3/08/2013 09:57:00 AM

Best Thing We Ate Last Night: Acadia Burger at Acadia

Photo by Anthony Tahlier

Simple? Definitely. Perfect? Maybe. The burger we ate last night was a game changer. Not because it was actually medium-rare, with meat and a soft bun that gave way to the slightest touch, and not because a single bite had us emitting expletives. Maybe it had something to do with the bread and butter pickles. But most likely it was the total package of eating an American classic in a sophisticated restaurant.

While the dining room at Acadia is a contemporary space with neutral tones accented with black art and dark wood tables, the cuisine is elegant. The dishes are beautifully composed with seasonal ingredients and a touch of whimsy - for instance, chef Ryan McCaskey’s take on chicken noodle soup with chicken velouté, noodles, mirepoix and truffle croutons. At the bar, this elevated take on a familiar favorite is taken a step further with lobster rolls that are not only made with coastal lobster, but also buns from Maine.

Now, about this burger, it is an 8 oz. beef patty topped with Capretta and Mornay cheese, onion bacon jam and pickles on a brioche bun. Please excuse the cliché, but it is melt-in-your-mouth (and all over the plate) tasty. The buttery cheese is balanced with the almost sweet jam and tangy pickles. The meat is well seasoned and served pink. All of its juices are absorbed into the bun, except for those that end up on the plate that are easily reabsorbed by a few thick-cut fries. It is a burger that's worth traveling to the South Loop for.

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