Are you feeling fancy? A little classy? Got a hot date? You should probably brush up on the need-to-knows about Chicago’s newly starred Michelin restaurants.
Michelin has been giving and taking away stars from restaurants for 110 years, but Chicago has only been Michelin reviewed for the past four years. In its premiere year, Chicago received 16 one-star ratings, only four restaurants received two stars, and a whopping zero were awarded three stars. In 2013, there were only 19 rated restaurants. For 2014, though, Chicago has 25 restaurants with Michelin stars.
How exactly do Michelin stars get awarded? Reviewers called inspectors anonymously visit the restaurants multiple times before deciding whether to award stars. The stars are, of course, highly coveted by restaurateurs. Thousands of restaurants are considered every year, but only a few are deemed worthy.
According to Michelin, the stars are awarded based only on what’s on the plate — service and ambiance do not factor in. This is how Michelin explains its stars:
“One star indicates a very good restaurant in its category, offering cuisine prepared to a consistently high standard. A good place to stop on your journey. Two stars denote excellent cuisine, skillfully and carefully crafted dishes of outstanding quality. Worth a detour. Three stars reward exceptional cuisine where diners eat extremely well, often superbly. Distinctive dishes are precisely executed, using superlative ingredients. Worth a special journey.”
With this guide, you’ll be able to name-drop the chef, know when the establishment got its start, and which signature dishes to order from Chicago’s seven newest Michelin-starred restaurants. You’ll sound like a pro! Here are the who, where, when, and what’s for dinner.