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Grace Restaurant - anyone been?

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mramage Jan 9, 2013 08:19 AM

I am a big fan of Chef Duffy's. I am back in Chicago Easter weekend, and was planning to make a reservation, but wanted to see what sort of experience you have had. Thanks.

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  1. Gonzo70 RE: mramage Jan 9, 2013 01:49 PM

    Am heading there a week from Saturday; will report back later.

    1. c
      Chihab RE: mramage Jan 14, 2013 07:21 PM

      I went this past Saturday. Overall it was outstanding.
      The whole place, from the front door, main room, kitchen and accessories is top of the line, elegant and oozing refinement.
      The location is a little out of the way, set back from Randolph St just East of the highway. I guess it assumes the restaurant is the destination so no need to be in a lively or well frequented area.
      We both had the fauna menu with wine pairings.
      Overall almost every course displayed the kind of elegance, creativity and balance that was evident at Avenues. But the additional staff in the kitchen seemed to enable a greater degree of complexity in construction and presentation and perfection in execution, evident across all courses consistently.
      Only two ingredients - the kumquat jam in the opening caviar dish, and the raw green grapes in the veal cheek dish seemed overpowering or out of place. Other than these, the amazing thing about every course was the elegance, and the way the ingredients melded together in a harmonious way allowing each bite to show off a different nuance of the combination of components.
      I don't have the menu to hand, so I can't go through every course, but the scottish salmon and the wagyu beef are the best cooked examples of either I've ever had. The dish that came encased in ginger ice was a magical blend of Asian influenced flavors. The dark chocolate dessert was superb.
      Clearly this place has hit a very high degree of creativity and execution very early in its life. I am sure Chef Duffy will regain his two Michelin stars at a minimum.
      This place should be top of anyone's list for Chicago fine dining right now.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Chihab
        Gonzo70 RE: Chihab Jan 14, 2013 08:31 PM

        Sounds awesome - thanks for the review! Definitely piqued my interest for Saturday. Do you recall the price of the menu and of the wine pairings? The prices are not on the restaurant's website; I know it will be pricey (and deservingly so), but just wondering the actual pricepoint.

        Thanks

        1. re: Gonzo70
          c
          Chihab RE: Gonzo70 Jan 15, 2013 11:24 AM

          It was 185 for the food and I think 110 for the wine. The wine pairings were very well thought through. As far as I can remember, except for a port at the end, they were all French with most major regions represented, but with a little more weight to the Loire.

        2. re: Chihab
          m
          mramage RE: Chihab Jan 15, 2013 11:52 AM

          Thanks for your feedback - I will definitely try for a reservation.

          1. re: Chihab
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            singlemalt RE: Chihab Feb 3, 2014 08:44 AM

            I have a daughter who lives in Chicago and, therefore, I get a chance to eat around a bit I have not been to Grace and checked out their internet site. The p.f. menus are now 205 but what to me is very noteworthy is that they ask for no flash photography to be done and please refrain from cell phone use. Hooray for them, sad that they have to put in print. Just my prissy bit.

          2. h
            helenhelen RE: mramage Feb 2, 2014 05:34 PM

            anyone try the winterlicious menu, or been there recently in general? i live in the neighbourhood but have never been, and am curious

            2 Replies
            1. re: helenhelen
              Gonzo70 RE: helenhelen Feb 2, 2014 07:53 PM

              I went back to Grace just a couple of weeks ago; the winter menu is fantastic. I believe Grace has usurped Alinea as the best restaurant in Chicago. Truly an amazing, memorable all around experience from start to finish.

              1. re: helenhelen
                h
                helenhelen RE: helenhelen Feb 4, 2014 10:42 AM

                oops, just realized i posted in the wrong board. i was doing a search for grace in toronto :)

              2. h
                HoosierFoodie RE: mramage Feb 3, 2014 07:22 AM

                Just been once and that was last early spring, if I remember correctly. Everything was very good. The food was fantastic and the service was good. The wine pairings reminded me why some restaurants are better off not offering them.

                I would definitely go back and would definitely put them in the top 3-4 in the city.

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