Matt Kirouac

In case anyone needed further evidence of Chicago's world-class dining cred, the latest edition of the Michelin star ratings should serve as solid proof. For the fifth year, the esteemed Michelin Guide released its Chicago rankings, one of only three star-rated cities in the U.S. And this year brings forth the most promising array of starred entries to date.

[more]

From the restaurant-packed West Loop to a nondescript dining room in Uptown, this year's roster runs the gamut across a wide spectrum of Chicago's dining landscape, showcasing the city's multifaceted neighborhoods and restaurants. The coveted star rankings now boast two three-star restaurants, three two-star restaurants, and 19 one-star restaurants. Some are perpetual star darlings, while others are newcomers entirely.

Alinea has long been the sole three-star mainstay for Chicago, but this year it's joined by Grace, which earned two stars last year. For chef/owner Curtis Duffy, the three-star accolade comes as a feather in a rather illustrious cap, a crowning achievement to polish off a year filled with praise and a new documentary about the restaurant, For Grace.

Joining L20 and Sixteen with a two-star designation this year is newbie 42 Grams, an off-the-beaten-path fine dining bastion in Uptown. Opened earlier this year, 42 Grams originated as an underground restaurant called Sous Rising, an appropriate moniker considering the concept has now risen pretty far up the echelons of the local restaurant scene in such a short time.

Rounding out the Michelin list is a slew of restaurants that span a Logan Square gastro-tavern and a French classic poised high atop the Loop's financial district. That would be Longman & Eagle and Everest respectively, in case you were playing a game of "guess the restaurant." Other one-star spots are Acadia, Blackbird, BOKA, EL Ideas, Elizabeth, Goosefoot, The Lobby, Moto, NAHA, North Pond, Schwa, Senza, Sepia, Spiaggia, Takashi, Topolobampo, and Tru.

Congratulations to all! Chicago has never been a more deliciously dynamic place to live.

For a complete list of Michelin Guide rankings of Chicago restaurants, including top-value Bib Gourmand recommendations, visit our website.

Photo: 42 Grams