Acanto
Acanto

Acanto

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.acantochicago.com/
  • Phone: (312) 578-0763
  • Hours of Operation:


    Lunch
    Monday - Sunday: 11:00am - 4:00pm
    Dinner
    Sunday & Monday 4:00pm - 10:00pm
    Tuesday - Saturday 4:00pm - 11:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Executive Chef: Chris Gawronski
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Beer, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, View, Wine

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Madison
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: Valet parking is available at the University Club, around the corner at 76 East Monroe. Garage parking is available in the Grant Park garage, accessible off Michigan Avenue; the far southeast corner is closest to Henri.
A word from Acanto
Billy Lawless is excited to announce a new chapter in the life of the historic Gage building – the opening of Acanto. The word Acanto is the Italian translation of Acanthus – the flowery leaf used extensively in Roman architecture and by famed architect Louis Sullivan in his distinctive terracotta ornamentation found on the facade of the historically landmarked building at 18 South Michigan Avenue. Acanto highlights rustic Italian cuisine in a casual, inviting setting. At the kitchen’s helm, is Executive Chef Chris Gawronski executing handcrafted pastas, coastal seaside plates, stone oven pizzas, and an in-house charcuterie program.
No Italian meal is complete without a perfectly paired beverage, which is the task of Beverage Director Jon McDaniel. Relying on his time spent living in Trento and Piemonte, Jon is featuring hand-selected wines from all of Italy’s 20 wine regions, craft Italian birra and Italian-inspired cocktails by Spirits Director Michael Page.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
See all photos
Acanto reviews from OpenTable diners
245 reviews since July 31, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.3
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4.3
    Noise LevelModerate
91% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (167)notable wine list (93)neighborhood gem (78)special occasion (71)romantic (65)great for outdoor dining (64)great for lunch (57)hot spot (50)scenic view (35)good for groups (23)vibrant bar scene (13)late-night find (10)great for brunch (6)kid-friendly (3)Show More
  • JoanP
    Dined on 11/24/2014
    Food and service were both very good. The menu is imaginative. However, be aware that tables are very close together, and it can be a bit noisy, so if you want a quiet, private conversation, this is not the place to go. It is pricier than Open Table's "$$" would lead you to believe, but that's OT's fault. (OT says "$$" means $30 and under for dinner for one, one drink, and tip. I don't know how they define "dinner", but it's tough to do that at Acanto since the secondi are all over $25!)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Loop Dining
    ChicagodinerVIP
    Dined on 11/23/2014
    Wonderful views of Millenium Park. Excellent Italian food. Great service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, scenic view, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food and excellent service !
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 11/23/2014
    We went to Acanto before the theatre, with our 10 year old fussy eater. The waiter was attentive without being intrusive. Communicated easily and demonstrated the value of listening. Recommended drinks that we loved and food that we thoroughly enjoyed. On our way out, it was drizzling and the maitre-de volunteered to get us a cab. It was a very thoughtful and gracious gesture that we deeply appreciated. Overall an excellent experience.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding dining experience at Acanto!!
    ClarenceVIP
    Dined on 11/21/2014
    I'm a huge fan of The Gage and dine there often but this was my first time taking visitors to Acanto, right next door to The Gage on Michigan Avenue. WOW...the menu is outstanding! Our server Michael was so patient and top-notch. He explained the entire menu and offered his recommendations for our table of five. We ended up ordering a cheese plate to start and the octopus. Michael also assisted with our wine choices and we were not disappointed with our sangiovese from Italy. My visitors were so pleased with the evening. The atmosphere is casual, yet classic with a warm feel. I can't wait to go back! And a special thanks to Billy Lawless, Jr and Clodagh for always making us feel so welcome!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Superb lunch option!
    Forceflow
    Dined on 11/21/2014
    Great food, good service, solid location. Very efficient operation and I will be making this a regular lunch meeting place.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great space with a touch of arrogance.....
