Chicago: Moto (*)

This restaurant came on my radar through Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations and Hell’s Kitchen. Known for its somewhat controversial area of molecular gastronomy, I always wanted to see far these chefs can push the boundaries on the dining table. I wanted to like it, but it turned out to be one of the worst Michelin star restaurant I’ve ever been to.

Moto is one of the restaurant located in Fulton Market, an area of seafood, produce, and meatpacking plants as well as other hipster art gallery and shops. Sharing the same neighborhood was other powerhouse restaurants such as The Publican, The Aviary, and Next. Described itself as a leader in the post modern gastronomy movement, Chef Homaro Cantu pushes his menu to the absolute limit.

Upon arriving at the restaurant, I was taken through tight corridors, down a flight of stairs, to a dimmed dining room that resembled a science laboratory. There was an island in the middle, as if the chef was going to perform some gastronomic wizardry on it, but to my disappointment, it remained dormant for the evening.

Note: This post will mostly contain pictures.

Amuse Bouche – A bite size preview of the tasting menu.

Grow Room


H2O Melon

Corn Suspension


Sus Scrofa


Spice Trade


Tree Trunk


Baking 101

Cherry Blossom

The service was mechanical and lacked personality. With the cold, almost empty dining room, it was borderline uncomfortable. I was hoping the food would be a saving grace, but it wasn’t. It was a far cry from my experience at Tapas Molecular Bar earlier this year. At least I could say there were many dishes that were clever at Tapas, but for Moto, it was about 90% presentation and 10% flavor. If I remove the pretentious presentation in most of the dishes, whatever that was left wasn’t anything special. I have serious doubt if this place deserves its single Michelin star, but I guess that’s up to a certain tire company…


Name: Moto
Address: 945 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607, USA (Map)
Phone: 312.491.0058
Menu: Link
Dishes You Must Try: Baking 101
OpenTable Profile: Link
Moto on Urbanspoon Rating: 81% (out of 157 votes, as of this writing)
Yelp Rating: 4/5 (out of 388 reviews, as of this writing)
Finest Dish’s Quality Rating: 1/5
Finest Dish’s Service Rating: 2.5/5


This entry was posted in 1 Michelin Star (*), American, Asian, Chicago, Molecular Gastronomy, Reviews, Tasting Menu and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

one + 6 =