This is unmistakably a fine-dining sanctuary, with each server and line cook striving for consistent perfection. Course after course of vibrant edible art appears out of the kitchen like clockwork. From Australian black truffle crème caramel that captures the precarious savory-sweet balance to the tenderest piece of Miyazaki beef you’ve ever tasted, each bite leaves you wanting more. Yet the entire meal has a remarkable sprezzatura, which allows you to feel at home. It’s okay if you laugh a little and don’t sit with ballerina posture. Whether you pick the flora or fauna menu, you won’t be disappointed.
652 West Randolph, (312)234-9494, grace-restaurant.com
AUDIENCE CHOICE: Alinea, 1723 North Halsted, (312)867-0110, alinearestaurant.com
Best of Chicago 2013