Morning prep in the Alinea kitchen in Chicago / <a href=''>Alinea</a> Morning prep in the Alinea kitchen in Chicago / <a href=''>Alinea</a>

Chicago Loses Some of Its Michelin Luster

As Michelin kicked off this year’s unofficial restaurant awards season, it appeared the venerated guide book was in a generous mood. Washington’s first-ever 3-star restaurant was announced Sept. 13, for example.

Chicago has not been so lucky.

The Michelin Guide revealed Wednesday that the Windy City had lost one of its two Michelin 3-star restaurants, Grace. The place closed in December after chef Curtis Duffy walked out in a dispute with the ownership. It also lost Sixteen in the Trump Tower, a two-star restaurant (“excellent cuisine, worth a special detour”). According to Eater Chicago, sales had gone down as much as 40 percent, reportedly because of the president’s association. Closing and relocation took out two one-star spots, as well. That brings the total number of starred restaurants in Chicago to 22. Last year there were 25.

Alinea, from star chef Grant Achatz and Tock reservation founder Nick Kokonas, is now the city’s only three-star restaurant.

This year’s guide did see the addition of one new restaurant, the one-star Temporis. The 20-seat dining room, headed up by two young chefs, Sam Plotnick and Evan Fullerton, offers a $125 tasting menu. Michelin’s Chief Inspector of the U.S. Team, who spoke to Bloomberg on condition of anonymity as required by the position, called out a few Temporis dishes as exemplary including a lamb curry entrée, and capellini pasta with lobster truffle sauce and cape gooseberries.  He denied that the guide rewards dishes with luxury ingredients. “Michelin has that reputation,” he admitted, “but it’s not the case. Just because a chef throws truffles and foie gras doesn’t mean it’s a star.”

Indeed one of the city’s most high-profile openings, Bellemore, whose signature dish is a caviar-topped savory pie, didn’t merit a star. “We are happy each year to watch it for future selection,” said the inspector.

Even more notable was the omission of Publican, the revered pork and beer saloon from One Off Hospitality. It fell off the Bib Gourmand list (“quality restaurants that have menu items that offer two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for $40 or less”), but didn’t earn a star. “We had a nice meal, but the price point didn’t support the Bib, and it didn’t deserve a star,” reported the inspector.

On the bright side for value-seekers, there was an uptick in Chicago’s Bib Gourmands: Michelin recognized a record 58 Chicago restaurants including nine new entries such as the California cuisine-focused Pacific Standard Time.

“Each city is unique,” said the inspector responding to Chicago’s star loss. “Some years some cities don’t see much movement. Sometimes that’s due to financial constraints. We will be taking a fresh look next year.”

Here is the full list of Chicago’s Michelin-starred restaurants and Bib Gourmands, plus the neighborhoods in which to find them. An asterisk (*) denotes a new entry.

Three Stars

  • Alinea, Lincoln Park & Old Town

Two Stars

  • Acadia, Chinatown and South
  • Oriole, West Loop
  • Smyth, West Loop

One Star

  • Band of Bohemia, Andersonville, Edgewater and Uptown
  • Blackbird, West Loop
  • Boka, Lincoln Park, Old Town
  • Dusek’s Board & Beer, Pilsen, University Village, Bridgeport
  • EL Ideas, Pilsen, University Village, Bridgeport
  • Elizabeth, Andersonville, Edgewater, Uptown
  • Elske, West Loop
  • Entente, Lakeview and Wrigleyville
  • Everest, Loop
  • Goosefoot, Andersonville, Edgewater, Uptown
  • North Pond, Lincoln Park, Old Town
  • Parachute, Humboldt Park, Logan Square
  • Roister, West Loop
  • Schwa, Bucktown, Wicker Park
  • Sepia, West Loop
  • Spiaggia, Gold Coast
  • Temporis, Bucktown and Wicker Park *
  • Topolobampo, River North

Bib Gourmands

  • The Angry Crab
  • Arami
  • Au Cheval
  • Avec
  • bellyQ
  • Bohemian House
  • The Bristol
  • Ceres’ Table
  • Chilam Balam
  • Cumin
  • DaGuan Noodle *
  • Daisies *
  • DeColores
  • Dos Urban Cantina
  • Dove’s Luncheonette
  • The Duck Inn
  • Fat Rice
  • Frontera Grill
  • Giant
  • Gilt Bar
  • Girl & the Goat
  • GT Fish & Oyster
  • HaiSous
  • Han 202
  • Herb
  • Hopleaf
  • Jade Court *
  • Jam
  • Jin Thai
  • Kai Zan
  • Lonesome Rose *
  • Longman & Eagle
  • Lula Cafe
  • Mana Food Bar
  • Mango Pickle
  • Marisol*
  • mfk.
  • MingHin
  • Mi Tocaya
  • Mott St.
  • Nana
  • Pacific Standard Time *
  • Passerotto*
  • Pizzeria Bebu*
  • Pleasant House Pub
  • Proxi*
  • The Purple Pig
  • Quiote
  • Sabri Nihari
  • San Soo Gab San
  • Smoque BBQ
  • Sol de Mexico
  • Sushi Dokku
  • Table, Donkey and Stick
  • True Food Kitchen
  • Two
  • Untitled Supper Club
  • Wood


©2018 Bloomberg L.P.


This article was written by Kate Krader from Bloomberg and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected].

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