Chicago gains reputation as top dining destination with second three-star Michelin award

Chef Grant Achatz from Alinea restaurant in Halsted, Chicago. -- PHOTO: LARA KASTNER, COURTESY OF ALINEA
Chef Grant Achatz from Alinea restaurant in Halsted, Chicago. -- PHOTO: LARA KASTNER, COURTESY OF ALINEA

CHICAGO (REUTERS) - Chicago cemented its reputation as a top dining destination on Tuesday with Michelin's award of its highest three-star ranking to Grace restaurant, making it the city's second eatery to earn the distinction.

Grace joins the Windy City's Alinea in ranking among the just over 100 Michelin three-star establishments around the world.

"It confirms Chicago is truly one of the most exciting United States culinary destination today," Michael Ellis, the international director of Michelin Guides, said in an interview.

Michelin rates restaurants in 24 countries, and its stars are an internationally recognised sign of quality dining. Diners still flock to Alinea for chef Grant Achatz's cutting-edge dishes and imaginative plating.

Grace's head chef and co-owner, Curtis Duffy, once worked for Achatz. In praising Duffy, Michelin said he "creates contemporary seasonal tasting menus that are both intricate and elaborately constructed."

Multi-course tasting menus at Grace and Alinea start at more than US$200 (S$258) per person.

Grace's ascent occurred as Michelin handed out stars to 24 Chicago restaurants in its 2015 guide, down from 25 the previous year.

The fifth edition of the Chicago guide will be released on Wednesday. "There were a couple of closings. There was a certain ebb and flow in Chicago in the past year," Ellis said.