42 grams Menu

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  • Jennifer M.

    Overall, I felt that 42 grams served the best food among all fine dining restaurants in Chicago. My boyfriend loved the salmon. Nothing was absolutely amazing, but everything was really good. At other fine dining restaurants, some dishes are wow and some are disappointing, but everything was generally good at 42 grams. Alexa seems a bit aggressive and comes on strong, but that was okay. Also, having one to two servers make things a bit slow.

    (5)
  • Erick N.

    After three fantastic dining experiences at Sous Rising (the underground dining venue Chef Bickelhaupt operated out of his apartment before opening 42 Grams) I finally made it to 42 Grams. I had meant to make it here sooner (the restaurant has already been open a little over a year) and after my amazing meal the other day I am really regretting having missed some of the earlier menus. The space at 42 Grams is very tastefully decorated; they really did an amazing job beautifully renovating the space. Elegant, intimate and comfortable. I strongly recommend dining at the Chef's Counter as it is a lot of fun viewing the kitchen working their magic and being able to ask questions of the chefs. I wish more places in Chicago had this kitchen counter concept as it really enhances the dining experience. 42 Grams is BYOB and the menu is approximately 13 courses; the first half of the savories pairing with white wine, the second half with red and concluding with three sweet courses. Generally with extended tasting menus a couple of courses really wow me, a few more are excellent and a few fair-to-good. What was really impressive at 42 Grams was course-after-course was a home run; probably 10 of the 13 courses were utterly fantastic. The meal started on a high note and somehow just kept getting better and better. The food is interesting (rare ingredients, flavor combinations, textures and at times playfulness), top notch quality (A5 Wagyu, caviar, foie etc.), virtually everything made fresh in house, perfectly cooked and presented as works of art. This is truly some of the very best cuisine in the United States right now. I also was pleasantly surprised with the portions; I had heard some people complain they left hungry, but as someone with a hearty appetite it was just the right amount of food; sure I could have eaten more, but I left very comfortable and happy. The food itself is modern, creative and very reminiscent of what was served at Sous Rising with one notable exception; at Sous Rising nearly every course seemed to combine sweet with savory (likely something Chef had carried over from his days as a sous at Schwa), but at 42 Grams the savories did not have dessert like components; I definitely liked this evolution of Chef's cooking. Chef's wife Alexa leads the front-of-the-house team and is very friendly and extremely efficient. The rest of the staff is quite personable and competent as well. Perhaps my only complaint of 42 Grams (and what keeps it from being among my very favorite all-around restaurants - despite the food quality certainly being of that caliber) is that the meal operates too efficiently. Our thirteen course meal was under two hours in length; while some may actually enjoy such fast paced dining, when I splurge over $200 a head for dinner I generally expect the meal to be the evening's entertainment and am seeking a relaxing, lengthy meal. Since the meal is a communal experience, one cannot request to slow down the pace - even if you slow down the courses keep coming rapid fire and I definitely did feel it was a bit of a rushed experience. The only other possible negative (but an aspect I also respect) is 42 Grams' my-way-or-the-highway attitude; nonrefundable pre-paid tickets in lieu of reservations, no substitution policy, no catering to allergies - even additional rules sent via e-mail a few days before your dinner such as how much wine you are permitted to bring and how early you are allowed to arrive. Since my wife often has to take business trips on very short notice this greatly deters her prospects of dining here as the risk of buying a ticket far in advance is significant (and 42 Grams is still often selling out most nights well in advance, so last minute availability is rare). On the one hand as a diner I feel that a restaurant should be more hospitable with their policies, but on the other hand as one who dines out frequently I have seen the other side of the coin - there are so many difficult and high maintenance customers, i.e. cancelling reservations last minutes (or worse, not even showing up), making crazy demands on the chef to accommodate questionable dietary restrictions etc., that part of me "gets" 42 Grams' perspective and has to respect that they are able to fill the house night in and night out in a neighborhood not known for haute cuisine and with high (but fair) prices. Nevertheless the good FAR outweighs the bad at 42 Grams and they are certainly deserving of all the accolades received during this past year (Two Michelin Stars, Rising Chef of the year in the Jean Banchet's etc.). I definitely plan to dine here regularly going forward and Chicago is extremely fortunate to have this venue.

    (5)
  • Tanner B.

    Doesn't get much better than this. 13 courses of unique and great tasting food as well as an awesome atmosphere. Very personal experience where you know you are getting the food exactly as the chef intends because he is preparing it right in front of you. Was there for about two hours but didn't feel long at all because pacing was good and you could always be entertained by watching the chef at work. Thanks for the great night Jake and Alexa!!

    (5)
  • James R.

    I'm going to save you a lot of reading of my fellow Yelpers' super long reviews: if you can afford to eat at a place like this, you need to try 42 Grams. The food and presentation are truly exceptional, the space and atmosphere are unlike any other comparable restaurant, and Jake and Alexa are fantastic hosts. Go if you can. That is all you need to know.

    (5)
  • Anthony N.

