Graham Elliot Review (Updated): The Celebrity Chef’s Restaurant Lives Up to Its Name

After a few reinventions, the chef has settled on an adventurous tasting menu.

The Dungeness crab with morel mushrooms, artichoke, and borage flowers left us impressed.   Photo: Courtesy Graham Elliot

After several reinventions, the namesake restaurant of the celebrity chef with the big personality now serves tasting-menu-only special-occasion cuisine, with Elliot himself heading the kitchen.

No longer employing his enfant terrible signature of snack foods—even the lollipop of foie gras and Pop Rocks is gone—Elliot cooks with precision in textures, temperatures, and presentation, if sometimes with a surprising conservatism in flavor combinations.

More adventurous dishes reach high peaks, such as morels, crab, and black garlic purée or baby octopus with eggplant, bell pepper ragu, onion flowers, and caviar. Stellar desserts. Democratic wine list and mostly solid pairings, poured generously.

Dishes We Liked: (All dishes are part of a tasting menu.) Spot prawn with prawn mousse, avocado sorbet, and caviar; baby octopus with eggplant, red and yellow pepper ragu, and caviar; halibut with halibut noodles, green and white asparagus, squash blossoms, sea beans, and ponzu vinaigrette; morel mushrooms with Dungeness crab, black garlic purée, dried artichoke, borage, and pickled onions; Époisses cheese with candied pecans, candied orange peel, vanilla gel, and olive oil jam.

New restaurant reviews, updated to reflect critics’ recent visits, appear each month in Chicago magazine, in Dine, as well as on our website. Listed restaurants are rated from one to four stars, where one is good, two is very good, three is excellent, and four is superlative. Graham Elliot was previously two stars. The review appears in the September issue, on newsstands now.

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