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Here Are Chicago’s 2018 Michelin Stars

This year’s list includes newbies Elske and Entente, and one notable upgrade.

Above: The dining room at Elske, which earned its first Michelin star this year.
Photo: Jeff Marini

It’s the day chefs have been losing sleep over for weeks: Today, the preeminent national restaurant tastemaking and tire-manufacturing outlet released its 2018 guide to Chicago’s dining scene.

Michelin uses a star designation—doling out up to three to each restaurant. While last year’s list teemed with newbies, this year’s features but two: Elske and Entente. Also of note: after two years in business, Smyth made the unlikely climb from one star to two. And, as we found out last week, Logan Square stalwart Longman and Eagle was downgraded from one star to the Bib Gourmand list. Here’s the full rundown.

Three stars

 

Alinea

It closed to reinvent itself last year. It came back (and remains) better than ever.

Grace

We concur, Michelin Man. Grace gets our highest star rating, too.

Two stars

 

Acadia

The menu at Ryan McCaskey’s South Loop spot emphasizes seafood, but seriously, have you tried the duck?

Oriole

An admirably ungimmicky prix fixe menu, killer desserts—and Chicago’s favorite new restaurant this year.

Sixteen

Thomas Lents is out, but the Trump Tower’s fine-dining spot is still in. Props to the new chef.

Smyth

Searching for the ballsiest prix fixe menu in Chicago? You’ll find it here. That kind of risk-taking earned Smyth an upgrade from its one-star rating last year.

One star

 

Band of Bohemia

A brewpub so nice we honored it twice: on 2016’s best new restaurants list and this year’s best bars roster.

Blackbird

One Off Hospitality (Avec, Publican) goes haute here, but also shakes an excellent cocktail.

Boka​

Great room, even better food thanks to Lee Wolen’s wizardry. Just watch him slow-poach an egg.

Dusek’s Board & Beer

Casual, beer-focused–and Chicago’s favorite new restaurant in 2014.

EL Ideas

Sure, it’s a BYO on a dreary stretch of 14th Street. But Phillip Foss will make it worth your while with inventive, beautiful dishes.

Elizabeth Restaurant

Iliana Regan really puts some heart into this intimate Lincoln Square spot.

Elske

David and Anna Posey’s first restaurant hit the ground running this year. Our advice: bypass the tasting menu in favor of à la carte options.

Entente

It’s an Arami/Schwa dream team at this Lake View fine-dining spot.

Everest

Jean Joho: serving up sophistication for 30 years and counting.

Goosefoot

Forgot to bring a bottle to accompany your tasting-menu dinner? No sweat.

GreenRiver​

Michelin’s GreenRiver love continues to flow, even after visionary bartender Julia Momose’s exit.

Naha

​Honestly, who can turn squab, chanterelles, and foie gras into a masterpiece? Carrie Nahabedian.

North Pond

Pro tip: Don’t sleep on brunch at this special-occasion Lincoln Park hideaway.

Parachute

Johnny Clark and Beverly Kim know their way around Korean-American fare. Curious about what the husband-wife duo eats at home?

Roister

Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas go casual for one of our favorite recent openings.

Schwa

Still totally eccentric, still excellent after 12 years.

Sepia

It’s been a big year for this West Loop wine temple—its baby sister, Proxi, was born.

Spiaggia

Tony Mantuano knows how to pull together some serious Italian food, and we got him to divulge a recipe.

Topolobampo​

Rick Bayless’s most formal approach to Mexican cuisine underwent a reinvention a little while back, and it was absolutely for the better.

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