Chicago has had a love/hate relationship with Michelin since it came here three years ago. On the one hand, we want their approval - on the other, we don't need their darn stars! No matter what we say, we hang on their every move, and the list of starred restaurants is a good place to start for fine dining in Chicago.
Classic French food at the top of the world. Chef Joho will blow you away.
Rick Bayless's high end temple of Mexican cuisine. Worth every penny.
The prettiest presentations I have ever seen. One dish is a whole salmon stream contained on a plate, complete with flowing water, mist and rocks. The caviar is more beautiful than ever with the addition of a giant piece of tiered coral.
President Obama's favorite restaurant, and some of the best Italian food in Chicago.
Chef Carrie is the real deal. This restaurant isn't flashy, but it's always reliable, delicious and just innovative enough that you feel like it's been an occasion to eat there.
You probably can't get in, and if you can, you might not get served. But if food makes it to your mouth, it will probably be the best you've ever tasted.
Chef Giuseppe Tentori serves up delicate and delicious bites in a beautiful dining room.
Possibly the most interesting food in town. Lasers, liquid nitrogen, edible menus - can you tell Chef Cantu gets grants from NASA?
What's left to say about Alinea? It's the best restaurant in America and is guaranteed to blow your mind.
This beautifully vintage restaurant boasts amazing cocktails by mixer Josh Pearson and great food from Chef Andrew Zimmerman. Definitely a great place to stop in after work.
Celebrity chef Takashi Yagahashi serves up upscale Japanese food at this hip, tiny Wicker Park restaurant.
After a slightly rocky start, L20 is coming into its own as the premier spot for high-end seafood in Chicago.
The food is crazy, the chef is eccentric, but you're guaranteed to have an interesting and delicious dinner.
Some of the most interesting Mexican food in Chicago. The fusion with French techniques is wonderful and under appreciated.
Ryan McCaskey has brought fine dining to the South Loop with this beautiful white jewelbox of a restaurant. Plus, they grow their own herbs in boxes out back.
Thank goodness for the BYOB fine dining trend. Goosefoot, everyone's pick for a best new restaurant in 2011 despite its anonymous location in a Lawrence Avenue storefront, was a huge shot in the arm to Lincoln Square's fine dining scene. Make reservations FAR in advance.
A neighborhood restaurant that goes a step beyond. The food is great, the cocktails are better, and there's a boutique hotel upstairs for when you overindulge.