Best Wine Pairings in Chicago

Sips by the course
March 14, 2017
·
by Zagat Staff

These restaurants offer the best optional wine pairings matched with prix-fixe menus.

Everest
French · The Loop · $$$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.6 · Service 4.5

Unmatched " views from the 40th floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange set the backdrop for a " grown-up dining experience " at this " elegant " Loop " classic ", luring " high-fliers " with chef Jean Joho’s " finely turned out " French " haute cuisine " and a " wine list that fills a binder "; it all comes at the price you’d expect, but " over-the-top ", " white-glove " service helps make it " truly memorable.
Alinea
Lincoln Park · $$$$

Following a complete overhaul of both the setting and the cuisine, Grant Achatz's acclaimed Lincoln Park New American offers three tiers of top-flight tasting menus (some more experimental than others) with optional wine pairings and ticket price breaks for off-peak hours. Gutted and reimagined, the posh space features modern art, elaborate crown molding and smart, neutral decor that varies in each of the discrete dining areas (the glass-enclosed kitchen table being the priciest).
North Pond
American · Lincoln Park · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.6 · Service 4.5

A "pastoral" "oasis of fine dining" on a pond inside Lincoln Park, this "top-notch" New American offers "creative" , "locally sourced" fare that’s "artistic on the plate" in a "gorgeous" "Arts and Crafts building" with "jaw-dropping views of the city" ; "subtly attentive" service that "makes you feel special" adds to the reasons it’s "worth the splurge" , especially "for a celebration.
Cafe Spiaggia
Italian · Magnificent Mile · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.5

“More relaxed” and “not as pricey” as its neighboring sibling Spiaggia, this Mag Mile “standby” is “fabulous in its own way,” offering “marvelous” Italian dishes in “sleek” surrounds “looking out on Michigan Avenue;” it may “put a dent in your wallet,” but factor in “spectacular service” and fans say it’s an all-around “class act” that “doesn't disappoint.”
Sixteen
American · River North · $$$$
Food 4.4 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.4

Floor-to-ceiling windows afford "awesome" city views at this "special-occasion" New American on the 16th floor of River North's Trump International Hotel & Tower, where "fresh, seasonal ingredients" are turned into "excellent" "works of art" ; the upscale space feels "intimate but expansive at the same time" , and the "agreeable" staff helps take the sting out of "expensive" tabs.
Grace
American · West Loop · $$$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.8 · Service 4.6

Expect a "phenomenal" "culinary adventure" at this "dazzling" West Loop New American, where chef Curtis Duffy "outdoes himself" with "stunning" tasting menus "displaying individuality in every dish" , complemented by a "wine selection beyond expectation" ; "gracious service" enhances the allure in the "elegant" surroundings with "well-spaced tables" , so while it’s "at the top of the price line" , it’s a "perfect" place "to celebrate a milestone.