It was a big year for Chicago’s restaurant scene. While many great local restaurants shuttered, like three-Michelin-starred Grace, one-Michelin-starred Naha and Greenriver—the tip of the closure iceberg—a number of excellent eateries swung open their doors for hungry Windy City diners. On Wednesday, September 26, the MICHELIN Guide Chicago 2019 selection was released, noting that those restaurants still open all retained their stars, as well as introducing a new one-starred restaurant to the area, Temporis.
A VIP reception was held that evening at John and Karen Urie Shields’s popular The Loyalist, where guests noshed on foie gras èclairs, broiled oysters with bacon, hollandaise and sea lettuce and the famous Loyalist cheeseburger, while listening to remarks by Joanie Martin, Michelin North America’s chief administrative officer as well as Cynthia Ochterbeck, editorial director for Michelin Travel Partner.
“I just want to say what an amazing recognition, I think i speak for the entire team at Alinea, at Roister, at Next, at Aviary, that we very much appreciate what the MICHELIN Guide brings to the city,” says local luminary Grant Achatz, summing up Chicago’s dining scene poignantly in an impromptu speech. “Accolades are something that we think about everyday. But every day, at every service, we are our worst critics and we go into every service hoping and thinking that we’re achieving three stars. And I think that everyone in this room, whether it be a Bib or one, two, three stars, it doesn’t matter. What is important is that, as an industry, as a community, Chicago is upholding its place in the culinary world—and that’s what we feel important about. They can call us the ‘Second City’…that’s bullshit, right? We all know better. Thank you to all of us for making this a great culinary destination.”
View the Facebook livestream and a selection of images from the recognition ceremony below.