CHICAGO — The 2015 Michelin Guide released Tuesday includes some landmark shake-ups at the top of the list.
Curtis Duffy's Grace restaurant joins Alinea in the top slot, making the pair the only three-star restaurants in Chicago. The West Loop eatery is the first restaurant other than Alinea to earn that distinction since 2010.
Michael Muser, Grace's general manager, was at the restaurant when he got the news while preparing for Tuesday's dinner service.
He told DNAinfo Chicago he was "crying like a baby" when they got the call from Michelin.
"This is an absolutely indescribable feeling. It is an unbelievable day for Curtis [Duffy] and I," Muser said. "We're at a loss - just dumbfounded. You say words like 'we're honored' and stuff, [but] we're more than honored. We're absolutely humbled."
"If we were betting guys, we would have bet on two stars. Two stars is an honor," Muser said.
Demands for reservatins are "crazy right now," he said. "It's a bit of a whirlwind. I'm freaking out."
“It was such an exciting moment, and a huge affirmation that everything my wife and I have worked tirelessly to achieve this past year was well worth the time, energy, and sacrifice,” chef and owner Jake Bickelhaupt said in a statement. “I’m truly humbled and honored that my first restaurant has been recognized by the guide in such a profound way for the distinct experience that we provide.”
In all, 24 restaurants earned commendations from the restaurant ratings group.
Mexique in West Town, which earned one star on the 2014 list, did not earn a Michelin star this year.
Check out the full list of Michelin ratings for 2015:
Three stars (Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey)
- Alinea (Lincoln Park)
- Grace (West Loop)
Two stars (Excellent cuisine, worth a detour)
- L2O (Lincoln Park)
- Sixteen (River North)
- 42 Grams (Uptown)
One star (A very good restaurant in its category)
- Acadia (South Loop)
- Blackbird (West Loop)
- Boka (Lincoln Park)
- EL Ideas (Pilsen)
- Elizabeth (Lincoln Square)
- Everest (The Loop)
- Goosefoot (Lincoln Square)
- The Lobby (River North)
- Longman & Eagle (Logan Square)
- Moto (West Loop)
- Naha (River North)
- North Pond (Lincoln Park)
- Schwa (West Town)
- Senza (Lakeview)
- Sepia (West Loop)
- Spiaggia (Gold Coast)
- Takashi (Bucktown)
- Topolobampo (River North)
- Tru (Streeterville)
Janet Fuller explains how the Michelin Guide got started and what the stars signify:
Earning a Michelin star — especially in multiples — can be transformative for a restaurant.
Phillip Foss, whose 28-seat micro-restaurant EL Ideas in Douglas Park received a highly coveted one-star rating last year, says the designation "validated us to a degree" more than three years after he opened.
"As opposed to being this place that was just considered underground and under the radar, I think now we may have arrived in a lot of people's eyes," he said.
Last year, 25 Chicago restaurants earned one to three Michelin stars, including newcomers Elizabeth, North Pond, Senza and Grace, which earned an extra star after making the one-star list in 2013.
Last year, and in previous years, Alinea was the only Chicago restaurant to earn three stars.
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