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Friday, Dec. 09, 2011

Choosing two restaurants to stand for all that is great about eating out in Chicago is impossible,
says Jeff Ruby, the chief dining critic for Chicago magazine (chicagomag.com). After all, this
is home to many top chefs and star-rated restaurants – not to mention it’s also where you can
take a deep-dish pizza walking tour.
But, after a small food fight, Ruby agreed to chop his picks down to three. (Consider it a bonus
and a reason to do a lot of strolling between courses.) Together, he says, these restaurants
exemplify the scene’s innovation, tradition and playfulness. “Chicago is a world-class dining
city because of its crazy versatility,” he says. “Chicago chefs can take more chances than, say,
New York or San Francisco chefs … where the rent is astronomical and the bottom line is king.”
So, drum roll, please:
• Alinea (alinea-restaurant.com). “Grant Achatz’s ultramodern spot in Lincoln Park
showcases the most creative food in North America right now – ‘woolly pig with
fennel, orange and squid?’ – without an ounce of pretentiousness,” Ruby says. Called
the greatest restaurant in America by Restaurant magazine and recipient of three
Michelin stars, this unique kitchen presents beautiful food in a four-hour, 20-course
prix-fixe menu. Prepare to be satiated.
• Gene & Georgetti (geneandgeorgetti.com). The long-running classic steakhouse in
River North has attracted celebrities since the days of Frank Sinatra. “It doesn’t get
more Chicago-y than a gruff waiter serving you a crusted prime T-bone still sizzling
from its trip in a Vulcan broiler,” Ruby says. Expect shrimp cocktails, Caprese salad,
veal chops and an Old World Italian atmosphere.
• Hot Doug’s (hotdougs.com). The “Sausage Superstore and Encased Meat Emporium” is
a fun, chaotic place for lunch, Ruby says. “The line will be long, but totally worth it,
especially if you get a Brigitte Bardot andouille sausage dog and duck-fat fries. This is
the best hot dog in a town full of them.”

Chicago

Chicago Reservations

312.527.3718

500 N. Franklin Street
Chicago, IL 60654
(Complimentary Valet)

Mon-Thur: 11am-11pm
Fri & Sat: 11am-12 midnight
Closed on Sunday except for private events and large conventions.

Rosemont

Rosemont Reservations

847.653.3300

9421 W. Higgins Road
Rosemont, IL 60018
(Complimentary Valet)

Mon-Thur: 11am-10pm
Friday: 11am-11pm
Saturday: 4pm-11pm
Closed on Sunday except for private events and large conventions.

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