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.
Kyōten “2.0” is a restaurant of the very highest caliber that, as an ever-evolving human drama rooted in the rhythm of nature, can rightfully be labelled “art.”
Kasama is not one of the “best restaurants in the world,” nor is it one of the best in the country, but it is already one of Chicago’s best. Can it stay true to its vision as the accolades continue to pour in?
Thoughts on the future of restaurant criticism and its intersection with video game criticism.
Oriole reopened in July of 2021 with all the promise of a new experience in an improved space. Though already ensconced among Chicago’s most elite chefs, Noah Sandoval chose to pursue–and fulfill–a grander expression of his vision. The chef unveiled Oriole “2.0,” and you think that moment provides the perfect opportunity to finally engage more deeply with his work.
You revel in the fear you once felt when entering revered dining rooms. You treasure the technical errors, faux pas, and outright mortification inflicted upon those who stewarded your earliest gastronomic experiences. For the true test of hospitality staff is how handle those agonizing moments with aplomb, resisting the temptation to twist the knife and solidify a bad memory. Graciousness, on such an occasion, comes close to godliness.
From the archives: An Exploration of Ethnic Identity and the Persistence of “Prairie” Cuisine
Ever promised the world and delivers first-time guests a pretty fine experience. And you think most visitors will leave the restaurant feeling satisfied by the novel food, polished service, and refined atmosphere. They’ll feel satisfied because the heightened expectations were just about met, but you’ve never felt those expectations were truly surpassed.