Where Are They Now?
Chicago’s list of best new restaurants comes and goes every May. Ever wonder about past winners? Here is an update of the last 10 numero unos.
Chef-partner Mark Hellyar
The Boka guys broke the mold with the toniest sushi ever. Chopsticks keep clicking away.
Chef Jared Wentworth
Thalia Hall transformed into the city’s small-plate go-to. Retro everything alive and well.
Chef Curtis Duffy
Duffy elevated contemporary cuisine to haute status, and he and his restaurant remain on top.
Chef Chris Nugent
An off-the-beaten-path room became an instant destination. Reservations are still hard to come by.
Chef-owner Martial Noguier
Noguier made French food accessible, and his efforts were rewarded. To this day, count the whole neighborhood as regulars.
Chefs Jason McLeod, Danny Grant
Despite a wall of white porcelain wishbones and gorgeous, sophisticated, delectable contemporary dishes, Ria’s wishes did not come true. It closed in July 2012.
Chef Paul Kahan
Kahan made the first-ever Chicago gastropub the place to eat pork. Many imitators followed, but this big oink still reigns supreme.
Chef Takashi Yagihashi
In January 2015, Yagihashi opted out of his beloved fusion salon. Now you can find him at Slurping Turtle.
Chef Dudley Nieto
Nieto wowed with his mole expertise, but the enterprise barely lasted eight months. He is currently slinging tacos at Rojo Gusano in Albany Park.
Chef-partner Grant Achatz
Chicago’s best restaurant opened strong and never looked back. Achatz has since launched Next, is on the cusp of Roister, and is about to unveil an Alinea redo.