Graham Elliot. You may recognize him as a judge on the popular TV show MasterChef. It is also one of the two restaurants that have earned Two Michelin Stars in Chicago. With credentials like that, I was hoping this would be one of the most promising meal I would have in Chicago. Or was it?
Famous for combining casual atmosphere with fine dining, brick walls, hard wood floor, and diagonally aligned tables greeted me upon arriving at the spacious restaurant. Even the waiters were wearing t-shirts and jeans. Am I really in a Two Michelin Star restaurant? I reminded myself this was all about food, so a drink was ordered and a preview of the 16 course chef’s menu was presented – because this was the only way the go.
Salmon, cheese, bagel, dill.
Tomato, laurel, cress, peppercorn.
Spot Prawn, lime, cilantro, avocado.
Octopus, eggplant, pepper, saffron.
Corn, lobster, fingerlime, verbena.
Cucumber, sorbet, coriander, melon.
Halibut, squash, caviar, grape.
Chanterelle, crab, burnet, artichoke.
Beef, potato, nasturtium, pepper.
Epoisses, vanilla, pecan orange.
Blueberry, basil, calamansi, violet.
Overall, the menu was good. I appreciate the modern, sophisticated presentation which contrasted with the unusual casual style of the restaurant and its staff. However, I felt that the flavors was a bit on the conservative side and could use some bolder tastes.