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Nov 9, 2011 07:22 AM

2012 Bib Gourmand Picks in Chicago

EaterChicago just announced Michelin's 2012 Bib Gourmand Picks in Chicago

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  1. I'm actually pretty impressed by their Bib Gourmand selections. Not every single one, but they have selected quite a few restaurants that are deserving but don't get extensive media hype (e.g. Kabul House, Mundial, Yolo, and the repeat winner Han 202). I like the list, overall.

    Mundial Cocina Mestiza
    1640 W 18th St, Chicago, IL 60608

    Han 202
    605 West 31st Street, Chicago, IL 60616

    Kabul House
    4949 Oakton St, Skokie, IL 60077

    Yolo Mexican Eatery
    5111 Brown St, Skokie, IL 60077

    1. Are restaurants included on this list exempt from Michelin consideration?

      3 Replies
      1. re: Bix10

        Not sure what your question means. Bib Gourmand is a Michelin recommendation that means these are restaurants with good value, but not worthy of a Michelin star. They have been considered and recommended by Michelin.

        1. re: chicgail

          You answered my question. I did not know whether restaurants on this list could also be considered for a Michelin star.

      2. when do they announce who receives a michelin star(s)?

        never mind- i see!

        1 Reply
        1. re: ms. mika

          >> when do they announce who receives a michelin star(s)?

          The new list of star winners for 2012 will be announced this coming Tuesday, November 15.

        2. I thought it was either a joke or mistake that Ann Sathers was on the list last year, but apparently not (unless it is going to be a running joke each year). Other than that the list looks pretty good (for the restaurants on it that I am familiar with). One restaurant I feel is deserving (and does not seem to receive much recognition) would be HB (Home Bistro) which is in the Lakeview neighborhood.

          11 Replies
          1. re: Gonzo70

            Does anyone think Mercat will get it's star??

              1. re: nsxtasy

                Not that my opinion matters - certainly to Michelin - but as much as I enjoy the place, neither do I.

                1. re: nsxtasy

                  Interesting that Vettel thinks L20 keeps it's third star even though places usually drop a notch once the chef leaves. Dined there last April and felt it was 3* worthy, better than at least two of the NYC Michelin three stars, so I hope he's right.

                2. re: yesilovestotravel

                  The Chicago Bib list is great. Much, much better than the NYC one.

                  As for Mercat, I would be very, very surprised if it got a star. Having been to all of Jose Garces' restaurants, I would put Mercat no higher than 3rd; moreover, I simply don't think that Garces -- as wonderful of a chef he is and as wonderful an ambassador for Latin cuisine he is -- produces Michelin star level food.

                  1. re: ramenbound

                    I haven't been there yet, we have rezy the Friday after thanksgiving! I was hoping but I'm sure I'll still enjoy it without any stars...
                    I had reservations to sable, I've read that they might get a star?? Is that possible??
                    They come out tomorrow, right??

                    1. re: yesilovestotravel

                      I love Mercat, but if they didn't make Bib Gourmand, it is unlikely that they will get a star.

                      Sable is an interesting question given its strong defenders and its fans on this board, but to some of us the food is uneven and the place is more of a great bar than a great restaurant. Of special interest is the fact that its chef is currently a contestant on Top Chef Texas (along with 4 other Chicago chefs).

                      I guess we'll all see soon.

                      1. re: yesilovestotravel

                        It's possible for any restaurant to get a star. I've eaten at Sable several times and I thought the food was fantastic. Like most places, there are many here who love it (as I do), and others who don't. As for those who seem to care only about semantics, Michelin has already given stars to places such as the Publican and Longman & Eagle that are far more "barlike" than Sable, so that doesn't seem to be an impediment to stardom. As for whether it or any other restaurants are added to (or subtracted from) the list of star winners, we'll know late this afternoon.

                      2. re: ramenbound

                        I have to agree. There's nothing particularly wrong with this restaurant but nothing particularly great. In other words I'd go to the restaurant if someone wanted to but wouldn't be too happy about it unless they were paying.


                        1. re: KateBChi

                          Really ? That means it pretty bad... I mean if you are not willing to spend your own money on mercat... On the other hand, there are great reviews of the restaurant... Specially their $18 lunch deal... But some people are accustomed to a more fine dining type cuisine
                          I'll give my review of mercat when I go in about a week... I will be spending my own $$ lol still, for $18 lunch deal I don't expect foie.

                          1. re: yesilovestotravel

                            My feeling about Mercat a la Planxa is that it's very good, partly because the cuisine there is different from most other places. It's not a restaurant where one dish after another wows me with sheer deliciousness, but the flavors are interesting and creative. I'm glad I've been there and I don't regret having spent my own money on it, but it's not a place I yearn to return to either.

                            Will it receive a star later this afternoon? My guess is no but it wouldn't shock me if it did.

                  2. There was also an article in yesterday's Crain's speculating on the star winners to be announced this afternoon:

                    This sentence threw me: "Of course, many Chicago favorites were passed over last year, including North Pond and highly rated suburban names such as Courtright's and Adele's." I've never heard of a restaurant in the suburbs named Adele's. Anyone know what place they're talking about?

                    5 Replies
                        1. re: nsxtasy

                          what time do they announce the new stars?? does anyone know?... im in Pacific time..


                          1. re: yesilovestotravel

                            In the link above, Vettel said they would be posted at 4 pm Central Time at

                            He also said he'd have a commentary tomorrow in the Trib's Arts and Entertainment section.