Carol Deptolla - Top 30 Restaurants 2015

Why go here: You need someplace elegant — for a special occasion, entertaining clients, or maybe just a civilized night out. Looking out at Lake Michigan, it’s a special spot for patio dining. The savory and sweet plates by chef Nick Wirth and pastry chef Allie Howard are elegant, too.

What to order: Small plates and salads at Bacchus hold more interest for me these days, and they make a visit more affordable — anything from crisp sweetbreads to melon and pea shoot salad. Don’t leave without dessert; they’re remarkable. Coconut semifreddo enrobed in dark chocolate and candied almonds is one of my favorites of the year.

What you’re drinking: Naturally, a restaurant named for the god of wine will have an impressive wine list — 650 bottles. Sommelier Katie Espinosa’s notes on terroir in this well-organized list make for good reading.

Champagne Dinner Series: Bollinger Champagne Dinner
Marchesi di Barolo Wine Dinner
One of America's Top 100 Wine Restaurants