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Chef Curtis Duffy

“I fell in love with the name Grace long ago,” explains chef Curtis Duffy about naming his Chicago restaurant. “When I was a child, I loved the name and I didn’t know it was going to be the name of the restaurant. I said to myself ‘what name represents the style of food and what I want to give to a restaurant? What name represents that the best?’ You look at the definition and it’s graceful, it’s elegant, it’s refinement. That’s really what it means for us and for me personally, it’s a sense of freedom.”

Freedom for Duffy meant striking out on his own and creating a place where he can guide the experience. “As a young chef, you’re always working for somebody else. You’re always executing someone else’s vision and I'm a business partner with two other people, but I have a hundred percent say in what goes on the plates and how service is executed. All these things for me is a sense of freedom. I'm not restrained on what I want to create.”

Since opening Grace at the end of 2012 their vision has been rewarded. They’ve received many accolades, including two Michelin stars and the restaurant received the James Beard Award for best restaurant design. Chef Duffy was also nominated for a James Beard Best Chef: Great Lakes Award.

Grace features two eight to twelve course tasting menus that change four times a year. One menu highlights vegetables and the other meat and seafood. The portions are small enough to make you want more. “We tell a story from the beginning of the very first bite you take to the very last bite. Sometimes a dish is created around something that’s so intense you can only take two or three bites and then you’re done.”

Here are Curtis Duffy’s 6 Things... Chicago. To get the full Chicago F|E|D Guide download the Find. Eat. Drink. app.




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Photograph courtesy of Grace

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Grace Restaurant

General Information


652 West Randolph Street

Chicago, IL 60661

T: 312.234.9494

Website | Book a Table


The Pros

- Chef Curtis Duffy




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Eat | Casual

Frank ‘N Dawgs   

Photograph courtesy of Frank ‘N Dawgs

Frank ‘N Dawgs

“They do gourmet hotdogs, not your traditional hotdog. They mix it up and do a play on a classic dish. One could be lamb curry, one could be pork, one might be duck sausage. It’s really interesting. They did a chef hotdog every month when they first opened and we did it with duck breast, duck sausage, cherries and pistachios and they called it the Duffy Duck.”

1863 N Clybourn Avenue, Chicago, IL 60614

T: 312.281.5187 |

Bricks Pizza   

Photograph courtesy of Bricks


“I love their pizza. You have to go to the original spot, not their second location. It’s thin crust and what’s nice is you can get a large and it’s still small enough that even two people can finish, not a problem.”

1909 N Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL 60614

T: 312.255.0851 |

Chef Bill Kim’s Belly Dog at Belly Shack   

Photograph courtesy of Belly Shack

Belly Shack
“Bill Kim is doing interesting stuff with his food. The Togarashi Spiced Fries with curry mayonnaise are pretty amazing. I would order some of those and the Brussels Sprouts that he does with kimchi and chorizo.”

[Read more about chef Bill Kim and download the F.E.D. iPhone app to discover his Chicago city guide.]

1912 N Western Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647

T: 773.252.1414 |

Tiparos Thai Cuisine & Sushi Bar

“One of the best Tom Kha soups in the city. It’s a classic Thai coconut curry soup with kaffir lime and lemon grass and galangal. I’ve eaten a lot of that soup. I’ve been to Bangkok. I’ve tried a million places. I haven’t had it like this one and they do it so well and I’ve been coming here for 13 to 14 years now.”

1540 N Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60610

T: 312.712.9900 |


Eat | Upscale

Thai Deng’s Vietnamese cuisine at Embeya   

Photograph courtesy of Embeya


“This is a higher-end restaurant for a nice sit down meal. Thai Deng is the chef and he is doing really good Vietnamese type cuisine. He was classically trained by his grandmother.”

564 West Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60661

T: 312.612.5640 (Book a Table) |


Drink | Wine

Webster Wine Bar   

Photograph courtesy of Webster Wine Bar

Webster’s Wine Bar

“It’s a darkly lit wine bar, candles, and the music is not too loud. The wine list is probably 3,000 deep. It’s a nice variety from all over the world.”

1480 W Webster Avenue, Chicago, IL 60614

T: 773.868.0608 |

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