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Feb 21, 2013 03:56 PM

looking for a restaurant like goosefoot ...

Have reservations at Alinea in a few weeks and would like to dine at one more high end spot on this trip.

Initially wanted L20 for the 'plus one' (we dined there two years ago shortly after Gras left and wanted to try the new chef's menu) but unfortunately they are closed the one night we have available (Wednesday). A bit of rooting around on the OpenTable list of top Chicago restaurants and the Michelin 1 star list produced goosefoot or Tru or Senza as possibilities.

goosefoot looks ideal but to my surprise goosefoot is harder to get into than Alinea, with zero openings the next eight weeks.

So maybe Tru or Senza or something similar that the good folks on this board might recommend. Or is there a way to get a res at goosefoot?

We are looking for a restaurant with a tasting menu with small plates, not overly hip, not too old school ... French or molecular are fine. So places like Everest or Topolobampo are not really what we want.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

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  1. el ideas? May not be any easier to get a reservation (it's hit or miss).

    1 Reply
    1. re: ferret

      Thanks for that rec ... recent sample menus look interesting.

    2. TRU is outstanding and worth considering. I haven't been to Grace or El Ideas or Elizabeth yet, but I've heard good things about all three. I think these four should be your top targets, based on what you say you're looking for. TRU and Grace should both be pretty easy to get reservations for your upcoming Wednesday. TRU and Grace are also my top guesses for winning at least two Michelin stars later this year.

      I'm not sure I understand your objections to Everest or Topolobampo, but it sounds like whatever they are, they might also apply to Les Nomades (Chris Nugent of Goosefoot's former employer) and Spiaggia. Sixteen is another possibility; in a recent visit I thought it was good but not yet outstanding (I hope and expect they will reach that level within the next 6-12 months). Senza is VERY new (they just switched to their tasting menus within the past week or two). And Schwa is a risk for last-minute cancellations by the restaurant. Along with Goosefoot, Arun's (Thai), Alinea, Next, and L2O, I think this completes the list of restaurants with lengthy tasting menus.

      Three other places have shorter tasting menus (or none at all) but are also outstanding and worthy of consideration when looking for creative high-end food: Acadia, Naha, and North Pond.

      6 Replies
      1. re: nsxtasy

        Ah, first time I've even heard of Grace but, clued in by your post, I just checked out the usual web sites and it looks perfect for what we had in mind. The menu looks great. Thanks! This is precisely why I posted here on CH.

        My wife is celiac (allergic to gluten) so she was pitching for Senza when she learned it was GF, but I think I can convince her to try Grace instead.

        So it's probably Grace unless something else more appealing gets mentioned here in the next day or so.

        Anyone know what it costs? I can't find a price anywhere on their web site, nor on OpenTable. {edit: this link says it's $185 ... )

        1. re: willyum

          Yes, both menus at Grace (the vegetarian-focused flora and the more omnivore-focused fauna) are $185. They have a conventional wine list and also offer pairings for $110.

          Curtis Duffy was running Avenues here to widespread acclaim for several years, then left last year to create his own place, and that is Grace. It is clear that he aspires to multiple Michelin stars.

          Chowhound Gonzo70, whose culinary insight I thoroughly respect, ate there last month and called it one of the three best meals he has ever had (along with Alinea and Eleven Madison Park). I'm looking forward to trying it a couple of months from now.

          1. re: willyum

            This piece by Kevin Pang on Curtis Duffy and the opening of Grace is a must read:

            1. re: willyum

              I've been to Senza and would recommend it. Although it's a restaurant that happens to be gluten free, you wouldn't notice it in their dishes at all. The dishes are very creative and delicious. Their chef used to be the sous chef at Schwa so I wouldn't be surprised to see Schwa's influence in their dishes. Having said that, I have not tried their new tasting menu but that would change hopefully in April. Also, they serve a 3 course brunch meal on Sundays in case you decide to go else where.

              1. re: sunbrace

                I have been to Senza four times already (one time just for cocktails) and while I absolutely love Senza they are nowhere near the caliber of venue of Grace. Grace is a true destination restaurant whereas at this point Senza is a really nice, upscale neighborhood venue. Brunch at Senza might be worthwhile for the OP since his wife is a celiac, but if in Chicago for a very limited time and interested in partaking a couple of tasting menus there are better options.

            2. re: nsxtasy

              >> Three other places have shorter tasting menus (or none at all) but are also outstanding and worthy of consideration when looking for creative high-end food: Acadia, Naha, and North Pond.

              Acadia does not show their tasting menu on their website. I went there last night and ordered it (see attachment below). I mention it primarily for the sake of completeness, and not to try to talk you into changing your plans to go to Grace. (I was actually a bit disappointed last night. The creativity was there, but in terms of sheer deliciousness, it was hit and miss; there were a couple of standouts, while most of the courses were just okay. I was much more impressed when I ordered a la carte a couple of months ago.)

            3. Tru would be my recommendation. We were there in January and it is as good as it has ever been. We were also at Sixteen. The staff tried very hard and the food was good. But I think they are still getting the kinks out because the timing was a bit off. Nothing terrible but I just think Tru was a lot better. The wine list at Sixteen isn't what it should be for the restaurant they apparently aspire to be.

              Haven't been to Grace yet but will solve that problem in March.

              1. go to elizabeth. best meal i have had in chicago outside of alinea.