    ***42 grams is one of the country's best restaurants (maybe even the best)*** Northern California fine dining combines talented chefs with great local produce, but Chicago fine dining always feels a step ahead (the chefs are more creative and have a more unique approach to food). That is the case with Jake Bickelhaupt's 42 grams, which celebrates the ingredient like great California restaurants but also experiments with techniques and flavor combinations to present cuisine the guest could not have even imagined. The first course of this excellent tasting menu utilized traditional caviar service elements (potato, cream and a herb--chervil instead of chives) to create a caviar presentation that was classic and luxurious as well as modern and fun. Potato chips provided a nostalgic flavor as well as the perfect crunch to the creamy vichyssoise, which had a silkiness I have only experienced at Coi. The next course combined sea trout with an aromatic bacon dashi, savory kombu, pickled vegetables, and blood orange. Like many courses that followed, 42 grams leveraged Japanese ingredients to not only accent courses but to become a driving force behind them. What was amazing was how the chefs were able to bring out these ingredients' true flavors much more than top California restaurants. An amazing salad followed--fresh, crisp lettuce, brioche with a crunchy exterior and a slightly soft interior, a creamy element and a punch from horseradish, bursts of tartness from finger lime caviar, and natural sweetness from minced prawns. A Mexican inspired course followed--a ceviche-like presentation of yellowtail, avocado, tequila, jicama, and tostada. What I loved about it was how the Mexican flavors really came across with the spiciness and the tequila as well as an intense masa flavor. Having this course showed what Topolobampo should be but is not. While I do like that restaurant, it is not re-inventing Mexican flavors like what is being done here. Next came salmon that was moist yet still flaked very easily as well as showcased a crispy crust. The salmon sat on top of miso toast and was topped with a fragrant mushroom dashi. Meat courses followed like venison tartare with an oozing egg yolk and crunchy grains and a crispy veal sweetbread that was topped with grated frozen foie gras, which reconstituted itself into a creamy mousse as it melted. There was also porcelet loin that was very moist despite being lean. The porcelet was served with a brassica, which had the type of perfect texture and freshness that only a few restaurants in California like Saison can achieve. The brassica was coated very evenly with a butter sauce, which was rich and intense while also feeing surprisingly light. The other great meat course was Wagyu beef, which had a flavorful, crispy sear as well as a rich and melted center. The beef was served with an umeboshi sauce. My mom used to eat umeboshi a lot when I was a kid and its strong flavor always reminds me of growing up and this sauce was the perfect accent to the beef--a classic sweet sauce but also a tartness and lasting finish. Desserts were fun including a palate cleanser of refreshing green tea panna cotta that was well balanced by tart yuzu, a sweet, nutty and crispy sesame tuile and a white chocolate sphere filled with kabosu juice. What I loved about this bite was how what held the sphere in place (saffron honey) and the garnish it was topped with (bubblegum hyssop) added lasting sweet and fragrant notes. The main dessert was dulse gelato sitting on top of a rice porridge (both crispy and soft) and finished with a salty, sweet and intense miso caramel. The last course was coffee espuma--light and airy but also an intense coffee flavor that was bitter and sweet. Service was exceptional as Jake's wife Alexa (friendly and charismatic) presented each course with enthusiasm and knowledge. Prices are high, but the quality of ingredients and creativity cannot be beat and Jake and Alexa do everything they can to make the dining experience as memorable as possible. While expensive, 42 grams provides an experience you could only have in a handful of restaurants across the country. And even restaurants providing this right-in-the-kitchen approach such as minibar, Table 21, The Catbird Seat, Beast, or Atera do not deliver the flavors, quality and skill with preparing ingredients like you will experience at 42 grams. When you consider 42 grams' unique position among other restaurants, dining here is a relative bargain compared to other luxury experiences such as staying at a top hotel. A dinner at 42 grams is a must visit for anyone who loves and appreciates fine cuisine and all the talent, hard work and attention to detail it takes to serve food that is delicious, nostalgic and unlike anything you have had before. I believe metered street parking is available.

    (5)
  • Lee L.

    Tell us about the preparation of this dish, Chef Jake. "It was really simple...." No it wasn't! At all! :D 42 grams is a very unique and wonderful dining experience. There is a maximum of 10 people in the restaurant at any given time, so the service you receive is very warm and personal, and the attention to detail in the food is impeccable. Alexa even learned everyone's name on the way in and addressed us accordingly during the meal. You can get up and walk around, and you can even walk right up to the pass and ask Chef what's going on. There is almost nothing I can say about the food because everything was great. The biggest highlight for me was the sweetbreads. I order sweetbreads a lot, and these were the best I've ever had in my life. The unique and crunchy char was mind blowing. Also, the Salmon with spent grain bread and mushroom dashi was insane. Just, crazy. Get here while you still can! The man's got talent. The only minute detail I didn't like was I wish there was a bit more direction with the wine. Customers are given suggested wine pairings to purchase and BYO, but since we don't know the menu or the number of courses, it was difficult to pace how long the white was supposed to last and when the red should be opened. All I needed was "the red should be opened about 2 courses from now". Additionally, the overall pricing seemed slightly steep for no alcohol included, but besides the meal you are also paying for the extremely intimate and personal environment - only 90 people max eat here a week. Overall, with my criticisms, I'm reaching. This was one of the coolest dining experiences I've ever had. The awards are well deserved and this is a restaurant that any food connoisseur should visit. I look forward to returning!

    (5)
  • Mandy Y.

    I decided this was where I wanted to celebrate my birthday (two weeks from now) The gal I spoke to on the phone was very sarcastic and rude when I asked if they could please ensure we were not seated with any candles on our table due to the fact that my mother was recovering from a serious illness and required oxygen. She hinted that maybe she should just stay home. I was appalled, are you kidding me? At this point I knew there was no way I was going to eat here. I decided to check the reviews and I am *SO* glad I did. I find it helpful to read the worst reviews of a business to see if people are just whining or if they had a genuinely regrettable experience. That's when I stumbled upon the review by Athanasios K. and in it, the comments and messages by the business owners made me sick. These people commented about his wife and how she was an amazing person. Wait, what? The business owner, Jake B. then went on to insult him regarding his opinions as "amateur". He goes on to tell him "...don't come back. I don't want to elaborate why. Just stay home." Well Jake, here's a newsflash for you; I planned on dining here for my birthday and if it was as amazing as it should be, I was going to book your establishment for my firm's holiday gala. Since your fine dining experience comes with a high price but low morals (and spelling, "your a cool hip hop star") I'll go ahead and pass. Happy holidays. *******************UPDATE 12/5/14*************************** There is nothing fraudulent or made up about my review at all and the owner's wife is just upset because despite their tactics, I have refused to remove my review. I'm sorry that you lack any human decency and it's wonderful that you've tried (AND FAILED) to defend your awful business practices and worse customer service. It really is a shame that such talent accompanies such a business. What kind of person lies about their mother having a serious illness? Worse, what kind of trash accuses someone of lying about it? Shall I post a photo of my mom? Will that make you feel better? Wow. Just wow. My ailing mother has lung disease and had battled cancer. Twice. Disgusting. ******Another update because Alexa is a freaking psycho**** Do you really think it's appropriate to speak to someone that way where anyone could see it? Do you think that this is going to sway potential customers in your favor? What is wrong with you? Hurling insults at me as if you are a juvenile. I would expect this type of behavior from a teenager at Taco Bell but you, the MARVELOUS ALEXA, I'm appalled. So back to my review... This "woman" (as if she behaves like an adult) expects you Yelpers to believe that I would fabricate such an in depth story just because... I have nothing to gain by reviewing your restaurant negatively darling and if I did, I can assure you I have more class than to bring my mother into things. I'm sorry that you lack not only customer service skills but also any human decency. It really is a shame. I have reached out to associates with the local news stations and the newspaper. I will not be bashed upon by some lunatic owner. "Calling me out"? Morals? Best joke I've heard all week. I wish you all the best in your business ventures and truly hope that you learn from your mistakes in the way that you've handled my personal experience and review. I did my "homework" on the establishment and that's why I chose it over Alinea. Again, shameful.

