a sneak tease…

Graham Elliot Bowles
Photo courtesy of Ian D. Merritt

In a recent post about my dinner at Avenues, I alluded to the opening of graham elliot (click), Chef G.E. Bowles’ new eponymous “bistronomic” eatery in Chicago.

I told you I would give you the skinny, and here it is: a sneak peek behind graham elliot before it hits the major press.

Like so many other chefs who have made it to the top of their games, Chef Bowles is shrugging off the ritz and putting on the casual – literally.

He and his servers will be sporting Levi 501 Jeans, t-shirts, bib aprons, and Chuck Taylor sneakers in a casual, relaxed dining room with unclothed tables serving unpretentious, but dynamic cuisine.

graham elliot will introduce Chicago to “bistronomy.”

Handwritten menus will feature sketches of every dish and will follow the same spontaneous and ingredient-driven cuisine – comprising equal parts creativity, whimsy, and artistry – that Chef Bowles has become known for.

Chorizo-crusted Scallops

A la carte selections will fall into one of five categories: “Cold,” “Hot,” “Sea,” “Land,” or “Sweet,” providing an assortment of seasonally crafted creations. Menu items will include dishes like Aged Cheddar Risotto with green apples, Pabst-braised onions, Wisconsin bacon, and Cheez-Its.

There will also be Chorizo-Crusted Scallops with white beans, oregano-laced ratatouille, saffron bubbles and smoked paprika oil.

The wine list will be developed and overseen by Sommelier Michael Muser, who was the wine director at Avenues. The selections will mirror the menu by offering bottle and glass selections of unique, terroir-driven wines paired with each food category.

There will also be a separate bar & lounge menu offering hand-crafted beverages and creative twists on bar snacks and finger foods. The art of mixology and the reinvention of classic cocktails culminate in a list of “edible drinks.” Imagine jellied vodka with horseradish sorbet, tomato water, Tabasco bubbles, and homemade celery salt.” A “Deconstructed Bloody Mary” anyone?

I’ve seen the space for graham elliot and I’m excited. Housed in a century old printing warehouse located at 217 W. Huron Street, between Wells and Franklin, the restaurant will have a bar area, a main dining room, a “chef’s table” (not in (as the name might suggest), but nearer to, the kitchen), and a small private dining room. Chef Bowles also plans to have the restaurant licensed for patio seating.

graham elliot (er, rather, Chef Bowles) hopes to open by late Spring or early Summer of this (2008) year. Stay tuned for more…

~ by ulterior epicure on April 1, 2008.

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