The Dining Room at Kendall College

There are teaching hospitals, and then there are teaching restaurants, which is what The Dining Room At Kendall College is. Dubbed a “living classroom,” this pseudo-fine dining spot across from the Art Institute is run by Kendall culinary students and their instructors. The dining room has a nice view of Millenium Park and the lake, but watching the open kitchen is more entertaining—like a calmer, lower-stakes version of Top Chef’s infamous restaurant wars.

The food coming out of said kitchen is what you’d expect from a school: tasty dishes that are technique-driven and technically perfect, but lacking creativity. That said, the $45 three-course prix fixe menu (with an optional $20 wine pairing) and the ability to watch may-be-famous-someday chefs get their start is a solid deal. The charm of having nervous but eager students as servers can veer into awkwardness when an instructor gently reminds them to ask about allergies, but it’s a fun opportunity to be a part of the learning experience.

Included in