Michelin Honors Husband and Wife Chef Teams in Chicago

The 2018 Michelin Guide for the Windy City includes two new spots, but no new three-stars.

A creative dish at Smyth.

Source: Smyth

Chicago can start boasting about its 2018 Michelin stars.

On Friday, Oct. 20, the venerable guide announced there are 25 Michelin starred establishments in the Windy City. That’s one fewer than last year; a pair of two-star restaurants from the prior list, Tru and 42 Grams, have closed. Another, Longman & Eagle, was dropped from the 2018 list; it’s now on Michelin’s Bib Gourmand, or cheap eats, list, announced on Oct. 13.

New to the one-star category are Elske, a spare, Danish spot, and the deceptively casual Entente by a chef who cooked at the unconventional Schwa. Smyth, a brilliant modern American tasting menu spot by John and Karen Shields, was bumped up to two stars from one.

The dining room at Smyth.
Source: Smyth

“It’s rare to have two two-stars close in a city in such a short period of time,” said Michael Ellis, the Michelin Guide’s international director. 

Rich Melman, founder of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, which owned the shuttered Tru, has said he is no longer focused on fine dining. That might be because Michelin stars don’t always translate into success: The closing of 42 Grams in June meant that 30 percent of Michelin starred restaurants had closed in the city over the past eight years, according to, an online news service.

Anyone looking for more positive trends in the Chicago Michelin universe will note the high incidence of successful kitchen marriages. Husband and wife teams that did exceedingly well: At Smyth, John B. Shields runs the kitchen, while his wife Karen Shields is the pastry chef. Elske features the chef team of David and Anna Posey. Chicago’s Bib Gourmand included new winners Pleasant House Pub by Art and Chelsea Jackson, and HaiSous, which features chef Thai Dang and his wife Danielle Pizzutillo-Dang.

So far Washington, D.C., is the only other U.S. city whose 2018 stars have been announced. The release of the 2018 San Francisco Michelin winners has been delayed because of the devastating fires in the region. The grand finale, New York’s Michelin stars, will be released on Oct. 30.  The complete list of Chicago Michelin stars appears below.

Three Stars

Alinea remains Chicago's culinary star, according to Michelin.
Photographer: Matthew Gilson

Alinea, Lincoln Park & Old Town
Grace, West Loop

Two Stars

Acadia, Chinatown and South 
Sixteen, River North 
Smyth, West Loop (NEW)

One Star

Band of Bohemia, Andersonville, Edgewater & Uptown
Blackbird, West Loop
Boka, Lincoln Park, Old Town
Dusek’s (Board & Beer), Pilsen, University Village, Bridgeport
EL Ideas, Pilsen, University Village, Bridgeport
Elizabeth, Andersonville, Edgewater, Uptown
Elske, West Loop (NEW)
Entente, Lakeview & Wrigleyville (NEW)
Everest, Loop
Goosefoot, Andersonville, Edgewater, Uptown

Grilled foie gras at Naha.
Source: Naha

GreenRiver, Loop
NAHA, River North
North Pond, Lincoln Park, Old Town
Parachute, Humboldt Park, Logan Square
Roister, West Loop
Schwa, Bucktown, Wicker Park
Sepia, West Loop
Spiaggia, Gold Coast
Topolobampo, River North

(Corrects amount of Michelin star restaurants in the second paragraph. )
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