Thursday, July 28, 2011

graham elliot

Last date I was here: 07/28/2011

Restaurant: graham elliot (

Location: River North - Chicago

Total Rating: 4.1
Food: 4, Price: 4, Service: 5, Ambience: 4, Accessibility: 4

Summary: Specializing in whimsical reinterpretations of classical entrees, Chef Graham Elliot Bowles’ restaurant in Chicago offers diners four star “flare” while dining in a more casual and laid back atmosphere. No suits and ties here – rather hipsters with tattoos, faux-hawks, colorful spectacles, and/or Tom’s shoes man the floor. Eagerly and warmly greeting patrons as they arrive, the staff was excellent and always took time to explain each menu item or answer any questions. Offering items a la carte, or a choice between a 5 course, 10 course, or 15 course sampling. Since Chef Bowles is more popular these days with his current stint on tv’s “Masterchef” next to Chef Gordon Ramsay, we expected the place to be a bit more buzzing. However, it was kind of empty on this Thursday evening. We munched on some popcorn as we perused the menu and quickly decided on the 5 course tasting. Our server, Nancy, was superb and confirmed that the chef was able to substitute the meat items for me. As each course arrived on its artfully decorated plate, we were given an explanation and then allowed our eyes guide us through the science of the chef’s creation. The food was fun and incorporated fresh seasonal ingredients, yet I expected just a tad bit more on the innovation. For non-foodies, this would be a great introduction into trying more daring food – yet I was left wanting to see something a bit more out there other than a traditional Caesar salad or Jidori chicken. Nevertheless, we had an excellent meal and overall experience at graham elliot’s. We were even given the opportunity for a mini tour of the back kitchen - It was amazing! It was definitely clear that Chef Bowles prides his staff to treat the customers best – regardless if you are a foodie or not. I think other celebrity chefs should take a tip or two from this restaurant in terms of service.

What I ate:

with truffle butter, black pepper, and parmesan fluff

compressed watermelon with mint leaf and jalapeno oil

Caesar Salad
gem lettuce, brioche twinkie, and white anchovy

Sweet Corn Soup
with spiny lobster, toasted coquito, and vanilla marshmallow

sautéed calamari with brussel kimchi and red curry

Alaskan Halibut
with leek brandade, orange gel, and haricot vert

Jidori Chicken
served with fried okra, kohlrabi slaw, and country pate

grape juice soda spritzer

Chocolate Cake
with root beer, port cherry, and birch caramel

Raspberry Shortbread Cookies

Plus Keith ate:

Bison steak
With baked beans, Texas onion, and chili salsa

graham elliot on Urbanspoon

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