    (1)
  • Sam C.

    I've heard great things about sous rising and i was really impressed with the level of food served here. The food is a nice balance between creativity, playfulness and taste. The followings are what I had: 1) Amuse 2) Juniper Jump 3) Potato Soup 4) Beet Salad 5) Tom Yum 6) Flavor of the sea 7) Catalina Island Uni 8) SweetBread 9) Duck Breast 10) Foie Gras 11) Chocolate Sweets 12) Cheese 3 ways If you have a chance to go, you definitely won't regret it. Also, the restaurant is practically run by the chef and his wife and its interior is decorated like someone's living and dining room, which put you at ease (I did the chef's counter and it brings me to the good days when I ate at my mom's kitchen. The communal table is set like a family dining table). Hence, it really does feel like you're going to someone's house to eat.

    (5)
  • Ellie F.

    The place is a welcome addition to the Uptown Neighborhood. The food is on par with the big name places already in town (Alinea, Schwa, etc.). Even better than the food was the experience. It is very intimate and you get to spend a lot of time talking with the chef and his wife (hostess). They really make you feel like you are enjoying dinner in their kitchen/living room. They did a nice job explaining the food and the best approach to tackling each dish. Because of the intimate environment, the minimal seating and the type of food, this place is not good for children. It is better to schedule the babysitter and take your partner for that special night out. It is a fine dining experience in a casual environment, I would say "sexy casual." My one complaint, which is not enough to drop a star, was that the beginning of the meal felt a little rushed. It is difficult when they serve everyone together so if you are not all part of the same party, eating at different paces can be tough. This seemed to correct itself as the meal went one. The current menu has a strong Asian influence to it. I overhead that the menu will change come spring. This is definitely a place to save up for and then sit back and enjoy.

    (5)
  • Susan F.

    This is definitely a special occasion place. Everything we had was outstanding! Enjoyed the personal/cozy atmosphere and enjoyed hearing about every dish in detail. Will be recommending to friends!

    (5)
  • Emma R.

    This was literally one of the best meals of my life. So creative. So friendly. So warm and the food is out of this world, I've been to almost every Next meal, and all the other greats. But this place is a "not to miss." Get tickets now! (and watch out for the crazy beautiful wonderful things these people do to beets and tiny flowers and everything else).

    (5)
  • Erika I.

    A simply amazing experience. Chef Jake and his wife Alexa make an amazing team. The 15 course dinner was so unique and a true culinary delight. I can't wait to go back.

    (5)
  • Peace Y.

    Wow. Just wow. Get there before you can't. Only 18 seats per night, 4 nights a week. So impeccably prepared - not just tthe aesthetics, but the flavors were just incredible. From the porky salt-cured tuna loin packed with umami, to the elevated comfort food of crunchy cultured barley with pork jowls and pork heart over grapefruit, to the silky salmon on spent barley bread, and of course the wagyu filled with pockets of fat... all of it was amazing. I personally enjoyed the savories more than the sweets, but everything was outstanding. Michelin stars well deserved!

    (5)
  • Emily C.

    Wow. Totally blown away by our meal here. Definitely a top meal in my life! The experience was very intimate and you definitely felt like you were a guest in Jake and Alexa's home. They have two separate seatings and each is in a different area (chef's counter vs. table). We chose the chef's counter and loved it. You could watch the chef at work. There were only 8 of us and Alexa learned everyone's name and we got to know the person next to us. Very cool experience. The menu is always changing, but we loved every dish. Our favorites were the salmon and the pork...just wow! And we LOVED that it was BYOB. Alexa gave everyone suggestions, but you could bring what you like. Another great part was that even though it was a 13 course tasting, Jake and Alexa kept everything moving and on time. We were out of there by 8 pm (seated at 5:45). We would definitely come back for a special occasion!

    (5)
  • Sean B.

