I don't always dine out, but when I do, I prefer a lot of restaurants that Michelin inspectors don't — evidently. Which isn't to say that I don't like the new stars list, but more importantly, where are Vie and Lula?
Michelin unveiled its Chicago 2013 stars list Wednesday. Alinea is the city's only three-star again. The grammatically challenging restaurants graham elliot and L2O won two stars. A total of sixteen restaurants were awarded one star.
So despite widespread speculation on last week's Bib Gourmand list, hometown favorites Arami, Hopleaf, Lula, and Perennial Virant did not receive any recognition in Michelin's two most notable categories this year. The stars and Bib are best known, but the guide also includes a lesser known "Under $25" list, for a total of 433 recommended restaurants in Chicago and the suburbs for 2013.
It's important to note that while Bib Gourmands are a defined as "Inspectors' Favorites for Good Value" and "places that Michelin's esteemed inspectors would frequent themselves," Michelin stars are a travel guide, despite what they might claim. An internationally renown travel guide for sure, but a travel guide nonetheless.
I haven't dined at all the restaurants on the lists so I can't say if anyone doesn't deserve to be on them, but where are Lula and Paul Virant? And despite the fact that Next is a proven international destination restaurant, why didn't it earn any stars again? And yes, I know Michelin says it loves consistency.
The Michelin Guide Chicago 2013 goes on sale today in print and ebook; the iPhone app on November 20. The full stars list, with link and a map, below.
Three stars ("Three stars reward exceptional cuisine where diners eat extremely well, often superbly. Distinctive dishes are precisely executed, using superlative ingredients. Worth a special journey.")
Two stars ("Two stars denote excellent cuisine, skillfully and carefully crafted dishes of outstanding quality. Worth a detour.")
graham elliot [new; up from one-star last year]
L2O [new; up from one-star last year]
One star ("One star indicates a very good restaurant in its category, offering cuisine prepared to a consistently high standard. A good place to stop on your journey.")
Mexique [new; up from Bib Gourmand last year]
Sepia [Warning: autoplay music!]
Sixteen [new; one-star in 2011]
View Michelin Stars Chicago 2013 in a larger map