Only fools open restaurants. Long hours, small margins, and demanding customers are just a few of the downsides that come with this line of work. And maintaining a stable romantic relationship, too? Good luck.
But finding love and running a top restaurant is possible, and we have proof. In the past year, three Chicago couples not only took the leap to open three of the city’s most ambitious new restaurants, but also have garnered more accolades than Michael Jordan has championship rings. Collectively, they've earned three stars from Michelin and 11 from The Chicago Tribune. In addition to their eclectic menus and initial success, these restaurants have two things in common: They're located in the city's edible epicenter, the West Loop, but even more important, they're owned and operated by married couples. Here's a look at the love behind Elske, Oriole, and Smyth, the great spots that represent the next generation of unpretentious fine dining.