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 11/19/2014
    A lovely evening, great space and very flavorful entrees. The dug egg pasta is amazing as was the veal. The only downer was our arrogant server.....when we asked her to describe a Boudreaux, she replied "It tastes of Rome". REALLY? What does that even mean? She did a nice job with food descriptions, but needs some mentoring with the wine menu!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great addition to Michigan Avenue!
    ChicagoTomVIP
    Dined on 11/19/2014
    Diverse and sophisticated menu, despite its brevity, allows Acanto to focus on doing dishes well. We had whole trouts served with abundant and flavorful greens. Preceded by a beet salad for my wife and a wonderfully prepared and presented fluke crudo for me. The second course was agnolotti and chestnuts, a small but delightful serving. The service was eager, a bit more than necessary, but very welcoming, pleasant and knowledgable. The chef is from Acanto's predecessor (Henri), but what felt to us too innovative as French is now great as Mediterranean Italian. The room layout is crowded but the crowd was having a great time the night we were there. Understandably so!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Kerry
    Dined on 11/19/2014
    Had a great business lunch here! Will definitely come again!
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Rocio
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    loved every dish we tried. PorcX3+ duckegg spaghetti+ butternut-filled pasta= Happiness!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Experience
    RAVEVIP
    Dined on 11/12/2014
    Excellent service and very good food. First time there and will definitely be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great specials
    BettieSVIP
    Dined on 11/12/2014
    My friend and I dined for the first time at Acanto for lunch. The lunch special pizza and salad were terrific. The two of us split the salad and two pizzas. Everything was well executed and tasty. The special pizza with sausage, grilled onion and apple was a nice contrast to the pizza we ordered off the menu with spicy gardinera as an ingredient.. Pizzas came to the table hot!! The waitress had the salad split for us and provided little plates to enable sharing the pizzas. Fresh silverware was delivered for the second course. Nice service!
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lunch in the Loop
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 11/10/2014
    I took a girlfriend to Acanto for her birthday and it was fantastic. Our server was great and suggested we split a pizza instead of us both ordering one as they are about 12" and also suggested we split a salad. We got the bean salad and the tomato and fig pizza (with goat cheese and prosciutto). Both were delicious. He also brought us a free dessert for my friends birthday. It was some type of cake with ricotta filling and orange marmalade on top. We loved everything about it. I will definitely be going back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Wonderful Dinner!
    Foodie4
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    We had a delicious meal at Acanto! It's a wonderful addition to the neighborhood. When it first opened this Fall, we loved dining in the outdoor seating area overlooking Millennium Park. This time we enjoyed dining inside with the large windows, but yet still a cozy, sophisticated feel. Delicious meal, wonderful waiter, I would definitely recommend.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Aconto Needs More Pazazz
    MomskissVIP
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    Aconto has a great location but needs more pazazz. The food has interesting ingredients although the selections are limited. The restaurant is lovely but where were the white table clothes? I don't like eating on a bare table. Also, no bread is served before the meal. A great restaurant has great bread! My husband order a vodka on ice and was charged for an extra pour, although the extra pour price was not listed on the menu. He noticed it before paying the bill. The restaurant did removed the extra charge. With a little tweaking, this could be a great restaurant. Perhaps Aconto should take a few pointers from its next door restaurant, The Gage.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • great find !
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Fantastic place if you crave tasty Italian. Four choices of affogatos for desert!
