Here's a big win for Second City dining: Chicago is now home to yet another one of the world's best restaurant's, the Michelin Guide will declare today. Grace, chef Curtis Duffy's not quite two-year old tasting menu venue, has been awarded three stars by the Red Guide, according to Chicago Tribune reporter Kevin Pang, who posted celebrations from within the Grace kitchen and then announced on Twitter. It is the third American restaurant to win Michelin's highest honor this year, after Benu and Saison in San Francisco.
No New York restaurants were elevated to three Michelin stars this year.
The Guide's famously anonymous inspectors will formally announce the starred selections for Chicago at 3:00pm CST. Michelin has a longstanding practice of informing the chefs beforehand.
Grace, where dinner runs $205 per person before wine pairing, tax or tip, now joins Grant Achatz's avant-garde Alinea, where Curtis Duffy once served as chef de cuisine, as Chicago's only other three-starred restaurant. The chic West Loop venue is Chicago's second most expensive restaurant after Alinea, where dinner runs $210-$275, depending on the time and day of week.
"More than any other American luxury restaurant, Grace sits at the intersection of fine dining's past and present," Eater's Bill Addison wrote in his September review of the restaurant. "Duffy, Eater's 2013 Chef of the Year, has absorbed the techniques of some towering, driven mentors to create his own kinetic style. Along with Corey Lee at Benu and Joshua Skenes at Saison, Duffy is on the front lines, defining the country's next generation of high-ticket dining."
The top Michelin honors come as Kevin Pang and filmmaker Mark Helenowski submit their documentary about Grace and Duffy's tumultuous childhood to film festivals.
In Michelin parlance, culinary establishments deemed worthy are awarded one star ("a very good restaurant in its category"), two stars ("excellent cuisine, worth a detour"), or in the case of just over hundred other restaurants around the world, three stars ("exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey"). Michelin, Europe's largest tiremaker, has been publishing its Chicago guide since 2010, half as long as the New York guide, which debuted in 2005.
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