Duffy’s Understated Elegance
As restaurants are trending towards casual menus and rustic decor, Curtis Duffy is running boldly in the other direction, reviving fine dining with his first solo project Grace. Duffy, who was chef de cuisine at Alinea before receiving 2 Michelin stars for his work at Avenues, uses seasonal ingredients and modern techniques to develop his creative tasting menus. Diners can choose from either Flora or Fauna, one highlighting meat, the other a treasure trove of exotic plants and vegetables (each menu is 8 to 12 courses and both are worth the price tag). Expect dishes such as parsnip puree and gelee served with dried pineapple, fennel and a delicate tarragon ice, or from the Fauna side, veal cheeks with red wine-braised endive, black mint and anchovies (luckily your meal is served by knowledgable staff who can explain each component). From the place settings and seating, to the gleaming glass-enclosed kitchen, Duffy’s attention to detail and commitment to quality is what landed Grace a nomination for Best New Restaurant from the James Beard Foundation and a four-star review from the Chicago Tribune’s Phil Vettel.
652 West Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60661
Photo courtesy of Anthony Tahlier.