    I think this place has a lot of potential, but right now they need to work in three areas relative to the top tier restaurants: 1) service interactivity, 2) balance of the meal and 3) small service details First of all, none of this reflects on the quality of the dishes chef Jake made, which I considered interesting and inventive and in the "top tier" level and I'll explain that (food, 4.5 stars). Things that I liked: food, food, food. 1) Juniper Jump was an extremely inventive cocktail with a solid-ish hendricks gin. Can they do this in a BYOB? I think this is a legitimate question, as we self-provided for a certain expectation in time and presentation. 2) the cucumber "felt like 100 ways" dish was genius and played on many trends in fine dining. 3) The asparagus gelato topping majama de Atun was one of my favorites ever, but I think they should have put it at the end, not the beginning, as it felt dessert-y. 4) The coconut dish, percorino were too small, even for a delicious bite. 5) The pork belly "taco" dish was a very inventive take on a taco deconstructed. Genius. 6) I didn't taste any notable truffle in the grain and seed dish. Sometimes the dish ingredients were announced before the table's attention was on the host, and as a result, I found myself guessing several times until the menu was provided at the end. 7) The crispy snacks on the table were good, and if this place wasn't pristinely clean, this would have bothered me. Our obnoxious neighbors appears to be disassembling the table-piece as they got drunker. The kale chip in particular was interesting and the right size. Things that annoyed me: 1) I'm left-handed. Alexa, the wife of Jake, noted this on the way in. But her server did not note this, twice, unannouncedly bumping into my left arm with a plate instead of serving the plate from the right, where I sat, an unobstructed way to bring the dish in. In one case my spoon almost was knocked off the table and in a second case, my hand hit a plate and I was annoyed with the infraction throughout the course. 2) This was not, with the exception of the A5 Wagyu a $200 meal in terms of ingredients. Notably absent from the menu relative to these other reviews were a lot of the things that we were looking forward to, and perhaps expecting. No foie gras, no dark chocolate, no veal, etc. I left hungry, only masked by the alcohol *we* had provided (and were served). 3) Speaking of alcohol, we were asked to surrender the wines at the beginning, which might be an infraction of the byob rules for Chicago, I would have thought they'd be more attentive to this detail. I didn't appreciate being called a "party table" by Alexa at the beginning, a detail that seems to impose a one-sized-fits-all approach to our members. 4) The host directed to sit at one end of the table upon entry, in a manner that increased the segregation of us with the communal party throughout the meal. The lack of communal explanation brought the experience down a bit. The 7 basically ignored us with the exception of some niceties. 5) I got to retrieve my own coat at the end, after finding it. 6) The top tier of restaurants is accustomed to interactivity with the patrons. Twice I hinted at that within ear shot of the hosts, once noting a recent article in Crains where the diners were actually researched before the meal. Having this interpersonal "wall" up for the service irked me as I felt left 100% to my party. 7) I know they are starting but while I liked the stemware very much (interesting actually) and the plateware (Trotter plates, cool idea, yes please), I did not like the silverware (plain for a place of this price-point). Several dishes we were provided with nothing more than a spoon and I could have used a knife to work off of, not just my finger. 8) They ended with a coffee dish. I do not like coffee and nor do lots of people. I've never seen a place force the patrons into a coffee "dish" instead of asking if they would like it. 9) The table could easily be out another foot from the wall to prevent the feeling that I was almost bumping into the other patrons each time I needed to use the restroom. I felt myself ducking between the interesting wine cork wall that protruded and not bumping a few of the guys in the 7 party that had chairs kind of sticking out. I did like the chairs they picked and found them "top tier" worthy. 10) The decor in this place is an Elizabeth restaurant rip-off, woodland table bouquet and open stainless steel. I usually expect something visually new at $200. I think almost all of these attributes that I had issues with can be corrected. I look forward to trying this place again in 6 months or a year when they get into their service stride. I think it is a welcome addition to Uptown.

    (3)
  • Margot C.

    42 Grams is one of the best restaurants in the country right now. Jake is doing something different and daring, and dining with him is an adventure. One of the problems with Yelp can be the lack of consistency across raters. For example, I am fairly choosy when it comes to restaurants, particularly given the quality of food that I can prepare myself at home; other people give Chipotle 5 stars. One of the only low ratings for 42 Grams has to do with a personality conflict, and not with food. So, what can you make of all this? I would suggest that you seriously consider eating at 42 Grams if you're open to novel, exciting, and even daring culinary experiences. The experience will take you out of your comfort zone. Yes, Alexa may be too chatty for some. No, you may not leave feeling stuffed. Speaking personally, I hate communal dining. But that's the point - to move beyond your comfort zone. as well as beyond your preconceived ideas about fine dining, in order to experience something genuinely new and extraordinary. Dinner at 42 Grams has the potential to change the way in which you think about food.

    (5)
  • Filip F.

    Occasionally I attend fine dining places because my wife likes to. I enjoy them but could live without them. And I usually don't go back for a second visit. But 42 grams will be an exception. Staff is awesome - communicating attentively prior to the visit about food limitations, and being very accommodating. Food was delicious and creative. Flavors were...flavorful. Portion sizes were bigger than I expected. Watching chefs work was very entertaining. Ambiance is great. I also enjoyed the exchange between the owner and a yelper who reviewed the restaurant poorly. I am a small business owner as well. And when someone attacks my business (my pride) with some garbage reasoning, I fire back with passionate, frequently combative words as well. This is a good thing for real customers. That kind of passion from a chef will sip through the radish reduction and right into your next course.

    (5)
  • Meghan G.

    My husband and I came here last weekend for our wedding anniversary. We live close by and had heard great things, so for the first "big" event we had, we knew we'd check out 42 Grams. I was blown away. There was one course (the wagyu beef) that literally had me speechless for a few minutes. The level of detail and thoughtfulness that comes with each course was amazing. We used Alexa's grandmother's silver once or twice. Plates from Charlie Trotter's were used in an ode to him. I'm lefthanded, and Alexa set each course for my ultimate comfort. Chef used spent grain leftover from the brewing process to make a toast that was unbelievable. And the coffee course was a fun surprise! The atmosphere is somehow upscale yet completely comfortable. Alexa, co-owner, is a delight. I really enjoyed chatting with her. And Chef Jake was super laid back and friendly-- the two of them made the night incredible. As of today(!!) 42 Grams has 2 Michelin stars-- and they haven't even been open a year! I look forward to returning as often as I can. Congratulations, Jake and Alexa. You absolutely deserve all the accolades!

    (5)
  • Karen R.

    Had the pleasure of being in 42 Grams first seating for their spring/summer set menu back in late May. Overall a really fantastic dining experience and a very welcome addition to the Uptown neighborhood. Our experience was at the communal dining table of 10. I can understand that this can be a hit or miss experience depending on who the other diners are when you are seated but my hubby and I really lucked out by being seated across from a friendly couple from out of state who no surprise happened to be foodies like us. The other party of 8 were sort of cordial, a little obnoxious but overall kept to themselves. 42 Grams is BYOB so I appreciated that the host/co-owner communicated with us in advance regarding what types of wines would pair well with their set menu. They suggested 2-3 bottles of wine for a party of two to be served over the course of our 2.5 hour meal. We found this to be way to much for us and would have been plenty happy with a bottle of white since the first half of the menu was very light and seafood oriented. A half bottle of red would have been plenty to round out the last third of the meal which was heavier. I'd say the vast majority of the dishes served were home runs with maybe one or two dishes that weren't bad by any means but I guess a little disappointing since the other dishes blew us away. This was the very first run on their new seasonal menu so I would anticipate that Jake, the chef and owner, continued to refine and tweak each dish to make it better. My hubby and I still think about a few of the dishes we were served: a savory asparagus ice cream served over tuna (sounds disgusting but fabulous), a deconstructed pork belly taco, and an out of this world wonderful galangal spice cake dessert. We've had the pleasure to have eaten at some many great restaurants like El Ideas, Elizabeth, Goosefoot, Grace, Moto and with the exception of maybe Alinea this was one of our favorite meals.

