Jul 132011
 
  • 8) Foie

    8) Foie

    Compressed rhubarb + candied angelica + caraway crumble

  • 17) Lemon

    17) Lemon

    citrus curd,poppy ribbon, blueberry gelato

  • 18) Honey

    18) Honey

    lavendar brulee,pignoil streusel,macerated blackberry

  • 10) Swordfish

    10) Swordfish

    white bean, fennel ratatouille, razor clam

  • 11) Salmon

    11) Salmon

    buckwheat gnocchi, shimeji mushroom, marsh samphire

  • 1) Popcorn

    1) Popcorn

    truffle butter, cracked pepper, parmesan fluff

  • 12) Skate

    12) Skate

    fava bean, ham hock, pecan oil

  • 13) Chicken

    13) Chicken

    israeli couscous, baby carrot, burn honey

  • 14) Lamb

    14) Lamb

    pea cannelloni, more mushroom, eucalyptus bubbles

  • 3) Octopus

    3) Octopus

    smoked potato, piquillo pepper, liquid olive

  • 4) Caesar

    4) Caesar

    gem lettuce, brioche twinkie, white anchovy

  • 5) Egg

    5) Egg

    fiddlehead fern, wild watercress, green garlic

  • 19) Chocolate

    19) Chocolate

    chocolate, manjari cremeux, jivara ganache, ancho chili

  • 6) Onion

    6) Onion

    icicle scallion, pickled ramp, gruyere lace

  • Sloeberry Gin Fizz

    Sloeberry Gin Fizz

  • 15) Veal

    15) Veal

    veal, white asparagus, sweetbread schnitzel, creme fraiche

  • 7) Crab

    7) Crab

    old bay, kohlrabi slaw, grainy mustard

I managed to snag a reservation on the last night of Graham Eliot’s Spring menu. We talked ourselves into the Repertoire with wine pairings, which included full pours and a mid-dinner sobriety check…err, I mean trip to the kitchen for a palate cleanser. I could walk a straight line, but will admit my photography got a little shaky as the meal progressed. The pairings were fantastic, BTW, and I’ve spent free time trying to track down a few of the bottles we had with dinner.

Highlights of the meal included the always terrific caesar course — which is Eliot’s signature deconstructed caesar salad; the green and earthy onion soup, the lamb course particularly because of the eucalyptus bubbles, and a hauntingly good honey course with lavendar brulee and macerated blackberry. When I say highlights, that isn’t to detract from the other thirteen official courses that caused fan-girl-induced oohing and ahhing with each serving. This type of cooking elevates food to cuisine.

The meal required explanation with each course as each pairing is meant to bring out different aspects of the food. I love the background information which did help guide us through the experience, but it felt like the wait staff was the third wheel at dinner. That’s true of all meals of this type, however, and not a specific complaint about Graham Eliot. Be warned that it’s not exactly an ideal date/celebration type of restaurant despite the price point. The reservation is for an ultimate dining experience, and that’s exactly what they deliver here. Every time.

Now excuse me while I go save up my pennies before the summer repertoire passes.

Graham Elliot
217 W Huron St # 1
Chicago, IL 60654-3900
(312) 624-9975

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