In a time where every new restaurant is trying to stay ahead of some constantly changing trend curve, imagine a place that aims to be the total opposite. Imagine a restaurant that has no unnecessary gimmicks, is all about the elegance of fine dining and has a prix-fixe menu that you wouldn’t want to change even if you could. Well, you can sit and try to conjure up images in your head, or you can look into Grace Restaurant (652 West Randolph).
Grace is the real deal, it is a restaurant that feels like its lost in its own time, and I mean that in the very best way possible. In a time when most restaurants play around with the idea of being serious culinary destinations, Grace is actually doing it. It’s fine dining to the maximum. The mastermind behind the Grace, chef/owner Curtis Duffy, calls it “refined dining.” It seems that the culinary world agrees, despite only being open a very short time Grace is a semifinalist for the James Beard Best New Restaurant Award and Zagat named it one of the ten hottest restaurants in the world. IN THE WORLD, let that sink in.
Allow me to explain just how refined Grace is. It’s 17 tables in a restaurant that has two entirely different $185 multicourse menus, one of which focuses almost completely on vegetables. While you can get several types of drinks with your meal, their main focus is wine and they take it very serious. The Grace way of doing things trickles all the way down to the four unisex bathrooms that are each designed to symbolize a season. Yeah, it’s that serious. If you’re looking for a place to have a nice dinner with amazing food and exquisite wine, then Grace is the place for you. Just don’t think a computer will get you a seat, reservations are by phone only at 312-234-9494.
Photo Courtesy of Anthony Tahlier/Chicago Grubstreet