EL Ideas

2419 W. 14th St.
Chicago, IL
312-226-8144
Rating:

Description

Cloaked in the shadows along a dreary stretch of 14th Street, Phillip Foss’s cramped but convivial BYO hideaway offers all the curb appeal of a Prohibition-era speakeasy. Fear not. Inside, Foss fans out 24 seats around a tiny open kitchen, creating an interactive dinner party where guests can chat with chefs as they prepare the multicourse tasting menu of the night. A global array of ingredients fused with an iconoclastic spirit make for a unique evening. Think bite-size pearls of oysters wrapped in wagyu beef, kohlrabi kimchi, and garlic; squid stuffed with pork sausage and served over a milky coconut curry; and a deconstructed pecan pie paired with puréed sweet potatoes roasted under coffee grounds. Despite some drawbacks—including set dinner times and a blaring soundtrack—the energy of the room and the inventiveness of the cuisine help make up for the hefty price tag.

Reviewed

Dishes We Liked

(All dishes are part of a multicourse tasting menu.) Hapu’upu’u (similar to Hawaiian grouper) with osetra caviar, lotus root, and Mandarin orange; Chilean sea bass with chanterelle mushrooms and butternut squash; goat with yogurt, charred carrots, and carrot harissa; wagyu beef with a Shigoku oyster, black garlic, and kimchi; brun de noix (cheese) ice cream

Related Stories

Dish: see "El Capitán" June 2011

Dish: see “Give ’Em El” August 2011

Additional Information

Rating:
Price: $50-plus
Cuisine: Progressive American
Neighborhood: Douglas Park
Noteworthy: High noise level
Wheelchair accessible
Hours: D Tue-Sat.