Grace, 42 Grams among Chicago’s Michelin star winners

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For only the second time since Michelin began rating Chicago’s booming gastronomy scene five years ago, the city is home once again to two three-star restaurants. The organization’s local selections were announced Tuesday and are included in its 2015 Michelin Guide Chicago.

Helmed by chef Curtis Duffy and located in the West Loop, the formerly two-star Grace added a star this year, joining Grant Achatz’s Lincoln Park culinary bastion Alinea in those rarified ranks. Only 115 restaurants of the more than 20,000 that Michelin rates in 23 countries currently have that distinction.

“I feel amazing. I’m going to try to live in the moment and try to embrace what’s going on around me today and try to embrace the staff,” said Duffy, who received a congratulatory text from Alinea co-owner Nick Kokonas. “Everybody’s spirits are extremely high and I’m blessed to be where I am right now. I think it just solidifies a lot of things that we’ve worked extremely hard towards, the amount of sacrifice that we’ve put towards everything we do every single day. It answers a lot of questions for us: Are we good enough?”


Chicago takes to Twitter to congratulate the winners.

“The addition of a new three-star restaurant in Chicago is really exciting news for us,” said international director of Michelin guides Michael Ellis. “It shows what a dynamic, exciting destination Chicago is and will continue to be. Curtis Duffy and his team have done a remarkable job of producing some world-class food with a unique signature, fantastic products and great cooking technique. The harmony of the flavors, the textures, the spices — he has a unique and emotional signature on his food and our inspectors were thrilled to confirm the third star.”

In Uptown, chef Jake Bickelhaupt’s lauded 42 Grams earned two stars in its first year of operation. It opened in January and is, according to Ellis, “a superb example of this new generation of young Chicago chefs that have trained with various established chefs in established houses and have traveled around the world and discovered new ingredients, new cooking techniques and are incorporating those into their own personal food.”

Standouts in the one-star category include Tony Mantuano’s revamped Spiaggia in the Gold Coast, which retained its star. The Lobby in River North (inside the Peninsula hotel) and Boka in Lincoln Park did, too. All of them are under the guidance of new (or newish) chefs.

Said Ellis, “We think that the fine dining scene in Chicago has never been brighter.”

Here’s the complete rundown:





42 Grams







EL Ideas




The Lobby (at the Peninsula Chicago)

Longman & Eagle



North Pond








Want to read these Michelin-starred restaurant reviews? Here is how each restaurant fared in the eyes (and mouths) of area restaurant critics:

Eater Chicago: In 2014, Alinea is unexpectedly sensual and accessible

Bloomberg: Grace’s $21 tea comes extra in Chicago after $205 tasting menu

Chicago Tribune: 42 Grams review

WGN: Phil Vettel gives L2O 4 stars

Chicago magazine: Review: Sixteen at the Trump Hotel

Chicago Reader: Acadia gets it right on the near South Side

Gayot: Blackbird

Chicago Reader: Chef Lee Wolen reboots Boka

Chicago magazine: Beautiful food in an unlikely spot at EL Ideas

Chicago Tribune: Phil Vettel takes a second look at Elizabeth

Chicago Reader: Everest

Chicago Sun-Times: A 4-star is almost born — Chris Nugent’s fascinating new Goosefoot comes oh so close

Chicago Tribune: Under chef Lee Wolen, the Peninsula Hotel becomes a dining destination

Fodor’s: Longman & Eagle

Chicago magazine: Playful presentations, serious food at Moto

Crain’s Chicago Business: Naha at 13

Gayot: North Pond restaurant review

Chicago Reader: Michael Carlson’s legendary restaurant. Good luck getting a reservation at Schwa

Chicago Sun-Times: Senza staff gets creative in finding tasty ways to keep it gluten-free

Chicago Reader: Sepia review

Chicago Tribune: Four-star Spiaggia dazzles with new look

Chicago Reader: Takashi

Chicago magazine: Topolobampo review

Chicago Reader: Tru review

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