Sixty-four Chicago-area restaurants have been named to Michelin's list of Bib Gourmand eateries exactly one week prior to the launch of the highly anticipated Michelin Guide Chicago 2013.
There were 19 new entrants, including Antique Taco, a Wicker Park restaurant that sells habanero popcorn, duck enchiladas and horchata milkshakes.
Among the other newcomers were Ada St., Au Cheval, Balena, Chilam Balam, City Tavern, Jam, Kai Zan, Lao Hunan, Maison, Marion Street Chinese Market, Q BBQ, the Savoy, the Storefront Company, Untitled, Urban Union and Wood.
"The Bib Gourmands are selected by Michelin's famously anonymous inspectors, who dine across Chicago regularly," Michelin said in a release.
Clermont Ferrand, France-based Michelin & Cie., the world's second-biggest tire maker, will name the winners of stars in the "Michelin Guide Chicago 2013" on Wednesday, Nov. 13, with copies going on sale the following day for $18.99.
The critically acclaimed Publican and Stephanie Izard's Girl & the Goat retained their Bib awards, typically an indication that the venues won't receive a star in next week's announcement.
Inclusion in the Michelin Guide is, in itself, synonymous with quality, and while the Michelin stars are certainly the most celebrated, the Bib Gourmand designation is a highly desired distinction among restaurateurs. It represents restaurants that serve two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for $40 or less (tax and gratuity not included). Most importantly, these are places that Michelin's esteemed inspectors would frequent themselves.
Among the Bib Gourmands, 22 different cuisine types are represented and choices are provided in each of the 14 areas covered, including the neighborhoods of downtown Chicago and the surrounding suburbs.