Oriole continues to rack up critical acclaim, but this time it’s a personal accolade for chef Noah Sandoval. Food & Wine named Sandoval to its 2017 Best New Chefs list. Sandoval isn’t a new name to Chicagoans, who knew him back in 2012 when he opened Senza and garnered a Michelin star. Senza closed three years ago in Lakeview and that begot Oriole. Sandoval’s West Loop follow-up opened in March 2016 and has redefined tasting menus in town despite a Beard Awards snub this year as a finalist for Best New Restaurant.
The Food & Wine blurb described Sandoval as “a chef with gob-smacking vision, who convinced us in the space of 16 sublime courses, that the country’s best new fine dining experience can be found up a freight elevator at the end of a West Loop alleyway.”
Of course, it’s not just Sandoval’s talent that’s elevates Oriole. The team aspect behind the restaurant has already been recognized. Sandoval’s wife, Cara Sandoval, works as the restaurant’s GM. Pastry chef extraordinaire, Genie Kwon and chef de cuisine Tim Flores are both acclaimed in their own right, and are a couple. Oriole has gone their own way and for that Food & Wine called them “the Fleetwood Mac of restaurant teams.” Hopefully that means they’re more than shooting stars.
Sandoval joins a list of Chicago chefs who have received the same recognition. The Tribune noted previous winners include Paul Kahan, Takashi Yagihashi, Grant Achatz, Stephanie Izard, Danny Grant, Jason Vincent, Dave Beran, Jack Bickelhaupt, and Iliana Regan.