Graham Elliot’s namesake bistro (841 W. Randolph, West Loop, 312-888-2258) re-opens this week with a new look and more neighborhood-friendly menu, thanks to a partnership between the celebrity chef and DMK Restaurant Group (DMK Burger Bar, Fish Bar, Ada St.).
“I’ve matured and grown up,” Elliot says.
The bespectacled former “MasterChef” judge is behind the new menu, made up of about 25 appetizer-portion shareable plates ranging from $15 to $25, such as buffalo quail with celery root and bleu cheese, filet mignon stroganoff with toasted spaetzle and truffle purée, and Elliot’s perennial deconstructed Caesar salad with Spanish anchovy and brioche Twinkie. The cocktail list keeps it classic, with a Manhattan, old-fashioned, and Moscow mule with house ginger soda, while desserts include banana splits with pretzel ooze—a touch of Elliot-esque playfulness.
“Nothing ground-breaking or crazy—no foams or powders,” Elliot says. “We just want a great neighborhood spot … that’s more family-oriented.”
The space hasn’t changed, but the décor’s gotten a more casual facelift to match GEB’s less formal uniforms and simpler menus. Citing the revitalization of the West Loop, DMK co-owner David Morton says the rethought bistro looks to attract more walk-ins. Come warmer months, front and back patios won’t hurt, either.
“There is so much happening in that neighborhood—it’s completely revitalized,” Morton says. “[We want to be] a place where people want to go, and can feel great walking into wearing a shirt and jeans.”
DMK’s role will be mostly behind the scenes on the business side, while Elliot will continue to oversee day-to-day operations. Of the collaboration, Elliot says his 15-year friendship with Morton and DMK co-owner Michael Kornick will make for a more well-rounded business.
“I love these guys, and they are amazing at what they do. We will be much better together than apart.” Said like a real grown-up.