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.

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."
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."
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.
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."