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New Michelin Guide Coming for Chicago Restaurants

New Michelin Guide Coming for Chicago Restaurants
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  • Post #301 - October 13th, 2011, 11:37 am
    Post #301 - October 13th, 2011, 11:37 am Post #301 - October 13th, 2011, 11:37 am
    Not sure that covers everything that's relevant, even if I agree with the premise. Chicago's reputation as a dining destination with savvy out-of-towners has been established for a long time, but still probably lags behind SF. However, Chicago also is a much larger city with many more patrons eating out, even if more people per capita eat out in SF. Chicago also has many times more business travel of the kind that fills expensive restaurants. SF is not a top global commercial/financial center according to most people who keep track of such things, while Chicago is always in the top 10, usually top 5. That means many more business travelers with significant budgets eating out and entertaining on the company dime. For higher end restaurants and hotels that depend on travelers, there is a much bigger market here. And I'd guess that Michelin's target audience overlaps pretty well with high-end finance/commercial business travelers. That said, a lot of those people are heading to one of what seems like a thousand solid, expensive, but largely interchangeable steak houses. What SF lacks in high-end expense account travel is partly made up for in tourism, but that can't account for them having multiples more worthy spots. There is no reason why Chicago shouldn't, or won't, have as many if not more starred places at the end of the day. NB: I think all of the above should temper the excitement with which the press has covered Chicago's food scene over the past decade. I think the city has done more catching up to where it should be than surpassing expectations, given the other qualities of the town.
  • Post #302 - October 13th, 2011, 4:17 pm
    Post #302 - October 13th, 2011, 4:17 pm Post #302 - October 13th, 2011, 4:17 pm
    I have to agree with posters that Chicago really should have more restaurants listed, especially if you're considering the overlap between Michelin's purported readership and the amount of business transacted here. SF is a cute little burg that happens to have a strong food and wine culture; Chicago is churning regular business clientele in and out with the paced regularity of planes landing at O'Hare -- and it far, far outstrips SF. There's a certain datedness to the dining scene in SF and wine country -- with a few exceptions of course -- and I don't eat there feeling like I'm missing anything here (again, with a few exceptions). Anecdotally, I have colleagues from NY who regularly transact business in CHI, and they've ticked through all the Michelin 1-stars, most of the bibs, and still need recommendations on where to go. If people are regularly visiting Chicago on business such that they've gone to places like Avec and the Purple Pig more than once -- then, there's not enough on list. (And most of these people (admittedly, women) don't want steakhouse recommendations either.)

    Making a prediction: If my last absolutely fantastic meal at Ruxbin was any indication, I expect it should make the list.
  • Post #303 - October 14th, 2011, 11:53 am
    Post #303 - October 14th, 2011, 11:53 am Post #303 - October 14th, 2011, 11:53 am
    aschie30 wrote:
    Making a prediction: If my last absolutely fantastic meal at Ruxbin was any indication, I expect it should make the list.


    Speaking of predictions, it wouldn't surprise me to see Boka lose its star after my nothing more than OK dinner there last night. What a shame.
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  • Post #304 - October 14th, 2011, 2:02 pm
    Post #304 - October 14th, 2011, 2:02 pm Post #304 - October 14th, 2011, 2:02 pm
    GAF wrote:I agree that Chicago should have more restaurants with stars than it has, but having spent a year in the Bay Area, I note that SF has a much stronger "restaurant culture" than does Chicago (going out to eat seems more common) and also SF and the Wine Country is a tourist destination in the way that Chicago is not. So even though Chicago is a larger city, it is not likely to have more starred restaurants.

    I'm a frequent visitor to the SFBay Area, and I must disagree. They have a fair number of restaurants that are good, just like we do - but certainly not more (actually, far fewer), not any better (I've been more disappointed than impressed there), and there is no difference in "restaurant culture" from what I've seen (we have as many "foodies" as they do).

    Also, I do not understand why restaurants in the wine country in Napa and Sonoma get put in the SFBay Area guide (TFL is about 60 miles from SF proper), but restaurants in Chicago are restricted to those within 25 miles of downtown, which cuts out much of our suburbs. In part due to this restriction, there are deserving restaurants in the Chicago suburbs that were ignored by the Michelin folks (Vie is NOT the only one). Seems like Michelin's rules are unduly restrictive but only here, not there.
  • Post #305 - October 14th, 2011, 2:08 pm
    Post #305 - October 14th, 2011, 2:08 pm Post #305 - October 14th, 2011, 2:08 pm
    Yes, visitors to Chicago need to know where to eat on their day trip to Winnetka at least as much as SF visitors need to know about Napa.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #306 - October 14th, 2011, 2:11 pm
    Post #306 - October 14th, 2011, 2:11 pm Post #306 - October 14th, 2011, 2:11 pm
    Kennyz wrote:Yes, visitors to Chicago need to know where to eat on their day trip to Winnetka at least as much as SF visitors need to know about Napa.

