CHICAGO — When designers like Tory Burch and Rachel Roy visit the Windy City, they tend to stop by Table Fifty-Two, Art Smith’s intimate restaurant in the city’s Gold Coast neighborhood. Tucked along Elm Street with nary a sign, it’s easy to miss the cozy spot where Smith — a one-time personal chef to Oprah Winfrey — dishes out Southern hospitality in the form of deviled eggs and cheesy buttermilk biscuits, brought complimentary to each table. Its small size — some 14 tables fill the cheery dining room with its buttercream-colored walls — and the occasional appearance of Smith, who stops at tables to chat, almost gives the feel of a dinner party. This one is just hard to get into. Reservations are scarce, so book ahead.

Table Fifty-Two, 52 West Elm Street, Chicago; 312-573-4000.

This story first appeared in the June 25, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

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