Charlie Trotter’s – Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

At the Top of the Food Chain

Is Charlie Trotter America’s finest chef? Food fans are falling over each other to find out, making a reservation for one of his twenty-eight tables the toughest ticket in town.

Known for an artistic, imaginative, and ever-changing presentation of modern American cuisine and legendary treatment of vegetables, Trotter’s constant is his exquisite, famously complicated combina­tions of the highest quality ingredients, juxtaposed in ways never imagined by the average diner. It’s not just food; it’s art.

Of the three set menus that change nightly, the restaurant’s eight-to-ten-course tasting menus are the most famous, as exquisitely planned as every other detail in this coolly elegant, stately Lincoln Park townhouse, where more than forty china patterns will keep the eye busy. No less impressive is the massive and meticulously thought-out wine list, consid­ered one of the country’s best. The restaurant’s most coveted table (with a waiting list of up to four months) is in the kitchen, where patrons can watch the master chef in action.

It was here that Sweden’s King Carl Gustaf XVI (an aspiring recreational chef himself) dined one evening, later inviting Trotter to share some of his culinary secrets – one reigning monarch to another.

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