    Sounds like you've never eaten at Michael, or at Avli, or at Jerry's. You should try them!
  • Post #307 - October 14th, 2011, 2:24 pm
    Post #307 - October 14th, 2011, 2:24 pm Post #307 - October 14th, 2011, 2:24 pm
    nsxtasy wrote:
    Kennyz wrote:Yes, visitors to Chicago need to know where to eat on their day trip to Winnetka at least as much as SF visitors need to know about Napa.

    Sounds like you've never eaten at Michael, or at Avli, or at Jerry's. You should try them!

    I have. If you are visiting Chicago you should eat at those places only if you are also taking Grandma to the local bridge club.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #308 - October 14th, 2011, 4:48 pm
    Post #308 - October 14th, 2011, 4:48 pm Post #308 - October 14th, 2011, 4:48 pm
    Three of the ten best meals I've had in the Chicago area in the past five years were at Michael. Jerry's was named the best French toast in Chicago by the Tribune (and deservedly so, IMHO, based on my having tried about two thirds of the 20 or so places they recommended). And Avli was voted an LTH GNR. (Of course, we can now expect another snarky comment, probably about how everyone who voted for it is a grandmother on her way to the bridge club. It's odd that you claim you've been there but have no comments in the Avli topic about how you liked their food, either when it was nominated or at any other time.)
  • Post #309 - October 15th, 2011, 7:24 am
    Post #309 - October 15th, 2011, 7:24 am Post #309 - October 15th, 2011, 7:24 am
    Snark or not, I am writing about my opinion of what Michelin should do in regard to restaurants in Winnetka. You are writing about your opinion of me. It is clear to me which of us has crossed the line.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #310 - October 15th, 2011, 10:38 am
    Post #310 - October 15th, 2011, 10:38 am Post #310 - October 15th, 2011, 10:38 am
    Based on my experience moderating this board since day one, I believe that productive discussions are more likely to arise in situations where posters show more respect and less snark toward others and their opinions.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #311 - October 15th, 2011, 11:49 am
    Post #311 - October 15th, 2011, 11:49 am Post #311 - October 15th, 2011, 11:49 am
    While visitors to Chicago may not be making day trips to Winnetka, they definitely do stay out in the suburbs if they are working at the suburban headquarters of our many major corporations. My husband's company usually puts people up near their office campus, which is approximately 35 miles from Chicago.
    Leek

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  • Post #312 - October 15th, 2011, 2:20 pm
    Post #312 - October 15th, 2011, 2:20 pm Post #312 - October 15th, 2011, 2:20 pm
    Many here feel that Chicago is under represented in this (ultimately arbitrary) list, but I'd be curious to know, say, which ten Chicago restaurants deserve a star or more that did not get one or more the first time around? Could any of you pump the justified number of starred restaurants anywhere close to San Fran's 44 or whatever?

    Also - and this I ask from a position of total ignorance - hasn't San Fran's food scene, as such, been active and around for a lot longer than Chicago's? Especially if you include the entire Bay Area, where spots like French Laundry or Chez Panisse initiated national dialogues about food in a way that no Chicago spot (save maybe Trotter's, orginally) did? Sometimes I feel like Chicago's running on a little bit of a fine food lag. Then again, we may just be running on a hype lag. It's sometimes hard to tell.

    I would, however, put our street food on par or above just about any other American city, especially considering we by and large can't even buy food on the street!
  • Post #313 - October 16th, 2011, 11:49 am
    Post #313 - October 16th, 2011, 11:49 am Post #313 - October 16th, 2011, 11:49 am
    Vitesse98 wrote:I'd be curious to know, say, which ten Chicago restaurants deserve a star or more that did not get one or more the first time around?

