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…
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.
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?
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.
The dark days of the pandemic–a reality managed, throughout the meal, unerringly by Alinea’s team–have led the restaurant back towards the fountainhead of its inspiration. No “smoke and mirrors,” just creative cooking–just the drama of the table. Alinea “3.0” is the return to the source from which Achatz–during the decade he helmed Alinea 1.0–made his name.
You cannot say you have eaten at Le Francais or Charlie Trotter’s in their prime, but you feel no fear in saying Smyth is the greatest restaurant Chicago has ever seen. And, by all accounts, the Shieldses are only getting started.
Like children staring up at Rainforest Cafe’s artificial night sky (or shaking from the booms and quakes of its fake thunderstorms), Alinea’s customers are served an illusion. They are led to believe that a food’s trappings are valuable even when divorced from satisfying flavors, from nature, or from nostalgia. They are tricked into thinking that a restaurant which denies dining’s transcendent, human dimension has any value as a conjurer of culinary gibberish. They are, ultimately, suckers who are being sold a future where a restaurant’s quality grows with how “Instagrammable” the experience is.