By Olivia Cuccaro
From our former Top 100 Restaurants in the World champion to newcomers on the fine dining scene, Chicago is no stranger to Michelin stars. The “Windy City” has more than 20 restaurants recognized by the Michelin guide, with gastronomic experiences stretching far beyond deep-dish pizza. These are our picks of the best Michelin-starred restaurants in Chicago.
Voted by Elite Traveler readers as the Top Restaurant in the World for 2016, Alinea’s achievement of three Michelin stars shouldn’t come as a surprise. Chef Grant Achatz creates a contemporary culinary event, offering guests three distinct experiences: The Kitchen Table, The Gallery Menu and The Salon Menu. Book The Kitchen Table for an intimate dinner for six, or taste up to 18 courses with the multi-sensory Gallery Menu or, for the less adventurous, the multi-course Salon Menu. The recently redesigned space brings modern touches together with classical architecture for a new feel.
Another Elite Traveler Top 100 Restaurants in the World contender, Curtis Duffy’s Chicago restaurant is the height of sophistication in the city. Two seasonally changing menus focus on either meat and seafood or vegetable courses. The Fauna menu includes dishes like Guinea hen and Alaskan King crab, while the Flora menu features heart of palm and white asparagus. Grace also holds three Michelin stars to its name, surprising guests with a variety of flavors and herbs.
For stunning views of the city, reserve a table at Sixteen. The restaurant is located on the 16th floor of Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago to offer panoramic views of Chicago through floor-to-ceiling windows. With two Michelin stars, Sixteen is centered on responsibly-sourced dishes with high-quality ingredients, culminating in a menu of contemporary American fare. Executive Chef Nick Dostal works with local farmers and seafood shops to create seasonal menus that can be paired with wine. For a comprehensive dining experience, try the Chef’s Extended Menu.
A hidden gem – with two Michelin stars – Oriole has quickly risen to fame as a Chicago fine dining establishment. Earning its two stars in its very first year, Oriole offers an intimate experience with a dining room capacity of only 28 from which guests can observe the open kitchen. The menu draws inspiration from around the world to feature dishes like beausoleil oyster, kampachi and Japanese A5 Wagyu. Upon request, the house sommelier will curate a reserve pairing of special bottles and older vintages.
Caviar lovers will find their fix at Tru. The two-Michelin starred restaurant boasts a separate caviar menu spanning everything from Golden Imperial Ossetra to Wasabi Tobiko. For dinner, six- and eight-course prix fixe menus comprise English pea soup, veal tournedo and diver scallop. The restaurant also features two private dining areas should a more discreet meal be desired.