Eating lunch out of a lunchbox is a wonderfully nostalgic blast from the past, improved upon by the fact that haute lunchboxes are now available at Cafe Spiaggia. Sorry, moms of the world, but Spiaggia’s chicken Milanese and pork neck meatball sandwiches beat fluffernutters and bologna sandwiches any day. And as an added bonus, there’s no threat of eating lunch alone in the corner of an isolating cafeteria with the threat of wedgies and torment.
Mondays are Italian bitter greens day, accented with olive oil-poached Gulf shrimp, ricotta salata, and herb vinaigrette. For dessert, an Italian-style ginger and molasses “whoopie pie.” Chicken Milanese is on deck for Tuesdays, served on ciabatta with arugula and lemon aïoli, served with wood-charred vegetables and fonduta, and anginette lemon cookies for dessert. Fresh mozzarella, tomato, and basil pesto focaccia sandwiches are served on Wednesdays, along with housemade potato chips and chocolate-dipped almond and pine nut biscotti. On Thursdays, lunchboxes are filled with sliced prosciutto, Manchego, and fig jam baguettes, baby arugula salad, and sweet ricotta and pistachio tortas. Pork neck meatball sandwiches round out the lunch roster on Fridays, served with Spiaggia pasta salad and gianduja cookies.
Mondays through Fridays, the Italian restaurant packs lunches between 11:30 am and 2:30 pm, offering a different designated menu each day of the week. Like any good lunchbox, it features an entree, a side dish, and a dessert.
980 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago
Matt Kirouac has been writing about food for publications in Chicago and around the country for several years now.
Follow Matt Kirouac on Twitter: @Mattsland