HYDE PARK — What’s the south lakefront have to do to make the folks at the Michelin Guide happy?
As dining options have improved from Douglas to South Shore, the neighborhoods have lost more Bib Gourmand recommendations than they've won for years now, and with the newest list of recommended restaurants out Friday, they now have nothing on the list at all.
The diners who treat the guide’s list of recommended and starred restaurants as a roadmap to finding good food in Chicago now have no reason to go south of 31st Street, where Han 202, 605 W. 31st St., marks the farthest south the Michelin Guide will go.
That wasn’t the case relatively recently of the Bib Gourmands, which recommend affordable restaurants where one can get a two-course meal and a drink for under $40, or the coveted one- to three-star restaurants.
A10, Mathias Merges’ Italian restaurant in Hyde Park got on the list of recommended restaurants starting with the 2015 list, but by 2017 was off. At the time, some thought it was because it was about to jump up to its first star, but the restaurant has at this point not reappeared on Michelin’s radar.
Le Petite Folie, 1504 E. 55th St., has also fallen out of the favor, dropping its long-held spot on the Bib Gourmand list in 2014.
South Siders will tell you that’s all counter to what’s been going on in the neighborhoods, where it’s getting easier to find a solid meal.
South Shore now has an interesting scene of vegetarian and vegan restaurants opening, with Manjani, 7167 S. Exchange Ave., at the center right now.
Kenwood, typically a bedroom community, even has interesting things happening with Goree Cuisine bringing the regional dishes of one of the most interesting and historic places in Africa to the neighborhood.
Bronzeville now has good options with Honey 1 BBQ, 746 E. 43rd St., moving to the neighborhood, and Yassa, 3511 S. Martin Luther King Drive, consistently called one of the best African restaurants in the city.
Even Hyde Park has had four restaurants open in a little over a month.
Get on it, Michelin. Going back to ignoring the South Side just doesn’t work anymore.