My friend, Allen, is a world traveller. Or, at least to me, it seems like he has been around the globe. He is always venturing out to new destinations and takes AMAZING photos. He's also one of the most genuinely kind people I know who is generous at the same time: he gave me a free JetBlue ticket that he won, which was how our recent trip to Chicago came to fruition. (Thanks, Allen!)
In addition to our shared love for travelling and photography, I think we share a lot of the same taste in dining. So when he recommended that we try the Graham Elliot restaurant in Chicago, I looked up the address on their website and added it to my list of things to do during our trip. (You have to check out the website by the way - the intro page is pretty neat!)
After a whole day of walking around Chicago, we ended up in the River North section because I was determined to check out one of the original Paper Source store. It's a long story but basically I have a photo of myself in front of several of their stores over the past years ... would love to see them all! Luckily, the restaurant was on a street on the way back to our hotel, so we stopped in for a drink before we went on a river boat tour that evening.
We sat at the bar and Tony enjoyed a basket of popcorn that was seasoned with truffle oil and herbs. It smelled so delicious and miraculously disappeared by the time we left the restaurant. He had the Metropolitan Dynamo Copper Lager and I had a glass of the Charles Bove sparkling Chenin Blanc sparkling wine. Man, after walking what I could swear was at least ten miles that day, that glass of wine was so refreshing!
Since we had a late lunch we weren't starving so we ordered two appetizers to share. The deconstructed Caesar salad was made with romaine hearts and white anchovy. It was served with a brioche "twinkie" that was filled with parmesan fluff. Did you read that? Parmesan fluff. Ahhhhh. It was probably the best Caesar salad I've ever had. I could eat ten servings of that in one sitting, how sad is that?
We also had the carpaccio of beef which was served with arugula sprout, torpedo onion, horseradish custard and sea salt. Wow. Another excellent dish. The presentation was equally impressive.
For being not-very-hungry people, we did a good job of cleaning up both plates (and the aforementioned basket of popcorn ... ahem ...). If we lived in Chicago, I know we would be back there quite often. The restaurant had a great atmosphere but the music was pretty loud at the bar (nice speaker system set up though). There were a lot of couples there, and it looked like some business people were meeting there for drinks. I would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone travelling to Chicago, and can't thank Allen enough for the suggestion!
217 W. Huron Street