    Special Features:
    late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not Henri
    Bobbie
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Perhaps our expectations were too high. We had read the recent Tribune review, we had gone to Henri in the past. Acanto just didn't measure up. It is just so so. However the salad special and the wine were great. We felt a bit neglected by the wait staff. They dropped our salads at the table and no one ever asked if we wanted fresh ground pepper. The waiter just dropped them and walked away very quickly. The same with our entree's. No offer of grated parmesan or pepper. No one asked if we wanted another glass of wine. We don't get to Chicago all that often but when we do we like a good place to dine. We probably won't go back to Acanto. Maybe it's the ghost of Henri.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great New Restaurant
    luv2eatVIP
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Within a week I visited this restaurant twice and both times I was very impressed. Definitely a change from Henri, it is lively, casual, & intimate.The food was outstanding and the service was truly amazing. Our server Tony was knowledgeable, personable and just a pleasure to be around. He made great wine suggestions as well as food and we look forward to going again with friends and seeing if we can get Tony to be our server!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Disappointed.
    dining4
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    The food was very good but the ambiance was not that great. There were too many tables crowded into a small space making it difficult to have a conversation with others. I realize that this is a trend however, Im looking for a more quiet place to enjoy great food. wine and conversation.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great in every aspect
    FoodieFan
    Dined on 11/6/2014
    First time to this stop after evening visit to Art Institute. The place was top shelf from the homemade olive breadsticks through the entire meal. All courses were creative, delicious, and nice portions. The proprietor as well as the sommelier circulated through the small intimate restaurant showing genuine interest and appreciation for our visit. I don't write reviews really ever, but was happy to do so after this delightful evening. We'll be back for sure!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful experience!
    cpdiner
    Dined on 11/6/2014
    I was looking for a spot not far from the Auditorium Theater, where my family and I had tickets for later in the evening. I didn't want fussy, overpriced, or uber-conceptual, which isn't easy to find downtown. Landed on Acanto based on a friend's recommendation, and it exceeded all expectations. Lovely, conversation-friendly space; gorgeous food, lovingly prepared (from the simple olive starter to the housemade pasta special with lamb, we were wowed at every course); approachable menu and wine list (and my mother gave high marks to her negroni!); but above all some of the warmest, most down-to-earth and responsive service I've ever encountered. Such a memorable meal! I've been spreading the word to friends and colleagues ever since.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • AEM427
    Dined on 11/5/2014
    I consider myself a foodie--yet didn't know what half the ingredients on the menu were. They are trying too hard. Food was good. Room very attractive, but got loud when full.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Not much to choose from!
    CstacyVIP
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    We went for lunch and had a hard time finding anything that we would like to eat! Very limited and nothing really better than anything else offered in the area! Drinks are very expensive and again nothing special! We will not be back! If in the area will go back to The Gage instead!!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Granitst8
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    Owner always comes to say hello! This place and its Sister The Gage next door are great establishments!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Amazing
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    We visited to celebrate out anniversary. They greeted us with complementary champagne and a great corner table with a view of park. The server was attentive and able to comment on their selection.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Relaxing Dinner Experience
    FirstTimeDiner
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    I'm a big fan of The Gage next door, with my only complaint being how loud it is no matter the dining hour. But Acanto strikes the right balance of creative cuisine, friendly service, and cozy atmosphere where you can carry on a conversation without having to yell across the table. While Acanto may not provide a gluten-free menu, my dinner companion was offered many menu options from which to choose, including the daily specials--he said he'd return for the pasta lamb ragout. Acanto will surely become my pre-CSO dining venue.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Meh
    TorrbrodVIP
    Dined on 10/26/2014
    Henri was such a great space and fabulous food before the new chef came on board. Then the food was mediocre and the price point went up. Acanto is a step down. The room has no class. The service was okay but nothing special. The Menu is limited. I had the pasta special that was completely devoid of salt. I asked for extra parmigiana that helped a bit. Our waiter asked if I wanted salt. Really? Will not return. Will take Anteprima any day. Miss Henri.