    (5)
  • Mehran F.

    Nice. Recommended - but no tap water please! Solid 7/10. But since I had given Elizabeth a 3 star, i do the same here (oh, my -- taking myself a bit too seriously) I went by myself testing the place to see if i wanted to take my family next time. Also, let's be honest -- it's cheaper for one than 4 people. So i came out ahead. literally and figuratively. Pleasant people. In fact so nice, i had to wait two days to write this up. Really clean place. The area is so so but I reckon this is the fashionable thing. Street parking for two hours so you need to go back 2/3 of your meal and re-do the parking. There may be some larger parking spots around. My water tasted too chemical...i asked the server if it were filtered. He said no. Luckily they had their perrier. All dishes were done cleanly and beautifully. All the chefs seemed like they had just taken their shower. Despite me loving dives, i really enjoy the cleanliness. The soup was delicious. The greens in the salad were not impressive but all else including the beetroot beautifully done. The fish was delicious. Salmon nigiri. Nothing to write home about. The Uni (and by the way Uni is probably my favorite order when i go to sushi bars and this is how i test them) was ok. The idea of brioche and all that was nice. Veal sweetbread. Ok Duck. I have had much better but again beautifully done. Somehow i think my piece was not as good as the other people's. Foie Gras. Excellent. Dark choco. fine. pecorino in three forms, nice idea. Chicory, cardamom. nice. Overall recommended. I go back but not with the family as i do not think my gorgeous son will have much to eat there. Talking about much to eat. I felt a bit hungry when i left. I am glad they are in Chicago and sincerely wish them the best. Loved the music selection. Not a first date type of place as everyone seemed to feel they had to talk to the (new) person next to them. Value. about $200 all inclusive per person. I'd say a bit on the high side but considering all the staff there, they deserve every penny they make. Now, i have to go back to Elizabeth again and compare. Fairness is a good excuse. I really liked it that when i left the chef walked me to the door. Incredibly polite gesture. Higher class restaurants in japan normally do this and i have always liked it because despite my upbringing, i have a polite DNA.

    (3)
  • Noel S.

    I had the best single dish I've ever had at this restaurant. I think everyone dining with me agreed, the kobe A5 course made its mark on everyone. Few pointer/tips: Only a communal table is offered for seating. So I recommend you book with at least 4 people to have the best time and not sit with random people. The environment is very casual, not stuffy at all. That being said, the service is casual as well. Leave your pretentiousness at the door. Some people may not enjoy this for the price they pay. Which is why I recommend going with a group and just enjoy. It did not bother me in the least bit. I'm rather laid back. It is a very small restaurant with only 4 people staffing. 2 in the kitchen and 2 out. This is rather impressive when you consider how intricate every dish is and the prep work for each. I love that it was BYOB. You can bring multiple different bottles, which I did. They change the menu. I would definitely go again once the menu changes. Multiple courses are remarkable. Out of all the tasting menus I've had this one is definently at the top of the list for taste and quality. Lower down for value.

    (5)
  • S C.

    An intimate and adventurous experience. All fourteen courses had at least one element that was new for me. Top three courses; Asparagus Gelato with smoked Tuna, Waygu Beef with Bone Marrow powder and Pork Belly carnitas. The food is very salty, and I love salty food. Drink a lot of water! Chef Jake and his wife are very gracious and you feel like you are in their home. I sat at the counter with my friend and nine others. I loved talking to the other diners and sharing feedback on the food. Our wines were poured in a timely matter and great music played all evening. This is a great experience, and well worth the $200 price tag.

    (5)
  • Jason A.

    I've had the opportunity to eat here within two weeks of opening at the communal table, and recently at the kitchen counter. My first visit was great but there were understandably some opening kinks. Most notably the meal was over 4 hours long, and the portion sizes were way to small. The food and services were impeccable, and thus I came back. After my recent experience, I can say with confidence this is the best restaurant in Chicago and will soon grace San Pellegrino's list of top 50 restaurants in the world. I honestly think they can even climb to the top spot, but there are first a couple things to still tweak. Service time was fixed, we got through 13 courses in right around 2 hours 15 minutes, which to me is perfect. Every dish was outstanding. The Skuna Bay Salmon, Axis Venison, and AG Wagyu were the 3 best things I've ever eaten. The whole progression was balanced. I loved the way the textures increased as well as the flavors. The uni was the best I've had, but not a huge uni fan. To go to the top there are things they need to work on. First of all, the portion sizes are still way to small. They are literally small bites and again I left so hungry I basically had to go home and eat a second dinner. Secondly, the weakest part of the menu was dessert. The kabosu bomb was a perfect palate cleanser. But the tamarind ice cream and banana bread combo while tastey, was boring and left me wanting more. I really like bold and sweet desserts and this didn't cut it. Bringing in a pastry chef and adding a couple more desserts would be insane! On my first visit there was a huge piece of foie, this time only shavings, so that's always a disappointment when I go to a super expensive tasting and don't get foie. Lastly, while service was excellent, it seemed a little too rehearsed instead of organic like my first visit. Doing two tastings a day, 4 days a week, I'd be the same, but its something noticeable that I think with little tweaks can get back on track. Incredible place, can't wait to see what happens in the future.

    (5)
  • A L.

