Xperience – Grace Restaurant, Chicago
2011 proved to be a more exciting year than usual for Chef Chris Duffy. After spending most of his teenage and adult years honing his skills in such restaurants as French Laundry, Avenues, Alinea, Trio and Charlie Trotter’s, Chris partnered with General Manager Michael Muser, Chef de Cuisine Nicholas Romero, Pastry Chef Bobby Schaffer and Principal Michael Olszewski in order to form his own winning team of food professionals. With great people and his extensive cooking experience behind him, Chris opened Grace Restaurant in Chicago.
The food at Grace is elegant and refined. Focusing primarily on what Chris calls “micro-seasonal cuisine”, the menu features simple yet very flavourful ways of preparing oysters, squab, lamb and beef. The addition of a few fresh and special ingredients like, green strawberries, lavender or black mint elevate the ordinary to the extraordinary.
“Flora”, as Chris calls the vegetable dishes on the menu, are not forgotten either. In so many restaurants, side dishes seem to be afterthoughts. That’s not what you’ll encounter at Grace. Combinations like Beet, Black Garlic, Apple and Tarragon might convince you to skip the meat altogether. The kitchen staff’s skill at combining flavours is showcased in such dishes as Australian Black Truffle, Crème Caramel, Sherry and Chive Blossom, or one of my favourites, Rhubarb, Chartreuse, Toasted Brioche and Lemon Balm.
You’ll find Grace at 652 West Randolph St. in Chicago.