“The Michelin Man was very good to Chicago on Tuesday, bestowing stars on 25 restaurants, the largest number in the four-year history of the Chicago Michelin guide.”
– Phil Vettel, Chicago Tribune dining critic
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The grand star Michelin total in Chicago is now up to 25 from 19 last year. There is one 3-star, four two-stars, and 20 one-stars, five of which are new this year. The newly-minted one-stars are: El Ideas, Elizabeth, North Pond, Senza, and The Lobby. To see which restaurants made it to the 2014 Chicago Michelin award list Click HERE. And while Alinea remains at the top of the list there are plenty of other great restaurants to add to your dishable® dining list for future dining occasions.

The Michelin Guide awards restaurants between one and three stars, and they are coveted. Receiving an award can create a legend; losing one can result in significant heartbreak. The Guide itself says that “certain establishments deserve to be brought to your attention” because of the quality of the cuisine served.

Since it started out as a guide to road-touring, the stars are not only associated with quality, but with driving value. Three stars means the restaurant merits a special trip. Two stars indicate the restaurant deserves a detour. Everything will be top-notch, if not perfect, and you should not expect a bargain. One star means that if it is on your way, you should stop. For the kind of restaurant it is, a one star establishment should serve very good food in a pleasant environment.

Gelato isn’t vegan?
–Todd Ingram, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Any dietary restrictions?

Whether you have begun to explore a vegan lifestyle, cut gluten from your diet or simply want to entertain someone else who has, dietary restrictions can make dining out a lot of work.

Before you start calling around, check out dishable®.

We’re making it easier for Chicago diners with special diets to enjoy a great night out.

Browse our more complete list of restaurants offering vegan, vegetarian and gluten–free options, then save them for later by adding your discoveries to your Wishlist.

Browse dishable

Know friends who would benefit from saving and sharing restaurant suggestions? Tell them about dishable®.

Know a specialty restaurant that we haven’t found yet? Tell dishable®.

Send suggestions to: hello@dishable.com

I don’t like gourmet cooking or ‘this’ cooking or ‘that’ cooking. I like good cooking.
–James Beard

The James Beard Foundation Awards, sometimes referred to as the Oscars of the food world, recognizes outstanding talent in the food industry. Many chefs say the award is especially meaningful because the winners are selected by a group of their peers. This week, in New York City, the 2013 award winners were announced and Chicago has reason to celebrate.

David Chang of MomoFuku Noodle Bar in NYC and Paul Kahan of Chicago’s amazing Blackbird restaurant were jointly honored as America’s most outstanding chefs by the James Beard Foundation. It’s only the third time a tie has happened in this category in the history of the awards.

Blackbird

One of the hardest working chefs in America also was recognized at award ceremony. Stephanie Izard was named Best Chef for the Great Lakes region of America.

Girl & the Goat

Finally, the Grant Achatz’ cocktail lounge The Aviary, took home the award for Outstanding Bar Program.

The Aviary

If you haven’t been to these great Chicago establishments make sure and put them on your dishable WishList! And for when you are traveling outside of Chicago check out the complete James Beard Foundation Award winner list.

2013 James Beard Foundation Award Winners

Have a great night out this weekend.

Where the boys are, someone waits for me A smilin face, a warm embrace, two arms to hold me tenderly…
Composed by Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield

Looking to meet new people? Forget Facebook and try a real world approach. That’s right, log out of those over-hyped dating sites, shut down the computer, and get up close and personal with real people.

It turns out that while there are plenty of restaurants that appeal to both men and women there are some dining spots out there that are more popular with one sex or the other. So, if you are a girl and looking to meet new guys you just might want to stop by one these male hotspots:

Twin Anchors
Hot Doug’s
Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba
The Publican
Smoque BBQ

And, if you are a guy looking to mingle with some new girls you might want to check out:

The Bluebird
Shaw’s Crab House
The Aviary
Mercadito
Birchwood Kitchen

So get out there and meet some new people and enjoy these great Chicago restaurants.

Have a great night dining out this weekend!

If winter comes, can spring be far behind?
–Percy Bysshe Shelley, Ode to the West Wind

Spring has sprung and so has the opportunity to dine al fresco in Chicago. Al fresco: out of doors, in the fresh air, to dine outside in a cool place. Okay, you get the picture and know that it adds an enjoyable dimension to dining out. An appreciation for a slower place of life and a long favorite opportunity to people watch.

To assist you in getting into the spirit we have pulled together a few great lists of the best outdoor dining locations.

Chicago Outdoor Dining:

Zagat
Chicago Reader
Chicago Bar Project
Time Out Chicago

Now all we need is the Chicago weather to cooperate!

Have a great night out this weekend.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood…and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.

—Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken

The now red-hot Randolph restaurant corridor has a restaurant history that can be traced back to at least 1991 when Vivo's, a charming Italian restaurant, opened in what was then a down-on-its-luck neighborhood. By the end of the decade, more than a dozen restaurants in the neighborhood were getting rave reviews and many others were certainly worth a visit. Fast forward through a decade of fading importance and Randolph saw a resurgence around 2008 when Publican, and the following year, Girl & the Goat opened. A flood of outstanding restaurants followed: Next, Vera, and Maude's Liquor Bar opened in 2011; Au Chevel, Nellcote and GEB in 2012, to name just a few.

The downside of this success though is getting a reservation. If you are headed to the West Loop, dishable's suggestion is to plan ahead!

After watching Chicago restaurant availability trends for the last few months we suspect that co–location of these restaurants has stimulated bookings for all restaurants in the area.

The chart below shows table availability by hour if you called on Thursday (for a Friday reservation) or Friday (for a Saturday reservation) at Maude's Liquor Bar. For reservations after 6pm there is very little chance you could get a table if you called the day before. If you called a week in advance, chances improve, but even then it is tenuous. Your chances are better for reservations before 6pm, particularly on Fridays.

The Publican (shown below) appears to be even more challenging as tables become scarce by 5:30pm. You may need to plan well over a week in advance to be assured of getting a reservation here.

Another option is to try services from new start-ups that are targeting products to assist diners with the "How can I get in?" problem e.g., TableHost or TableSavvy.

Our suggestion: If you simply can't, or don't like to, plan that far in advance, try restaurants in other neighborhoods. Nightwood in Pilsen, Acadia in the South Loop, and Browntrout in Lincoln Square are equally acclaimed, but not as heavily booked as those in the Randolph corridor. If these destinations are outside your driving comfort zone, call up the cool new Uber app and get someone else to do the driving.

“Where do you want to go?”
“I don’t know, where do you want to go?

Over the last few months we’ve been working on new solutions to this problem of finding and sharing restaurants.
This week we are introducing a new feature that connects you even more to one of your most trusted resources: your friends. To more easily discover where they’ve been, what restaurants they are looking to try, and most importantly their favorites. Just sign–in to dishable and check out our new browse feature in the navigation bar:

Browse Icon

Whether you are looking for a place to eat in Bucktown tonight, or just adding to your list of restaurants for future dining, the new browse feature lets you even more effortlessly discover new places to dine. And the more friends you have on dishable the better it works!

To get the ball rolling we’d like to incent you to add friends and as they register they will automatically be eligible to win an American Express gift certificate for $100.00 to dine anywhere their browsing takes them. If you are a current user and a friend signs up as a thank you from us, we will add your name into a drawing for a $100.00 gift certificate for you as well for each of your friends that registers. New users just sign up and invite your friends!

Just look for the Invite Friends icon on the upper right of your MyDish page to get started or simply tell your friends to register on dishable.com before March 31st, 2013.

Invite Friend Icon
Have a great night out this weekend.

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