    One of the best meals I've ever had in Chicago, right up there, if not better than Alinea, Next, Grace, etc. Each course was interesting, had great depth and separation of flavor, yet tasted pure. We sat at the Chef's counter, and I really enjoyed the set-up, with each course presented to everyone at the same time. Alexia was an engaging speaker, and described each course wonderfully without that feeling of recitation that you get at so many fine dining restaurants. I won't describe the courses since other reviewers have already done that, but I will say that 75% of the course were knockouts, and the rest were simply very delicious. The week prior to our reservation we received an email confirmation with a description of wines that might be suitable as pairings. That was really helpful and we were able to find wines similar to the descriptions and they paired very well indeed.

    (5)
  • Athanasios K.

    This is the kind of correspondence you should expect from the owners of 42 Grams if you yelp anything that they don't appreciate: I just received a third comment from the team at 42 Grams. I'm reposting these comments for everyone's entertainment. Comment #1: Hi Athanasios, Jake B. sent you a message on Yelp: Subject: Your Review "Thank you Nas, I really loved it that you lowered your 2 stars to 1 star. It proves that Yelp is as good as it's reviewers. I hope you enjoyed your Coke in a sippy cup and a movie (Frozen?). Moreover, I enjoyed cooking for your wife (girlfriend) and that she had an amazing time. She was an amazing person. Send my regards. Cheers, Jake" Comment #2 Comment from Jake B. of 42 grams Business Owner 10/20/2014 Nas, We appreciate your review with all respect. We just firmly believe in people that aren't running across the street for Coke after we started service and on their phone every other minute while their partner is elbowing you in embarrassment to stop. You posting such a review doesn't surprise us one bit. You came in with an agenda and you are following through. We just wish that you had the same passion for your dinner as you do for your Coke, movies, and Yelp reviews. This is a place of business, but we are two kind people that took excellent care of you and your company at 42 grams. Once you attack us with false statements, we will respond. (A reminder: You could've told us you issues in person. We are both directly in front of you. And, when I made eye contact with you, you had to look away in shame). I hope this helps and shows that Yelp is a terrible idea to let certain diners let loose with their amateur opinions on such a global public forum. Comment #3 Nas you have "0" friends on Yelp BTW, (Im glad you call yourself that like your a cool hip hop star) Please don't come back. I don't want to elaborate why. Just stay home. Thanks. Message Jake B. My original post: The food was good, not great. The Chef is clearly talented - i'm just not that into asian flavors. The main problem is with the front of house. The host/server is the Chef's wife. She talks through the course, her overly long stories seem wooden. And when i asked for a soda, she directed me across the street to a bodega; other higher end restaurants just send someone to get you a can of coke. I was so disappointed. The only bright side of the meal is that we went through 13 courses in record time, i was able to catch a good movie afterward. I probably won't go back.

    (1)
  • Curt L.

    42 grams: the best dining experience I've ever had. Having visited some of the best restaurants in Chicago, I can honestly say there is no dining experience that parallels that of Jake and Alexa, the restaurant's proprietors. Fantastic, beautifully prepared food, with some of the finest and rarest ingredients in the world; paired with suggested wines and a playlist of great music; it was an experience I'll truly never forget. Alexa was incredibly accommodating; answering any questions, tending to our needs, and eloquently describing each dish. Highlights from the meal were the pork belly, wagyu, and salmon courses; all perfectly executed and paired with creative blends of vegetables, grains, and sauce/broth accompaniments. Each course was a great balance of imagination and great cooking. To top it all off, you get the opportunity to watch a rising star chef cook and prepare your meal, while asking any questions you want. Nothing like pairing some take-away knowledge with world-class dining. I cannot recommend 42 grams more for special occasions or a night out on the town. It's an experience you will never forget and so much more than a "restaurant".

    (5)
  • Ronald Noah K.

    For my first ticketed 10+ course restaurant I was quite excited to visit 42 grams for a friends birthday on a Friday evening. We opted to go with the later seating at the communal table. It was the 3 of us and a party of 7 friends (we didn't know) making up the table of 10. Arriving first we were opted to sit at one end of the table so we could sit together. I liked this option as sometimes you may not like the other people. But we actually were talking quite a bit with a few of the others. The BYOB aspect is very nice. Loved it. And loved the stemware! The food - AMAZING. But being a hearty eater, I wished there was more of it. Especially the main course of wagyu beef which was only a small cube. With just having 14 courses, I wasn't full. I agree with the other review about the silverware. A little plain. And they normally just have you a spoon when a fork, spoon and knife were warranted. It was hard to savor the course cutting it with a spoon. We brought bubbly, white and red wines. They all were poured with the balancing courses. That I loved as well. Dinner takes about 2.5 hours but it flew by. I would definitely return for next seasons menu.

    (4)
  • Chai C.

    I went there twice in a month. First time was impressive so we went their again with more people. We didn't really understand their byob so we didn't bring anything. Alexa was kind enough so she went back to her room and grab some left over wine for us. It was very good. Second time we went with extra bottle and leave some there. Hope this karma passes on. It's always fun to see Jake and his people working on the food and Alexa explaining things while he's doing. Their's connection between chef and patrons. The meal takes about 3 hours long. Every dish was creative and delicious. Everything and every flavor he put together is so miraculous. Will go back soon when their menus updated.

    (5)
  • Shari B.

    I really enjoyed dining at the counter. I suggest sitting on the left side so you can get the best view of the chef prepping the plates right in front of you. And I really like how the atmosphere is more laid back and relaxed. They encourage asking questions and make it clear that they are totally fine with picture taking. I was extremely surprised that their suggested wine pairings were also ridiculously affordable. Also, Alexa was very helpful and accommodating when I needed help swapping reservations. And of course, the food was awesome and inventive. Overall, it was a great experience.

    (5)
  • erica f.

    What a wonderful experience! Intimate, delicious and run by 2 very lovely people. Their courses were paired with an INSANE spotify playlist which just puts them over the top. What a fabulous hidden gem.

    (5)
  • B L.

