Chefs on Parade

Flight Chicago, a new, chef-driven culinary tour

A three-hour, multicourse meal often has the makings of an unforgettable night.

But a three-hour, multicourse, chef-run tour of three of the city's best restaurants has the makings of an even more memorable afternoon.

The new culinary tours from Flight Chicago give diners a look into restaurants while they're closed and prepping for service–so that chef Chris Pandel has the time to tell a story about The Bristol's favorite goat producer, Carnivale's chefs can give a tour of the restaurant's roof garden, and Sepia's Andrew Zimmerman can try to name as many apple varietals as he can.

Running from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m., tours hit three stops, each within walking distance, each offering two to three small plates, drink pairings and a conversation with the chef.

The inaugural tours ($125 each) are in the West Loop, West Town and Bucktown. Tour creators (and guides) Amber Tillett and Monika Lotter picked destinations with excellent food, serious kitchens and gregarious, entertaining chefs. (Note: The Southern will step in for Spring after the restaurant closes on December 31.)

Currently tours are offered Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons only, but Monday, Friday and alternating-Saturday tours are in the works.

We can't think of a tastier reason to play hooky.