Chicago restaurants are facing the challenge of a lifetime right now, after Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced that eateries and bars throughout the state would need to shut their doors to dine-in guests to stop the spread of coronavirus. For most restaurants, that meant relying solely on delivery and takeout apps, which is hard enough, but for fine-dining destinations like Alinea and EL Ideas, it meant going back to the drawing board and temporarily changing their business models.
These seven Michelin-starred restaurants are swapping out their tweezers and multi-course tasting menus for simplified but decadent takeout meals designed to deliver comfort straight to your doorstep. You don't need a reservation to snag these dining deals, but you should act fast before they sell out. And if you can't swing delivery this week, consider buying merch or a gift card, writing a positive review or donating to a relief fund (more about that below).
Chicago's only three-Michelin-starred restaurant offering takeout? Pigs can fly and hell has frozen over. Chef Grant Achatz and his team are pivoting to pickup with a simplified three-course menu that's designed with comfort in mind. The offerings will change regularly, but right now, each meal includes a beef short rib wellington, a side of 50-50 mashed potatoes and crème brûlée. To secure your dinner, order ahead through Tock, where you'll select your pickup time and pre-pay $34.95–$39.95 per person. You can opt to toss in wines from Alinea's cellar or a cocktail kit from the Aviary, which includes a bottle of booze and all the fixings you need to prepare tipples at home.
If you live near chef Ryan McCaskey's South Loop institution, consider upgrading tonight's dinner routine with Michelin-worthy carryout, available Tuesday through Saturday from 4 to 8pm. The folks at Acadia are spotlighting some of their best bar eats, so you can fill your living room table with crab and kimchi fried rice ($14), lobster grilled cheese ($16), lemon pepper curly fries ($6) and a stacked burger ($14), which is decked out with caramelized onions, American cheese, mayo and pickles. There's plenty of booze to choose from, too, with bottles of beer from Moody Tongue and cocktail kits for the taking.
Vegetarians, we didn't forget about you. The folks at EL Ideas in Douglas Park want to make sure you can get in on the fine-dining takeout action, too, which is why they have three three-course menus to choose from, each priced under $40. The Veggy menu includes a Brussels sprout and spinach salad, grilled trumpet mushrooms and a flourless chocolate cake with hibiscus gel and red velvet crumble (anyone else drooling on their keyboards?). Meat-eaters can choose between the Clucky and Meaty menus, which spotlight smoked peking duck and braised pork shoulder, respectively.
You shouldn't have to give up the finer things in life just because you're stuck in quarantine, and chef Brian Fisher is here to assist with dry-aged duck and caviar service to go. Available on Tock for delivery and takeout Thursday through Sunday, Entente's family meals allow diners to choose a sharable feast for two to four adults. Entrée options include handmade pasta in lamb bolognese, chicken tikka masala, jerk chicken, grilled short rib ($70 each) and whole roasted dry-aged duck ($150). Each meal comes with several hearty sides and expertly crafted desserts, and you can even toss in caviar service or a bottle of wine if you want to kick things up a notch. If you're more of a morning person, go with one of chef Jared Bacheller's pastry packages ($30–$55), which include a 12-ounce bag of Sparrow coffee and your choice of croissants with whipped butter and jam or toasted cinnamon kouign amann.
The menu at Alinea Group's Next is constantly changing in an effort to help diners explore the world without leaving the city limits. While we're social distancing, they're revisiting one of their most beloved lineups to date: Italia. The three-course takeout package includes housemade pasta with creamy vodka sauce, a Caesar salad and cheesecake. The best part? It all rings up for just under $30 per person. Like Alinea, you'll order ahead on Tock and select your pickup time. You can also upgrade your order with Grant's classic meatball ($9.95 each) as well as wines and cocktail kits.
Trying to pull off date night while in quarantine? This sweet Avondale eatery from husband-and-wife team Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark has you covered with its "Dinner for Two" deal. Priced at $50, your shareable spread includes the world-famous bing bread, a soul-soothing kimchi stew, steamed rice, three kinds of pickles, toasted nori and the kitchen's daily dessert. You can get it ferried straight to your door via Caviar, which means you should absolutely fill your cart with a bottle of wine (or two!), a branded tote bag and an extra order of bing bread (it's that good).
Be the household hero when you order Temporis's $70 daily family meal for two, which includes generous helpings (enough for leftovers, we're told) of baby kale salad, short ribs and grits, and a brownie that laced with brown sugar ganache. They'll let you toss in some à la carte menu items, too, like asparagus-rhubarb salad with cured egg yolk ($17) and truffled lobster mac and cheese ($30). Opt to add a bottle of wine to the mix for an additional $30.
Psst! There are still plenty of ways to show your support to Michelin-starred restaurants that aren't on this list to ensure they'll still be around when this is all over. The crews at Band of Bohemia, Blackbird, Sepia and Oriole have set up relief funds for their staff. You can also buy gift cards for future dining experiences at restaurants like Entente, Elske and Smyth.