The Michelin Guide announced Chicago's star recipients for 2014, and a record 25 restaurants received start, emphasizing the level of cuisine in the city. Five restaurants joined the one-star category: El Ideas, The Lobby, North Pong, Elizabeth and Senza. Two restaurants were awarded two-star status, Grace and Sixteen, which moved up from one-star last year. They join L20 and Graham Elliot. Alinea maintained the coveted three-star ranking, keeping it among the few restaurants around the world that hold that distinction.
Michelin also announced the Bib Gourmand winners, who receive recognition for high quality dining at good value. The awards are presented to restaurants that serve two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for $40 or less (tax and gratuity not included). Sixty-nine Chicago restaurants made the list, up from 64 last year.
The Amalfi Hotel, located in River North, will change its name and establish itself as the Kinzie Hotel starting in February 2014. The five story, 215-room hotel will undergo a multi-million dollar renovation to bring a new image that honors John Kinzie, an important man in Chicago's history. The upgrade will also include complimentart WiFi in each room, a 42-inch HDTV television, honor bar, plush robes, Aveda spa products, a large work station and much more. The Kinzie will also open a new lounge on the sixth floor called Double Cross Lounge, where guests can enjoy complimentary small bites and a cocktail.
Tortas Frontera by Rick Bayless, located in Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, ranked first in GQ Magazine's list of the 10 best airport restaurants in America. There are three locations in the airport, and each provides a menu with quick-service gourmet items, such as open-faced molletes and fresh guacamole made with local and regionally-sourced ingredients.