With various food-crazed Twitter feeds announcing that Grace is already accepting reservations, Curtis Duffy popped up on Twitter to say that the phone lines will open for real at noon today at 312-234-9494, with reservations for December and January. (If, the City willing, they open before December 1, they will offer those reservations via social media.) So what, exactly, are you letting yourself in for with a Grace reservation? We spoke with Duffy yesterday, and although he's keeping a lot of things about Grace quiet so as not to spoil the sense of discovery he hopes the meal will produce he did say that there will be two menus, of about 8 official courses each (with other surprises along the way, depending on guest preferences, pace of the meal, etc.).
One will be more or less the standard menu, while the other will be a vegetable-focused menu though not vegetarian unless you specifically request it to be. Rather, it will be built on the vegetable flavors of the season, but with appearances from time to time of meat ingredients, whether fish or the use of, say, a meat stock. In both cases, he expects Grace's menus to be a bit lighter and focused on more delicate flavors than many tasting menus emphasizing fish and other lighter proteins and in-season vegetables, which is not to say that things like foie gras and wagyu beef may not make appearances too. Okay, we admit that the distinction between a meat-focused menu and a vegetable-focused one is a little fuzzy to us at the moment, but we suspect it will seem clearer in practice than it does when we try to write about it. In any case, soon you'll be able to make a phone call and find out for yourself.