Culinary Christmas.

We love food.  We are so fortunate to be able to work with some of the world's best restaurants. The fall season brings not only many great new restaurant openings and new project announcements but it brings along those infamous red guides, The MICHELIN Guide, the equivalent to the culinary Oscar, and a company that Sarah, our principal, used to represent (and quite passionately).

This time is like Christmas for her. She makes a list almost like a March Madness bracket that holds her predictions about each city's announcements and then she waits...and waits..and when it hits she tweets up a storm, gets happy, gets sad and then congratulates (or consoles) all of her culinary friends.

Today, the Chicago 2012 edition launched in Chicago. It caused a flurry of tweets, some intense debate (primarily over Next where they called out Facebook as their way of easily getting reservations) and some excitement (and some sighs of relief) in many kitchens and on many Facebook profiles.

While there might not ever be a more classically romantic culinary city than Paris, we are all in agreement that stateside Chicago is bringing it in a major way and we are highly recommending you check out the list of this year's eats.

Some of the staff favorites didn't make it onto Michelin's list including Next, MK, Girl & Goat (on Bib Gourmand list), Avec (also a Bib Gourmand), Lillie's Q and NoMi but overall it is a solid list of eats.

We're proud to say (ahem) that we've collectively eaten our way through all of them and we suggest you do the same.

Photo above via Michelin's tumblr.