    Let me start by saying that while we have been fortunate enough to dine at many of the top-rated restaurants in Chicago and throughout the country, we are similarly as pleased with friends at home and our own jerk chicken or pulled pork. So, while we really appreciate fine dining, we don't live for it. I booked this dinner based solely on the Michelin stars. I knew nothing about it, and their website is relatively scant in detail. Their instructions are quite precise - arrive within a 15-30 minute window, and they will not make substitutions. It was only when we arrived (we were the last couple), that all of their rules made sense. Everyone is sitting together, and unlike other communal tables, everyone is served the same course at the same time. So, if you're late to your reservation, you're messing up with everyone's dinner. Admittedly, this concept will not work well for some people. However, it was fantastic to us. The primary reason most people go to a fine dining restaurant is to have (hopefully) amazing food that's different and new. 42 grams fires on all cylinders here. While the super high-tech display of an Alinea is not here, the amazingly creative flavors, textures, and presentation makes such display unnecessary. Pacing is perfect, allowing everyone to eat, but not be rushed or sit around. As a result, you leave satiated, but not exploding full or hungry. To me, one of the biggest compliments to a chef is when my wife, who is a fairly picky eater, finishes something she would not normally eat. Caviar and salmon are perfect examples of this, as are sweetbreads, pig heart, etc. Not only did she try these things, she finished them, and in several cases would have wanted more. Also, in my experience, most chefs are either main course chefs or pastry chefs, not both. With 2 people in the kitchen, this team pulls off both great main course meals and equally memorable desserts. What makes this restaurant especially unique, though, is the atmosphere. Because everyone sits together and eats at the same time, it is intimate. Candidly, we did not speak with the people next to us, but we could have if we chose; and we did not appear rude because we did not. More so, though, the fact that the chef's wife, Alexa, is your "tour guide" of sorts, makes the name all make sense. Jake and Alexa are essentially inviting you into their home to make you a meal. They each work with their strengths - Jake with the cooking, Alexa with the speaking, but you feel like you've been invited into someone's home. Granted, you are paying for it, but it is an atypical experience for a restaurant. Again, not everyone will like this, but we loved it. Since most fine dining restaurants are a bit cold - sterile atmosphere, often pretentious or distant service, and focus on "show" over relationship, this came as a pleasant surprise. Had I read my own review before going, I might have been turned off by this, but it works really well - at least with this couple. As for the negative reviews (which I read last night before going for the first time) - one is from someone who didn't attend the restaurant. While it appears there are some major life issues there, I can't speak to what happened between them. The bottom line, though, is the couple I met were gracious, inviting, and I actually tasted the food, so take that for what it's worth. The other - again, the back-and-forth doesn't make much sense, but if you read between the lines, you can see what happened. If you invite me over to your house for dinner, and I act like I don't really want to be there, appear angry or put out because you don't meet my needs, etc., does that make you a bad host or me a bad guest? You can decide that for yourself, but again, based on my experience, if you aren't demanding or pretentious (and maybe even if you are), this experience will be great. I can honestly say that there is currently no better restaurant in Chicago for the money and the experience, and at the risk of sounding pretentious myself, I am comparing that to restaurants (some of which have closed) including: Alinea; Grace; Goosefoot; Elizabeth; L20; Charlie Trotter's; Tru; Sixteen; Blackbird; Naha; North Pond; Topolobampo, etc. If you have the means, and are trying to figure out where to go; and even more so, if you're open to this type of an experience, get reservations as soon as you can, as you won't be able to much longer.

    (5)
  • Robin D.

    This is a unique place and an expensive place at the same time. This is one of those places where you prepay and there is only limited seating. Because of the limited seating you will potentially share the table with strangers. Luckily we were able to book the entire restaurant so no dining with strangers. Some people enjoy that but I personally don't especially if the meal can go as long as 3 hours. We didnt notice the hours since we were enjoying the food and company The star of this restaurant is Alexa, she is the hostess and she is also the wife of chef Jake. She handles the social part of this business very well. She responds to all your questions via email and if you have special REASONABLE AND DOABLE requests, she is the person you need to talk to. If it can be done she will let you know. 5 stars to Alexa The location is in uptown and the facade of the restaurant is nothing special but once you go inside, the ambiance changes to casual elegance. I very much like the personalized service you get at this place. Now for the food, I think we had a 14 course dinner. I have to say there were 3 or 4 dishes that blew my mind, maybe 2 or 3 that I didnt care for and the rest were simply delicious. 4 stars for the food. Would I recommend this place? Absolutely, I thought it was a great experience. Would I be back? Maybe.

    (4)
  • Dion B.

    Amazing experience last night at the communal table. Food was super creative and most importantly, super tasty. Some highlights were the Asparagus Gelato w/ Cured Tuna & the Carnitas "Taco".... All in all a great evening with great hosts and great food. Can't wait for the next menu this fall.... Just go.

    (5)
  • Monica M.

    The marriage of flavors in each dish was amazing. Alexa's descriptions of each course were brilliant. The dining experience was beautiful. Go here with friends and you will make more friends by the end of the night.

    (5)
  • Maria D.

    I had a pleasure of being introduced to Jake's creations about a year ago when him and his lovely wife Alexa hosted their dinner guests right in their home. The venue was called Sous Rising and it quickly became popular in the Chicago foodie community. Those who appreciate fine dinning were genuinely impressed with Jake's magic ability to produce his eatable masterpieces (which could stand up to Alinea's finest courses) out of his conventional home kitchen. With this said, when I learned that my boyfriend was taking me to 42 grams, I dragged our friends along, practically guaranteeing them a culinary experience of a lifetime... And it was just that! Food Jake kept some of his staples (only fine-tuning them to perfection) The winners included the potato soup (may I add with white sturgeon caviar?!), duck three ways, the mind blowing sweetbread, the cheese in the class paradise, the honey cream ball and the beet macaroon which replaced one of my former favorites called "24 hour beet"... (even better!) It was super neat that almost every course had a sentimental story behind it... kind of like the Trotter's bite, made in the memory of Charley Trotter and served in the original china from his restaurant - Bravo! Atmosphere Alexa made us feel right at home, while introducing every course caring through Jake's culinary passion. They both came out and spoke with all of us at the end, Emily was incredibly knowledgeable about wine. Elegant but not stuffy, 42 grams has a trendy but some-what casual feel, with hand-picked eclectic decorative accents. If you want to taste outstanding, professionally prepared and artfully presented dishes but still be able to laugh all night - 42 grams is a perfect choice.

