The Other Critics

Phil Vettel Hands Four Stars to Ria Thanks to ‘Joys of Nuance’

Private dining room at Ria
Private dining room at Ria Photo: Helen Rosner

Everything seemed to be going so well for Ria a few months ago. It had just landed two Michelin stars, and had taken some time off for a little research trip in New York. It looked like the restaurant was attempting to make the jump from a respected restaurant to an acclaimed one, and we couldn’t wait to see what it did next. So it was confusing when Jason McLeod left unexpectedly. Danny Grant immediately took over as Executive Chef, but we wondered what would become of it. Would it be able to maintain its high standards, or would it just become another high end hotel restaurant? Well, according to Phil Vettel, Ria is better than ever, as he handed the restaurant a rare four star review.

Unlike the “deer moment” at Courtright’s, he couldn’t think of one perfect moment that encapsulated the feeling of the restaurant. The review was most like his writeup for Les Nomades, where you can tell that he really loved the experience, but had a hard time explaining why. The word that he seemed to return to over and over was “nuance,” as all the dishes were “marvelously complex but not overwhelming.” Not exactly the strongest language, but still great news for the restaurant. Congrats!

Ria chef gets it right [Chicago Tribune]

Phil Vettel Hands Four Stars to Ria Thanks to ‘Joys of Nuance’