    Special Features:
    late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great new restaurant
    Mac2sal
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    I have been here twice and really enjoyed it both times. The salads are fresh and flavorful...I loved the chicken entrée I had on my first visit. The bone in ribeye was good too.i can't wait to come back and try the pizzas in this cozy little spot! Service was friendly and noligable.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • nelly
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    First visit since Henri closed. I miss the French food and soothing décor; the look is now casual, less refined and a bit messy-looking, yet it still maintains some plush elements. I could do without the wall of bottles in the dining area, and would prefer table cloths to bare tables. That said, the food is very high quality and pure Italian done with a sublime touch. Nice variety on the menu. The sweet corn agnolotti was heavenly. Enjoyed the delicious and unique house cocktail (#6). Dessert cookies great for sharing...the amaretto cookies were particularly nice. Great wine list. And as always with a Billy Lawless restaurant, the service was superb. There's no question...I will be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • great food, great service
    hungrycat
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    Fantastic upscale food, huge italian wine list, knowledgeable staff and great atmosphere made the experience fantastic!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Lunch Spot
    DerekVIP
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    Great new addition to Michigan Ave. This place exceeded expectations as a lunch spot - more than your average lunch, but not too expensive and excellent food.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Greatest dining experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    Service was wonderful from the time we opened the door. Servers were very knowledgable on the wine lists and what to pair with our perfectly cooked pork trio. Lawless himself made sure to check in with every table just to say hi and make sure everyone was having an enjoyable time. All together this is one of if not the greatest dining experience I have ever had. Just wanted to surprise my girlfriend with a nice little date and this exceeded all of our expectations. I can't wait until we can return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Expensive and Limited menu
    BeanVIP
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    If you don't eat carbs, this is not the place for you. Very limited menu if you avoid pizza and pasta. Then the price goes way up for dinner. The wine was $14 a glass for a very stingy pour. I'm all in for spending money on good food, but this wasn't worth it. Grilled octopus was good but tiny and roasted chicken was fine. Not worth $150 for two people. I went home hungry to have a second glass of wine...
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Lunch at Acanto
    starfood
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    The food was amazing! I would like to go back for dinner. The service was impeccable, overall, a great experience. We ordered the special salad that day, which was delicious, the special flatbread was phenomenal - roasted pear, blue cheese and the salad with the white beans was fantastic.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, hot spot, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellent Meal!
    Jake
    Dined on 10/21/2014
    Wonderful dining experience. Creative menu, outstanding service. Dining space is intimate. Highly recommend the restaurant, will definitely return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice surprise
    ChifrogVIP
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    We did not even know this existed. We were pleasantly surprised. Our server was excellent, got us in and out in time for the show, he even timed it so we could squeeze in a little dessert. The food was delicious. We had the octopus and duck egg pasta. Everything was prepared perfectly and surprisingly not so heavy it sits in your stomach. Great wine list even by the glass
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • First Timer
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    First time at Acanto. We had an excellent experience. Food was flavorful, wine selection great and fun atmosphere. Would recommend and will try again
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Detra
    detra
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    Perfect place for dinner before the Symphony. Loved the ambiance, wonderful food and service. Don't expect traditional Italian food--pizza and pasta have a different spin--both were excellent.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fabulous
    CBRChiVIP
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    This is a cozy little gem, perfect for a date. The wine list is fantastic- we had a '97 red that was one of the best wines I've ever had. We ordered a couple things off the special menu - a duck pasta and a farro salad. Both were delicous. Nothing but good things to say about this restaurant, which recently changed from Henri (French food) to Acanto (Italian) with the same chef. Can't wait to go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Superb Dining Experience
    DiscerningdinerVIP
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    What a great overall dining experience! Our waiter was very knowledgeable about the wines, cheeses and other menu items. He was spot-on in every instance. We were a little rushed at the end for our theatre engagement, so he brought a plate of delicious cookies to our table that he didn't charge us for. Little touches like that will definitely cause us to return. This could become my favorite Italian restaurant in the Loop!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Nice!
    artisticpalateVIP
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Imaginative food, good service (a tad aggressive even though our server knew we were not in a hurry to get to a show). Space seems smaller than its predecessor Henri, with quasi-casual features such as Formica tables and chairs. And where is the "acanto", the acanthus architectural decor? Architecture and decor aside, this a lively restaurant with lots of promise.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.