Zealous is thrilled be awarded with the 2012 AAA Four Diamond Award for the 10th consecutive year.

CS Classic Restaurants That Continue to Wow

“Chef Michael Taus takes the name of his 18-year-old restaurant seriously – always pursuing excellence – while having a ton of fun in the process.”

 CS Magazine (The Restaurant Issue 2011)

CS Meal of the Year

“From the starter(Korean Chicken wings) to the Entrees (most memorable:

pancakes layered with foie gras and imperceptibly thin mango slices) to

the service (our waiter appeared the second our lips drained our pinot noir),

17-year-old ZEALOUS stands out as the best all-around experience we’ve

had this year.”

CS Magazine (The Restaurant Issue 2010)


“Michael Taus’s lovely, serene River North spot.  On his ever-changing a la carte and tasting menus (including a memorable vegetarian option), Taus melds imaginative global ingredients that immediately make perfect sense.  Meals might begin with exotically spiced Egyptian lentil soup with onion dosas or seared tuna under young coconut foam with lime puree and mango vinaigrette.  Grilled beef tenderloin and short rib ravioli come with truffled foam and red wine emulsion, while sensational vegetarian dolmades filled with Himalayan red rice, carrots, and pistachios with sherry onion vinaigrette are covered with a quenelle of butternut squash puree.  For dessert, Key lime tart topped with strawberries or cinnamon-sprinkled pumpkin creme beignets.  The wine list is a marvel, and the unpretentious but professional servers are well-equipped guides.”

 Chicago Magazine


“One of the best compliments we can give to a chef/owner is that all the dishes ordered by a table for four were consistently delicious. Such was the case recently when we stopped by Zealous, a beautifully serene, contemporary American restaurant that is the passion of chef/owner Michael Taus. Zealous has, notably, been popular among Chicago’s food lovers for many years. This is no easy thing to accomplish in Chicago’s highly competitive fine dining arena. Staying power means a lot…”


“Michael Taus is a talented chef with deep experience and the quality of his food is impeccable…The mettle of the kettle is the best test of a kitchen’s worth…Black bean soup is rich and thick, the good flavor abetted by swirls of sour cream and chopped tomato…the silky smoothness and earthy flavor of the roast red pepper soup is not to be missed…”

— Pat Bruno, Chicago Sun—Times


“The new Zealous, starkly contemporary but genuinely warm, is a place where the ceilings soar as high as the chef’s ambitions, where a 16-foot glass-and-steel wine tower holds some 5,000 bottles and where Taus can let his considerable imagination run wild…”

“…A stunningly ambitious restaurant in River North whose decor, cuisine and prices invite comparison with the very best restaurants in the country.”

“…Zealous belongs on any foodie’s must—see list of important Chicago—area restaurants…”

— Phil Vettel, Chicago Tribune


“Brilliant cooking without a safety net” is how supporters sum up the new American cuisine of Michael Taus, who’s flying high after a move from Elmhurst to River North; thanks to a substantial upgrade, there’s “dramatic decor (purple suede and bamboo trees) to match food that simply rocks.”

— Zagat Guide


“…with flair for the exotic and an eye toward freshness, Michael Taus combines unique flavors with hearty zeal at his new restaurant…”

— Lori Doss, Nation’s Restaurant News


“Zealous’ food is sensational, with clean, exciting flavors and artful presentations. And desserts tested our good manners: We inhaled the Meyer lemon cream pie with its gingersnap crust and ultimately surrendered to creme brulee, a luscious trio of vanilla, chocolate and chamomile—lemon custards…”

— Kim Lowe and J.P. Anderson,