Valhalla confirms Gillanders’s status as one of Chicago’s most talented chefs, yet the restaurant still only represents a half step in his journey…
With your hundredth visit looming in early 2023, the time seems ripe to step back, reflect, and review the creative output that has flowed ceaselessly from Ada Street’s colossus of seasonal American cuisine.
When you last left Joe Flamm—a little more than a year ago—the broad-shouldered chef had successfully shepherded his new restaurant through its first few months of opening…
Over the past few years, you have observed several of Chicago’s notable wine lists undergo a striking change…
There can be little question of the buoyant spirit Erick Williams has imbued his restaurant (and the wider community) with, but the nature of Virtue’s execution—and its ability to successfully extend that hospitality more broadly—stand ripe for analysis.
By offering diners the freedom to define their own evening, by welcoming and caring for them expertly across all levels of indulgence, the Poseys construct that sense of hygge. Elske should serve as a model of what a boundary-pushing, community-oriented restaurant should be.
Why does service sometimes feel magical and, on other occasions, seem positively animatronic? At what point does mechanical precision serve to sap the expression of genuine emotion? And how do bastions of hospitality ensure that their employees can truly connect with guests and make them feel unique?
At what point does fine dining begin to lose its luster? When do totemic luxury ingredients begin to taste the same? And why—up until a certain point—do tasting menus pale in comparison to fast food?
You dub Andrés “the Alinea killer,” and you attest that one sprawling meal at Bazaar Meat—enjoyed at total leisure, with total warmth, and built, plate by plate, in accordance with one’s personal taste—negates any need to go to any of Achatz’s concepts ever again.
Thoughts on the Chicago dining scene’s latest mocktroversy.