Treat Yourself to a Fine Dining Experience Like No Other
Looking to enjoy the finest dining in Chicago? Chicago is filled with a variety of unique, exciting restaurants. Steakhouses, seafood restaurants, cafes and more await you. But it can be hard to find the right one for you. Maybe you are in the mood for seafood. Or you want to dine at an upscale-casual eatery. Maybe you don’t even know what you are in the mood for yet. Look no further. Here are the best restaurants to experience the finest dining in Chicago.
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1723 N Halsted
St. Lincoln Park | alinearestaurant.com
Alinea prides itself on being an experimental institution that specializes in molecular gastronomy and the avant-garde. All dishes are carefully displayed in an artful arrangement. The dish presentation is heavily emphasized in order to provide a high-quality experience for customers.
Within the restaurant, guests can choose from three different dining experiences: The Kitchen Table, The Gallery Menu, and The Salon Menu. The Kitchen Table is considered to be the most intimate and cutting-edge dining area. Only parties of 6 are allowed to dine at the table. The Gallery Menu, which is located on the first floor, provides a multi-sensory, multi-course tasting menu. Many of the dishes are considered to be experimental. The Salon Menu, located on the second floor, also offers a multi-course tasting menu. However, it offers a more “approachable” experience than The Gallery Menu.
In 2010, Alinea was awarded three Michelin stars. At the time, this made Alinea only one of two Chicago restaurants with the distinction.
“The venue is probably the most beautiful in any restaurant I've seen. It's small, cozy, simple, but has an aura of mystery that I can't quite explain. The service was top-notch. The sommelier and servers were personable and were open to quick conversation.” - Yelp Review
661 W Walnut St. West Loop,
Near West Side | oriolechicago.com
Oriole serves New American dishes in a stylish, intimate place. Executive Chef and owner Noah Sandoval has worked tireless to provide a tasteful, thought-provoking menu for each guest. In addition to this, sommelier Aaron McManus carefully selects the perfect wine to pair with your dish. Non-alcoholic drinks are also prepared by renowned mixologist Julia Momose. Some of the menu items include Osetra Caviar, Golden Enoki, and Sablefish.
It is worth noting that the restaurant receives two Michelin stars and a AAA 5 Diamond rating.
“Oriole is the best, plain and simple. The quality of fine dining, with the hospitality of your friend's house. Every ounce of food is complex, interesting, and delicious. They keep the menu and number of courses a surprise.” - Yelp Review
2656 W Lawrence Ave. Lincoln Square,
Ravenswood | goosefoot.net
Goosefoot provides a dining experience like no other. Everything from the restaurant’s modern china to the source of each ingredient has been carefully selected in order to provide a top-tier dining experience. Careful thought was put into designing the restaurant, as the chef wanted to create an aesthetic that mirrored the food and its service philosophy. What resulted was a classic, modern interior that matched the menu’s elegant, yet approachable design. Goosefoot offers guests a multi-course tasting menu served in a thoughtfully choreographed manner. The restaurant is BYOB, though it does provide an extensive wine list for guests as well.
Everything in the restaurant has been designed to a tee.
“An Unbelievable multi-sensory tasting menu experience with wine pairings. And the owner Nina Nugent is so hospitable! The food was absolutely amazing as was the whole experience. Which was food, art & music the inspiration behind the menu which was Woodstock 1969. - Yelp Review
700 N Sedgwick St. River North,
Near North Side | ententechicago.com
Entente, a French word meaning “friendly understanding” can be seen in the collaboration between the chefs, as well as the guests at this Chicago fine dining restaurant. The carefully sourced ingredients drive the dishes that live on the a la carte menu, turning them into staples of the restaurant.The menu does change, however, as the seasonal game, seafood, meat, and vegetables all influence the plates the kitchen brings to the table.
Dry aged tuna, smoked trout chawanmushi, and ora king salmon are just several dishes currently being served. Each ingredient has been carefully selected to create the fine meal that arrives at your table. Along with the regular a la carte menu, Entente offers a tasting menu, accompanied with a wine pairing if desired.
A natural wine, beer, and craft cocktail list are also available for guests. Entente also serves a 3-course and 5-course dessert tasting for guests. If they wish, they can also receive a wine pairing with their dessert choices.
“Wow, wow. What a spectacular dining experience...My wife and I had the tasting menu with wine paring, it is literally a no-brainer. There is a lot going on..... lots of layers, lots of courses, lots of pairings. There are some absolute knockout winning dishes. It's an experience, thoughtful, intelligent and above all satisfying. - Yelp Review
564 W Randolph St. West Loop,
Near West Side | bokagrp.com
As guests enter this prestigious Chicago restaurant, they are greeted with a space designed to channel a modern brasserie. This vibrant space creates the perfect atmosphere for guests to enjoy the bright, bold, and playful cuisine that is a staple of the restaurant. Lunch, dinner, drinks, dessert, tea, and even pre-theater menus are all offered throughout the day. Bellemore’s Happy Hour is perfect for after work drinks, with its $1 oysters, $5 cocktail of the night, and half-price bottles of wine.
“I had the best meal I've had in months last night at Bellemore. Everything was thoughtfully curated, beautifully presented, and so, so delicious. From the starters to dessert (and the cocktails I enjoyed along the way), each bite was thrilling.” - Yelp Review
619 W Randolph St. West Loop,
Near West Side | blackbirdrestaurant.com
The critically-acclaimed Blackbird serves as the home base for Chef-Partner Paul Kahan, winner of the James Beard Award for “Outstanding Chef” in 2014 and “Best Chef of the Midwest” in 2004. Alongside him, Chef Ryan Pfeiffer crafts elegant Midwestern cuisine that is both classic and approachable. Pastry Chef Nicole finishes the menu off with a selection of intriguing desserts.
Blackbird also hosts weekly events, such as the Blackbird University series and the Blackbird Sandwich Shop. At Blackbird University, students can take cooking classes from the Blackbird culinary team. During Blackbird Sandwich Shop, the restaurant transforms into a sandwich shop where the most notable Michelin starred chefs come together to create some good, old-fashioned sandwiches.
“Dropped by Blackbird for a small bite and some dessert during our trip awhile back, and this was one of the most lovely experiences I've ever had. Late-ish on a Thursday night, we were able to grab a table on their small but comfortable patio (that's much quieter than their indoors space).” - Yelp Review
177 North Ada St. Near West Side,
West Loop | smythandtheloyalist.com
Tucked inside the West Loop neighborhood of Chicago are two distinct and exciting restaurants run by John and Shields and Karen Urie Shields. The chefs’ dual-concept restaurant features Smyth, a tasting menu restaurant on the first floor, and The Loyalist, a bar/lounge just below it. Many of the restaurant’s ingredients come from a 20-acre farm located an hour south of Chicago. Produce, herbs, and flowers are all procured from the farm, making the restaurant a true farm-to-table concept.
The Smyth offers three different prix-fixe menus to choose from. Each menu can be complemented with an optional beverage pairing. The Loyalist can be considered more as a neighborhood bar. It is supposed to be cozy and fun, not intimidating. Friends and family can spend quality time together and enjoy its relaxed atmosphere.
“What does Smyth do great? There's an easy answer to this: absolutely EVERYTHING! The highest quality, creative dishes, ingredients to preparation to presentation, is a given for an establishment of this quality. Impeccable service is a must.” - Yelp Review
Chicago has a bustling restaurant scene, filled with places that will satisfy any taste bud. It’s hard to pick just one restaurant for a nice dinner out. What are your favorite fine dining restaurants in Chicago? Tell us in the comments!