    Here are 46 more restaurants that I think are deserving of stars but weren't on the list. Some I like a lot; some I'm less thrilled with based on my experience but I think they still deserve listing. Aside from four of the one-star restaurants that could have just as easily been given two or more stars (Everest, TRU, Schwa, Spiaggia), I don't think the remaining fifteen one-star recipients (Blackbird, Boka, Bonsoirée, Crofton on Wells, graham elliot, Longman & Eagle, NAHA, NoMI, Seasons, Sepia, Sixteen, Takashi, Topolobampo, Vie) are any better, as a group, than these restaurants:

    Les Nomades
    North Pond
    Arun's
    Carlos
    Michael
    Inovasi
    Le Titi de Paris
    Tallgrass
    Oceanique
    Quince
    Sable
    Deleece
    Sprout
    Atwood Cafe
    Magnolia Grill
    Barrington Country Bistro
    Chef's Station
    Shanghai Terrace
    Custom House Tavern
    Mercat a la Planxa
    Sola
    Moto
    David Burke's Primehouse
    Chicago Cut Steakhouse
    Shaw's Crab House
    Gibson's Steakhouse / Hugo's Frog Bar
    Piccolo Sogno
    The Florentine
    Pane Caldo
    Vivere
    Merlo on Maple
    MK
    one sixtyblue
    SugarToad
    Table Fifty-Two
    Gabriel's
    Carnivale
    Aria
    La Sardine / Le Bouchon
    Perennial Virant*
    The Publican*
    Nightwood*
    Mexique*
    Girl & The Goat*

    *The last five were included in their list of "Bib Gourmand" winners but I think could easily be given a star.
    Last edited by nsxtasy on October 17th, 2011, 8:30 am, edited 3 times in total.
  • Post #314 - October 16th, 2011, 11:56 am
    Post #314 - October 16th, 2011, 11:56 am Post #314 - October 16th, 2011, 11:56 am
    I think it's important to keep in mind that even getting a single star is an extremely high honor. They're not just meant for "good" places, but really the best of the best. I think Michelin left a few deserving winners off of the last list, but I wouldn't say they missed the mark completely. Les Nomades, IMO, was the most glaring omission. The Avec fire likely kept them off the list. I can't really think of any other truly egregious snubs.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #315 - October 16th, 2011, 12:22 pm
    Post #315 - October 16th, 2011, 12:22 pm Post #315 - October 16th, 2011, 12:22 pm
    Both Carlos and North Pond were pretty egregious snubs, And Moto. (How could Graham Elliott get a star and not Moto?)
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  • Post #316 - October 16th, 2011, 12:54 pm
    Post #316 - October 16th, 2011, 12:54 pm Post #316 - October 16th, 2011, 12:54 pm
    GAF wrote:Both Carlos and North Pond were pretty egregious snubs, And Moto. (How could Graham Elliott get a star and not Moto?)


    Because of television?
  • Post #317 - October 16th, 2011, 1:49 pm
    Post #317 - October 16th, 2011, 1:49 pm Post #317 - October 16th, 2011, 1:49 pm
    The last couple of meals I had at GE were easily star worthy. On the other hand, I've had pretty inconsistent meals at both North Pond and Moto. I could see how North Pond maybe gets 1, but I don't think that Moto quite makes the cut.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #318 - October 19th, 2011, 9:01 am
    Post #318 - October 19th, 2011, 9:01 am Post #318 - October 19th, 2011, 9:01 am
    Could someone explain why the Michelin Guide is so important? Recognition is always nice, but I usually base my choice of restaurant on what people (in general) have to say about it. I've noticed that every year this list is published it generates passionate discussion. Obviously the list means more than my understanding.
  • Post #319 - October 19th, 2011, 9:07 am
    Post #319 - October 19th, 2011, 9:07 am Post #319 - October 19th, 2011, 9:07 am
    razbry wrote:Could someone explain why the Michelin Guide is so important?

    Read this article by Jeff Ruby in Chicago magazine:

    Why Michelin is Important—but Not Infallible
  • Post #320 - October 19th, 2011, 9:35 am
    Post #320 - October 19th, 2011, 9:35 am Post #320 - October 19th, 2011, 9:35 am
    I like this Jeff Ruby who wrote this article. Good insight.
  • Post #321 - November 11th, 2014, 3:44 pm
    Post #321 - November 11th, 2014, 3:44 pm Post #321 - November 11th, 2014, 3:44 pm
    2015 Stars: (Via Chicago Tribune).

    Juno and Mexique lost their stars but The Lobby and Spiaggia which had closures or chef losses did not.
    Graham Elliot obviously is gone, 42 Grams takes their place on the 2-star list.

    No stars or Bibs in the burbs (according to the Trib, but I thought there were still a couple Bibs)

    Three stars
    Alinea
    Grace

    Two stars
    42 grams
    L2O
    Sixteen

    One star
    Acadia
    Blackbird
    Boka
    El Ideas
    Elizabeth
    Everest
    Goosefoot
    The Lobby
    Longman & Eagle
    Moto
    Naha
    North Pond
    Schwa
    Senza
    Sepia
    Spiaggia
    Takashi
    Topolobampo
    Tru

    (corrected Mexique's status)
    Last edited by JoelF on November 11th, 2014, 5:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #322 - November 11th, 2014, 3:57 pm
    Post #322 - November 11th, 2014, 3:57 pm Post #322 - November 11th, 2014, 3:57 pm
    Mexique did lose its star according to the article.

