service and ambience are well worth the visit to Spring.
High prices, small portions – The soup was excellent, and the waiter was great. The food was amazingly poor, both entrees were bad. The halibut with risotto: the fish was dry and the risotto was hard and needed to be cooked longer. The Skate was soggy and flavorless. The portions were very small, though we left half of our entrees since they were pretty bad. The scallop potato "ravioli" was tasty but SMALL- we got 4 bites out of it, and it was $15.00. I was quite surprised, as the Custom House is GREAT!! Sit at the bar and have the soup-then leave!!
Chef Shawn McClain finds a home for his artful, Asian-tinged New American cuisine. – The Scene
Spring's location in the former North Avenue Bathhouse is fitting--the space is cool and clean, with a look that combines the building's classic elements with updated minimalist accents. A soothing Zen garden and chartreuse, tan and eggplant wall panels soothe, complementing the room's original white-glazed brick. Seating is cleverly arranged, with a series of angled banquettes that extend the length of the room.
Chef Shawn McClain's New American menu fires on all cylinders. A thrillingly tangy Camembert-buttermilk dressing tops a summer asparagus salad, while fabulous Pacific halibut comes with tantalizing mashed potatoes studded with lobster meat. McClain's fascination with Asian flavors surfaces on several plates, best among them a subtle, throat-stinging lemongrass and coconut soup with red curry, and a deliciously tender charred beef tenderloin, served sliced with crispy soba noodles and baby bok choy. Desserts wow; try honeydew sorbet with chilled plum soup--the perfect summer dessert.
Amazing food, service is just right – The food was amazing, the service and atmosphere wonderful and not unncessarily pretentious or arrogant. The seafood choices are great, and truly artistic (although not skimpy). There are a couple chicken/redmeat choices, but this place thrives on its fresh seafood creations.
Our server, Jeff, was phenom! The ambiance and design is very comfortable and it's easy to have a romantic dinner or bring a group of friends. Our dinner took just long enough without being a marathon; we were there 2 hours and loved every minute!
Dinner was worth every penny, and is not overpriced for the superb dining experience that it is; there 's a reason the chef is listed in Bon Appetit as a premier chef!
I just hope they have the lemongrass and coconut soup when you go!
Seafood only – Their appetizers are good - we had the Shrimp salad and Lemongrass soup. The soup was especially good. Their entree menu is mostly fish only (no shrimp, crab, lobster, mussels, etc) - try the Brazilian Snapper which was flavorful. Don't go with the Black Bass if you are looking for a lot of flavor. The portions are not that big though and the prices are high. Also, the menu did not have as many non-seafood choices as we would like.
New Ideas, New Ingredients – Dazzling experience. This is the kind of restaurant I wish I could find near me (NY), meaning adventuresome food, beautifully, in fact artfully, presented, at very good price points. This was 4-star at 2-star pricing. (Other reviews about chincy portions are wrong our out of date.) We barely had room for dessert. Winners: an Australian barramundi fish (better than sea bass) and scallops. Service was intelligent and sensitive...waiter knew when it was time to "tell us the specials". Thanks for being there, but not there. Restaurant is beautiful and did not become noisy, though full. The meal ended with a complimentary "chocolate soup," which was exceptional, and would have been the highlight had not everything else been so terrific. Wine by the glass for $6-$8, and desserts in the $6-7 range were a bargain, the the main courses at $25-$28 were worth more. I'd love to be a weekly regular.
You take the good, you take the bad – THE GOOD: The food quality was amazing. I had the Maine Skate; hands down the best piece of fish I've ever had. And the butternut squash and apple soup was unlike anything I've ever had. The atmosphere also gets a nod for being zen-like, yet modern.
THE BAD: The appetizers are horrendously small and overpriced, literally not enough to whet the appetite of a young child, muchless two adults.
Be prepared to be frowned upon and made to feel cheap by the waitstaff if God forbid, you choose not to order wine or desert with your meals. Gasp! The crowd for the most part seemed unpretentious enough, although be prepared to have a few Grey Poupon limo-riders in the crowd, who frown in distaste every time you choose to laugh or your voice rises above a whisper. A good restaurant, but you can do better...
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