    (5)
  • Jeff H.

    Like you need to read my review....they just got 2 Michelin stars. We had great conversations with everyone we me there and the food was amazing. They even wrote a nice little note on my menu for my birthday. I'll be back for the next menu for sure!

    (5)
  • Elizabeth L.

    Enjoyed my time at the Chef's Counter on Friday night. Alex was charming and each course was nothing short of ethereal. (Strong work, Chef Jake!) My date doesn't drink, so they were very gracious about substituting the gelee in his juniper jump, no problem. I enjoyed the small group atmosphere and interacting with the Chef. Even though the experience is pricey (Around $207/seat), it was worth it. Also, it was nice to pre-pay, so when you're done with dinner, you can totally jam out. Just a quick note: while I was full at the end of the night (5'5"/120), my date (6'2"/205) needed some additional sustenance. (Not sure if this is a tall dude/small woman issue, but something to think about.) I thought the portions were perfect, but the date wanted a bigger hunk of duck. Overall, I would totally go again. Amazing food. Great ambiance. And, they have spare pashminas for ladies who are chilly. :)

    (5)
  • Mike S.

    This had to have been the best meal of the year! The space is warm and inviting. You feel as though you've been invited over to dinner. The food was innovative and evoked so many textures, flavors, colors and scents. I would rate this place higher than Alinea.

    (5)
  • Chris C.

    Simply a fantastic dining experience. Alexa and Jake were wonderful hosts, essentially welcoming us (and a few other people) to join them in their restaurant. The space is open and welcoming, where everything is visible. We sat at the bar, where we were able to interact with other guests and the staff. Alexa in particular was engaging throughout, both explaining each of the 15 courses and chatting about any topic that came up. The music mix completely undercut any possible tone of pretentiousness, again giving the whole feel one of comfort and inclusion. And then there's the food. Jake's background at Charlie Trotter's, Alinea, and Schwa are evident, though his culinary voice is his own. There were no wrong notes the entire evening, though plenty of highlights (soup, salmon w/ trout roe and dashi, a coconut tom yum dumpling, the sweetbread, dessert, and coffee). Really, each course was a standout. We loosely followed the wine suggestions with a Chablis, a young red Burgundy, and an auslese riesling, and it all came together beautifully. We'll certainly be back in coming months - looking forward to Jake's summer menu!

    (5)
  • Mr. S.

    The food was excellent but a bit pricey. My preference is to have a shorter explanation from a waiter on the food and perhaps in a more quiet tone. It was not a relaxing experience for me, as I felt like I was at a food workshop lecture.

    (3)
  • Chris D.

    The accolades are well deserved. Definitely among the best Chicago restaurants; the experience was comparable to Grace and Alinea. Highlights included a beautiful salmon on top of "beer bread"--a bread the chef baked from the lees of a friend's homebrew--and a Wagyu course that has to rank among the best pieces of beef I've ever eaten. Alexa provided great service throughout the evening.

    (5)
  • Jenn C.

    Absolutely fantastic! We went with a group of 5 friends and sat at the Chef's counter on Saturday night. As recommended, we brought a Sauv Blanc and several reds including a pinot, malbec, cab and brachetto. We actually skipped the malbec and cab in place of one of our server's, Emily's, recommendation to pair the brachetto instead starting with the foie gras dish. It was a fantastic reco and I would definitely suggest bringing a lighter dessert wine like that to not overpower the dishes once you're past the meat courses. The space is great - cozy without being crowded - very sleek and romantic. It was so much fun to chat with Chef Jake, his sous chef Tom, Chef's wife Alexa and server Emily while we ate and drank. The food was absolutely fantastic - but I think Chef may have a future in cocktails too as the amuse was an amazing jellified (I don't think that's a word) Hendrick's, cucumber and hibiscus concoction. Definitely eager to go back!

    (5)
  • Janneke V.

    It took me a while to write this review (I visited in July), but I would like to share my perfect experience at 42 grams. I came here with my husband and parents, who are (like me) not from the US. We received a very warm welcome by Alexa and Alexa was one of the reasons we had such a great experience. The food was really special, beautifully presented and really tasteful. We had the weirdest combinations, thing you would never think about. My parents do speak a bit English, but every course Alexa waited until my husband and I explained the ingredients to them, to make sure they understood what they were eating, which I found very thoughtful. It made me (and my parents) feel very comfortable. Also, it was very fun to see the chefs at work. I agree with the Michelin star- crew: they really deserved their stars!

    (5)
  • Jacob W.

    Wow. That's really all you need to know. Incredibly unique experience, all 13 courses we had were perfect, BYOB, what more could you want.... Jake and Alexa are clearly insane, and thank God, or Whoever smiles down on incredible food, for it.

    (5)
  • Megan S.

    Amazing food, owners are amazing, this is my new favorite place in the city!!!! The food is a work of art. Love that you have your whole meal in less than 3 hours and the portions are perfect size! Will be coming back!

    (5)
  • Pam A.

    My husband surprised me with dinner here to celebrate my 42nd birthday...how apropos! The experience was extremely enjoyable. It began with a warm welcome by Alexa who served as hostess and kept us at ease and informed. The other diners were pleasant and the setting was relaxing yet elegant. The evening was perfectly paced and the food was delicious! As the finale, Chef Jake thanked us at the table and we had the chance to discuss his course preparations. As residents of Uptown, it's exciting to have this addition to our neighborhood to further expand our diverse and unique restaurant options! They even personalized my copy of the menu with a birthday message. I would absolutely recommend 42 grams!

    (5)

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Map

Opening Hours

  • Tue

Specialities

  • Takes Reservations : Yes
    Delivery : No
    Take-out : No
    Accepts Credit Cards : Yes
    Good For : Dinner
    Parking : Street
    Bike Parking : Yes
    Wheelchair Accessible : Yes
    Good for Kids : No
    Good for Groups : Yes
    Attire : Dressy
    Ambience : Intimate
    Noise Level : Average
    Alcohol : No
    Outdoor Seating : No
    Wi-Fi : No
    Has TV : No
    Dogs Allowed : No
    Waiter Service : Yes
    Caters : No

42 grams

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