Grace remains one of the most spectacular restaurants in Chicago and the United States both in terms of food and service! Maintaining the 3 Michelin stars was a well deserved honor. Chef Duffy has established some classic dishes, such as the King Crab, that have been immortalized in culinary history. He always amazes us with the minimalistic presentations, which so interestingly contradict the complexity of his preparations! Throughout the meat or vegetable menus there is a constant interplay between textures, temperatures, and tastes. His presentations are contemporary works of art! Earthy colors dominate the meat menu. Deserts are exceptional and en par with the savory part of the menu. Service is impeccable! The staff are friendly and engaging, yet attentive to every minor detail. Yet again an unforgettable experience!
3 Michelin stars
The Publican has one of the most vibrant atmospheres of the dining scene in Chicago. Communal tables, family style plates, and friendly staff set the tone for the restaurant. An homage to beer, pork and oysters, The Publican's eclectic menu is inspired by simple farmhouse fare in a space evocative of a European beer hall. Executive Chef Paul Kahan and Chef de Cuisine Cosmo Goss have developed a network of purveyors to supply the restaurant with hand-selected and sustainably-raised fish, seafood and pork. The highlights of the menu were once again the porchetta, the suckling pig, the farm chicken, and the frites. Great sweet selections complemented an amazing dining experience!
Girl and the Goat was one of the first establishments in the Randolph Restaurant Corridor. It still remains one of the most innovative family-style restaurants in Chicago! The menu uses the freshest local ingredients to deliver amazing preparations of meats, fish, and vegetables. Unforgettable classics such as the pig face, the bread, the frites, and the pork shank created an amazing dining experience for us once again. Chef Izard goes the extra mile to incorporate spices, sauces, and nuts in all her preparations, elevating all her courses. Every dish is a masterpiece with many layers. The atmosphere is vibrant and the staff are friendly, accommodating, and attentive to detail. Every visit to this establishment is a special treat for us!
Acadia was recently awarded its second Michelin star. It is located in Chicago's south loud and is housed in a minimalistic space dominated by black, green, and gray colors. Chef McCaskey offers his contemporary take on classic American cuisine. The menu changes seasonally and is available as a 5 or 10 course option. On our fist visit the menu left a lot to be desired. The service had a lot of imperfections with chefs arguing with servers at the entrance to the kitchen, and poorly timed dishes. The 45 minutes wait to be seated in our table is unacceptable for such a restaurant. This creative team has a lot of potential and we certainly hope they can turn this place around.
2 Michelin stars
Next is the second restaurant of chef Achatz (Alinea) in Chicago. The menu changes in cycles, with the whole space transforming to accommodate the concept. This year's first menu was "Next Paris Bistro". We found the experience to be very close to that of a Parisian bistro. Chef Beran incorporated a lot of authentic French preparations to create a nicely paced and executed menu. The 2 story seafood platter and the pressed duck were certainly the highlights of our night! The latter is a technique (with an antique press) that has been used with a lot of success for several menus at Next. The service is welcoming and playful. An amazing dinner with an intense Parisian vibe!
Grace entirely deserves its recent promotion in the 3 star club! Chef Duffy has created an amazing experience for all the senses! The restaurant offers a vegetarian menu or a menu that includes meat. Cooking is impeccable with particular attention to American and international spices and herbs. A wall in the kitchen is decorated with all the spices used in the restaurant, making a beautiful collage. Chef Duffy plays between different textures and complementary flavors, while creating unique artistic presentations. In particular we found the crab dish, and the pear desert to be the highlights of our experience. The crab course has multiple layers with part of it's ingredients supported on a sugar platform above the crab. Once mixed it offers a really explosive taste! The pear desert is a homage to minimalism. All the ingredients are included in a perfect sphere, which could be how a contemporary artist would depict a pear. Certainly a mouth-watering experience through different temperatures and textures, with a prevailing pear taste! The service was impeccable, warm, and welcoming! It is interesting to note that the restaurant has 4 bathrooms, each of which is decorated to remind a season of the year. This underscores the attention to detail that has gone in the design of this restaurant. Overall, we were very impressed and can't wait to visit again. We feel that Grace belongs in the best 5 US restaurants.
3 Michelin stars
The Aviary (and it's speakeasy "The Office") is one of the best bars in town. We do not have any pictures to share from our most recent visit in The Office, since the lighting is not ideal for picture taking. The Office is located behind a metal door at the basement of the Aviary. It is a beautiful space with leather couches and nice artwork on the walls. Mixologist Micah Melton offers a unique cocktail tasting menu (available as non-alcoholic too) that will blow your mind. Great experience in one of the best places in town for late night fun!
RPM Italian offers authentic Italian tastes with a modern twist! Lively atmosphere and welcoming service are always guaranteed. Dishes are intended to be shared. Chef Psaltis has created a menu which features a variety of cold and hot antipasti, several freshly prepared in-house pastas, and a selection of salads, and slow-roasted meats. Squid ink spaghetti was certainly the highlight for us! The restaurant offers a great selection of deserts for a great finish of a fantastic meal!
Momotaro is another great project of the Boca group. The restaurant in housed in a beautiful space with a central island for the chefs. The downstairs bar area, with amazing cocktails, is a great perk to this establishment. Food is very well prepared and loyal to original Japanese tastes. However, the long menu can get overwhelming at times. The staff make every effort to make the experience as comfortable as possible ,and they are always eager to engage and help with selections or combinations. The restaurant has a fun and vibrant vibe, making for a great night out!
Sixteen is located on the 16th floor of the Trump hotel and tower by the Chicago river. It offers one of the best views in Chicago for a restaurant (together with Everest). Dinner starts with what seems to be a game of jenga, through which the guests select their menu for the night. Several small bites set the tone for what's going to follow. Impeccable preparations, strong French influence, and attention to detail. Different bread servings are offered with corresponding choices of butter. Chef Lents provides an exceptionally executed seasonal menu. The cheese cart is a great addition, but they could have been more liberal with it, instead of restricting it to just 4 cheese selections.
2 Michelin stars