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No Surprises With AAA's "Five Diamond" Restaurant Award Winners

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Jan 20, 2012 7:20PM

2012_1_20_AAA.gif AAA announced its "Five Diamond Award" winners — the highest rating they give for restaurants — and once again there are no surprises with the list of Chicago awardees.

Alinea, Arun's, Charlie Trotter's, Everest and Tru all retained their Five Diamond ratings. For Trotter's, this marks their 17th straight Five Diamond award, which will make another fitting accolade for when the restaurant closes in August. Every other restaurant on the list has earned the honor for at least five consecutive years.

AAA says its restaurant reviewers make "unannounced visits to check out restaurants before deciding on the ratings." So does the Michelin Guide and, as hyped as that review's stars have been among local fooderati for what was awarded and what wasn't, at least the Michelin Guide makes an attempt to reflect the current state of Chicago's restaurant scene.

One gets the impression looking at the AAA winners that the reviews used to award Trotter's, Alinea, et al. with their five diamonds were the ones that were originally written when they first earned the accolade.