believe it or not, chicago restaurants are much better, and more innovative than san francisco restaurants. here are a few restaurants you may want to try:
alinea one of the best restaurants i have ever been in my life. in its own class. the tour menu is about $250, pairing wine about $200. easily $500 per person and well worth it. certainly better than the french laundry in napa, and the over-rated charlie trotter’s in chicago.
moto experimental. questions your pre-conceived notions of food. can handle it once a year.
schwa all in all probably my favorite restaurant in america. very down to earth for a $100/course menu. they often call you, “hey man” and “right on.”
green zebra can you believe one of the best vegetarian restaurants in the country is in the meat country?
frontera grill incredible mexican food. not homey but really good.
vermilion contemporary latin american and indian fusion. marvelous.
blackbird president obama and michelle went there on a date a few days after he became president elect. for the year i was commuting from san francisco, i used to go there twice or three times a week. what makes the food so good is that chef paul kahan is also an analog lover. chef paul and his partners have done a lot of good for chicago with blackbird, avec, publican, violet hour, and big star taqueria.