Well, that's what the cartoon would like you to believe. (Moving on.) Ever since the Michelin first started publishing a little red book about the best Chicago restaurants back in 2010, each new release has also included a Bib Gourmand list. Instead of the usual star ratings Michelin is known for, this list is meant to celebrate restaurants that are considered a "good value." In technical terms, that means a person can enjoy "two courses and a glass of wine or dessert" for $40 or less. Considering those are the kinds of restaurants we tend to write about here on Serious Eats Chicago, we like to pay attention to what happens with this one, even if the picks seem slightly random.
A number of new places made the cut, including favorites of ours like Antique Taco, Au Cheval, Balena, Lao Hunan, and Slurping Turtle. It's hard to argue with those picks, even if we agree with Grub Street Chicago that Publican Quality Meats and Pleasant House should been shoo-ins.
But the list also shed a few places, and some of the decisions initially seem very puzzling. In particular, Lula Cafe and Perennial Virant, two places that we think have actually improved since last year, were taken off. There could be a very practical reason for this. Instead of a demotion, this could actually signal that both will get star ratings this year.
We'll have to wait until November 14th, when Michelin releases the full guide, to know for sure. In the meantime, check out all the 2013 Bib Gourmand winners below.
2013 Bib Gourmands List Ada Street Ann Sather Antique Taco Au Cheval Avec Balena Belly Shack Bistronomic The Bristol Browntrout Ceres' Table Chilam Balam City Tavern Cumin Deca De Cero De Colores Frontera Grill Gemini Bistro Gilt Bar Girl & the Goat Green Zebra GT Fish & Oyster Han 202 Jaipur Jam Jin Thai Kabul House Kai Zan Lao Hunan Lao Sze Chuan La Petite Folie Los Nopales Maison Marion Street Cheese Market Maude's Liquor Bar Mixteco Grill Nana Nightwood Opart Thai Owen & Engine Paramount Room The Publican The Pump Room Purple Pig Q BBQ Raj Darbar Riccardo Trattoria The Savoy Sen Slurping Turtle Smak-Tak Smoque BBQ Sol de Mexico Spacca Napoli The Storefront Company Twin Anchors Untitled Urban Belly Urban Union West Town Tavern Wood Xni-Pec de Yucatan Yolo