    JoelF wrote:2015 Stars: (Via Chicago Tribune).

    Juno lost their star but Mexique, The Lobby and Spiaggia which had closures or chef losses did not.
    Graham Elliot obviously is gone, 42 Grams takes their place on the 2-star list.
  • Post #323 - November 11th, 2014, 4:04 pm
    Post #323 - November 11th, 2014, 4:04 pm Post #323 - November 11th, 2014, 4:04 pm
    Only three 2-star restaurants and one will be gone by 1-1-15. Forgive me but this list just seems so silly.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #324 - November 11th, 2014, 4:15 pm
    Post #324 - November 11th, 2014, 4:15 pm Post #324 - November 11th, 2014, 4:15 pm
    boudreaulicious wrote:Forgive me but this list just seems so silly.

    Haven't the Michelin lists always been rather silly, especially compared to, oh, say, maybe the GNR lists?
  • Post #325 - November 11th, 2014, 4:18 pm
    Post #325 - November 11th, 2014, 4:18 pm Post #325 - November 11th, 2014, 4:18 pm
    I know that Next does not fit the criteria that Michelin uses for its rating; but what would be the rating if it got one?

    It cannot be a Bib as for the Bib criteria price; you can probably get a glass of ultrapure, triple-distilled, Himalayan glacier water from a hunk-of-ice that was flown here last Tuesday at Next. So what is the forum-guess-rating? 2 Star?
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  • Post #326 - November 11th, 2014, 5:14 pm
    Post #326 - November 11th, 2014, 5:14 pm Post #326 - November 11th, 2014, 5:14 pm
    I haven't been to all those restaurants, but I don't think the list is outlandish.
  • Post #327 - November 11th, 2014, 5:39 pm
    Post #327 - November 11th, 2014, 5:39 pm Post #327 - November 11th, 2014, 5:39 pm
    chrisch wrote:Mexique did lose its star according to the article.

    JoelF wrote:2015 Stars: (Via Chicago Tribune).

    Juno lost their star but Mexique, The Lobby and Spiaggia which had closures or chef losses did not.
    Graham Elliot obviously is gone, 42 Grams takes their place on the 2-star list.


    Corrected. Who else joined, if three dropped off? 42 Grams and...?
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #328 - November 11th, 2014, 5:43 pm
    Post #328 - November 11th, 2014, 5:43 pm Post #328 - November 11th, 2014, 5:43 pm
    boudreaulicious wrote:Only three 2-star restaurants and one will be gone by 1-1-15. Forgive me but this list just seems so silly.

    I think it's an issue of Chicago dining philosophy: There seems to be an emphasis on quality of food rather than starched tablecloth and starched wait service. We've got innovation and technique out the wazoo... but there are perhaps not as many places designed for investment bankers in suits.

    Who would you push from 1 to 2 if you were writing the guide? Tru, probably, but I'm not sure after that.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #329 - November 11th, 2014, 6:00 pm
    Post #329 - November 11th, 2014, 6:00 pm Post #329 - November 11th, 2014, 6:00 pm
    JoelF wrote:
    chrisch wrote:Mexique did lose its star according to the article.

    JoelF wrote:2015 Stars: (Via Chicago Tribune).

    Juno lost their star but Mexique, The Lobby and Spiaggia which had closures or chef losses did not.
    Graham Elliot obviously is gone, 42 Grams takes their place on the 2-star list.


    Corrected. Who else joined, if three dropped off? 42 Grams and...?


    Only two restaurants dropped off - GE and Mexique. Juno did not have a star last year - I think the Tribune's point was that they were removed from possible contention due to the fire & subsequent remodeling.
  • Post #330 - November 11th, 2014, 7:14 pm
    Post #330 - November 11th, 2014, 7:14 pm Post #330 - November 11th, 2014, 7:14 pm
    Indianbadger wrote:I know that Next does not fit the criteria that Michelin uses for its rating; but what would be the rating if it got one?

    It cannot be a Bib as for the Bib criteria price; you can probably get a glass of ultrapure, triple-distilled, Himalayan glacier water from a hunk-of-ice that was flown here last Tuesday at Next. So what is the forum-guess-rating? 2 Star?


    I think Michelin has been spot on with awarding Next zero stars. Overpriced, inconsistent and at times disappointing.
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