Food Porn Friday | Graham Elliot | Chicago

Friday, August 09, 2013


It’s not often I track down 2-Michelin star restaurants when dining on vacay so this super short trip to Chicago last week was made that much sweeter by the visit to Elliot’s namesake establishment in the heart of Chi-town. I’m sure many of you recognize his moniker from MasterChef, Top Chef Masters, Iron Chef, and multiple James Beard Foundation nominations, but what you probably don’t know is that Elliot garnered so much attention this year with an extra Michelin star (added to his previous 1 star in 2011 and 2012) that the restaurant even hosted an intimate birthday dinner for President Obama himself. Oh yeaaaaaah, sounds like the swanky kind of joint I’m totally into!


Refined yet unpretentious, the clean modern interior is totally not what you’d expect from all that star power, but celebrities and locals alike frequent the spot for Elliot’s take on fine dining with an artistic culinary twist.

Eat your heart out lovers!

Lollipop starters...a perfect balance of flavors to cleanse the palette before 19 courses of pure decadence!

Salmon- their take on bagels and lox. I love smoked salmon so this pinky-sized portion was all I needed to get the flavor packed in just one bite. Such a focused effort for something so teensy!

Radish- beautiful presentation of all the radishes in season...fresh and tangy, I could start off all meals this way....

Spot Prawn- my FAVE dish of the night! That avocado schmear was cut to precise perfection! Nary a line out of skew and prawns served 2 ways impressed me to the core. A little caviar never hurt anyone, right??

Octopus- It wasn't quite as charred and crispy as I'd like and the smoky flavors overpowered the dish; however the presentation was stellar. So much so that I instagrammed the *ish outta this stunna and received rave oohs and ahhhss... 
Carrot- Chilled soup with marcona almond crunch. So nutty so gooooooood! Now I crave cold carrot juice all the time. Handful of honeyed nuts on the side and I could re-create this sucka with some Naked and it's ON! ;D

Cucumber- Sorbet tastes like it looks...fresh and healthy.

Foie- Their take on a fancy fig newton. Fresh fig paste sandwiched between a luscious creamy cut of round foie gras. Since SoCal banned this baby, I take all I can get! Ingenious concept, incredible presentation!

Halibut- the BEST Halibut I've ever had in my life! The fish was cooked perfectly and those homemade halibut noodles had me wondering what else they could make with just one protein...

Morel- mushrooms served with fresh dungeness crab. At this point I was sooooo FULL so anything heartier than the fish above I forced down along with some cava. Not my favorite dish since I'm not a fan of the spongy fungi but a definite substitute for a meat dish...eh, next!

Snail- with risotto and crispy rice. You can't tell but the little chunks of snail were peppered throughout the rice. You get hit with that woodsy fragrance first then slammed with the creamy texture. So rich and vibrant, what I imagine summers in Provence would taste like.

Lamb- served with purple potatoes and mash. Too bland for my taste, the protein could have used a tad more seasoning but by this time I didn't care...I was craving desserts already!

Intermezzo moving onto the desserts!

Epoisses- unpasteurized cows milk cheese served with nuts and honey. OMG I've died y'all. Literally DIED as the server scooped a dollop onto my bowl and I nearly fell over from the fumes. Now I want this dish for breakfast, lunch, and dinner...and dessert. Mix it all up: Heaven in a bowl!

Strawberry- cheesecake, sorbet, and yogurt-covered served with pistachio sponge cake. Beautiful summer presentation, light, bright, and refreshing paired with the milk crackers.

Death by CHOCOLATE! 

Peppermint lollipops
All-in-all I felt the culmination of the experience coupled with the stellar presentation outshined the cuisine itself. The most memorable dishes for me were the prawns and the melt-in-yo-mouth, I-could-die-and-call-this-my-last-meal cheese bowl. The desserts seriously had some points of sheer brilliance with the chocolate plate containing more than 15 various elements and the strawberry perfected to showcase a myriad of techniques and flavors. If you’re looking for a fun-filled 3 hour meal that’s ALL about culinary skill and prowess, you’re sure to find it here at Graham Elliot.


Graham Elliot
217 W. Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 624-9975

*Insider’s tip
: They take same day reservations but be forewarned, these spots book up fast. Come early with a party of no more than 4 people and enjoy the Chef’s tasting menu which may include little extras that they add just for kicks. As traditional tasting menus go, all guests must order from the same menu (Tasting 12 courses/Chef’s 20 courses) but tell your friends this doesn’t come cheap. At $165 a pop you’d bet I’d lick the plate right down to the porcelain hunnies!*

I'm off to Vegas for the weekend so gotta say sayonara to fatty foods and HELLOOOOOOO to all the pool parties- whoooohoooooo!!!!!

Bon appétit mes amis!

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7 comments

  1. awe! you were in my city! wish i had bumped into you on the street to tell you how gorgeypants you always are on your blog! hope you had a good trip!

    XX. LC

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh wow, you sure are lucky to go to some of these amazing places! I absolutely love the decor!
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  3. yum yum yum! so classy and the food looks awesome

    Alexa <3
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  4. Each and every course is a peace of art!
    Have a great weekend dear :)

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  5. Ooh this is really great! I always like reading your blog :)

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  6. Ooh this is really great! I always like reading your blog :)

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Give it to me...gimme that funk, that sweet, that gushy stuff

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