Hang up your apron. Retire your spatula. It’s time to eat out again.

Forced to eat (and cook) at home during the pandemic, Chicago restaurants are opening their doors once again. What better way to celebrate than to treat yourself to a luxury dinner at a Michelin star restaurant?

While 24 Chicago-based restaurants made the list for 2021, restaurant enthusiast Robin Spann examines this year’s six restaurants that earned multiple Michelin stars.

Alinea

No list of fine dining is complete without Alinea. Since opening in 2005, the Lincoln Park restaurant has distinguished itself as a premier dining destination. Winning the coveted three stars from Michelin, Alinea is only one of 14 U.S. restaurants to earn this ranking. But the awards don’t stop there. It has also been acknowledged as one of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants and by the James Beard Foundation. While on the pricier side, Alinea offers a variety of menu choices that include regional classics, a six-course tasting menu, and even carry out options.

Acadia

Acadia managed to retain its second-star rating despite being temporarily closed. While chef and owner Ryan McCaskey has expressed interest in reopening, the South Loop restaurant features a tasting menu and a la carte bar.

Ever

A newcomer to Chicago’s Michelin two-star ranking tier, Ever is all about the experience. Guests are treated to a minimum of eight courses with seasonal proteins and vegetables. Described by chef Curtis Duffy as a “creative obsession,” each tasting lasts over two hours. With curated wine pairings, Robin Spann believes this restaurant is worth the wait.

Moody Tongue

Moody Tongue proves upscale dining doesn’t have to be pretentious. Both a brewery and a pub, the South Loop location contains an intimate 28-seat dining room. However, don’t be deceived by this minimalist decor. The kitchen is helmed by ten-time Michelin-starred chef Jared Wentworth.

Oriole

Like other high-end eateries, Oriole offers both food and drink tasting menus. It’s the latter that sets Oriole apart. Guests can opt for this option and sample beers, wines, and cocktails curated for each course. Robin Spann recommends you dress up for this one. The white tablecloths and high ceilings exude elegance.

Smyth

Nestled in the West Loop, Smyth is part of a dual concept with its sister restaurant, The Loyalist. Named after the chefs’ time spent in the farmlands of Smyth County, Virginia, the tasting menu changes daily to incorporate new, fresh local produce. Sophisticated with a comfortable, tavern-like vibe, Robin Spann says Smyth has received two stars for the third year in a row.

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