A Guide To Chicago's Best Tasting Menus

Chicago has a surprising amount of restaurants built around fancy tasting menus. Even people in other cities like New York or L.A., where you would expect to find these kinds of restaurants, are surprised to find how many exist here. Is it normal to spend a couple hundred dollars per person on dinner? Nope. But it can be a lot of fun, so you better know what you're getting into before blindly committing to such an expensive meal.

Figuring out which one of these places is right for your particular situation can be difficult, which is why we want to help. Some spots are super fancy and sophisticated, while others encourage you to get drunk and have fun. That's why we've broken things down into Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and Expert categories, just to give you a sense of what to expect. Of course, you can always dive right into any of these places and still have a great time.

THE RESTAURANTS

ADVANCED 

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Everest

 440 S LaSalle St, 40th Floor
You can find excellent restaurants in this city in places you would least expect, like the top floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange in the Loop. This 40th-floor restaurant can be summed up by three particular traits: fancy French food, great French wines, and excellent views of the city from the south end of the Loop. Everything about Everest screams sophisticated in a French stockbroker kind of way, except people here are nice to you.

Food: $168 (plus tax & service charge)
Optional Wine Pairing: $98

 

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TRU

 676 N Saint Clair St
Tru serves progressive French cuisine in a formal dining room that requires jackets for men and "elegant-casual, business or evening attire" for ladies. It also doubles as an art gallery and is known for a separate caviar-specific menu. In simple terms - this isn't formal dining for beginners. You better know your sh*t, or, at the very least, own a jacket, possibly tweed. If you're not into fancy art galleries or formal dinner settings, this isn't for you. But if you have a favorite caviar then you owe it to yourself to give Tru a try.

Food: $158 or $125 abbreviated menu (plus tax & service charge)
Optional Wine Pairing: $125 or $95 abbreviated menu

 

By Sam Faye

the infatuation

(October 5, 2016)