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The Michelin Frenzy Has Begun: Bib Gourmands Released Today

By Anthony Todd in Food on Nov 7, 2012 5:00PM

The Publican's Bib Gourmand, from 2011.
It's a few more days until the official Michelin stars are released for Chicago, but Michelin has begun to tease us by releasing the "Bib Gourmands," their much larger list of restaurants that combine high quality with good value. The Bib Gourmand list is also seen by some as a way of predicting, in a backward way, those restaurants that may or may not get actual stars. Who won in Chicago this year?

Eater got the whole list earlier this morning. The list has been expanded from 56 last year to 64 this year, though some places have also dropped off the list. The Bib Gourmand represents (supposedly) a restaurant where you can get a meal for $40 per person - meal being defined as two courses and wine or two courses and dessert.

You can check out the old list here. What's new? Some darn good restaurants: Ada Street, Au Cheval, Balena, Chilam Balam, Lao Hunan, Kai Zan, Maison, The Savoy, Slurping Turtle, Storefront Company, Wood and Urban Union. City Tavern also made the list, though we suspect they reviewed it before Chef Kendal Duque left. Some others we aren't so fond of - check out the list and see for yourself.

Eater also pointed out that some surprising choices have been dropped from the list. As we mentioned above, some believe this is a good way to predict stars - because a restaurant, presumably, won't be on both lists. When the Michelin Guide first came out two years ago, the Bib Gourmands were an oddly sad prize for some restaurants, since their recognition on the list meant that they weren't going to be receiving a star.

Who is off the list this year? Well, a bunch, but most notably Lula, Mexique and Perennial Virant. Those might be up for 1 star each. We'll just have to wait and see.

The full Michelin list will be released on November 14th.