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Cooking and creating are two of my deepest passions, with my cuisine best characterized by the simple idea of allowing ingredients to taste like themselves. My culinary imagination has brought a keen excitement to those who have experienced my artistic approach to fine dining. I strongly believe in using foodstuffs at their flavorful peak, and simply being a conduit between Earth and the guest. The abundance of land, sky and waters are viewed as cherished gifts.

The simple philosophy of deeply believing there is no right or wrong approach to culinary creativity is what frees myself of stereotypical criticism. While you wouldn’t prepare something well-done and serve it as rare, creating great cuisine must be considered a personal, almost spiritual act. The romance and beauty of something giving its life for you to apply your imagination and skill to prepare and serve, is one of the most profound experiences a Chef can have. There is great humility to the entire cycle that ends with the cuisine on the plate and the impression it has on my guests.

When cooking, one must seek out his own voice in the often times jumbled world of cuisine. To seek one’s path, to be your own harshest critic; therein lies the pursuit of culinary art in its truest form. Passion, courage and respect play an integral part in the kitchen. The Chef must never take for granted the fact that someone is putting their trust in you.

When cooking in the kitchen becomes a comfortable dance, the Chef must force himself to change the music. He does so by following the old adage, “if it isn’t broke, break it!” To strive to do something unique is an almost fundamental element for the artist to follow. Unlearning what was taught, I am forced to reconsider the culinary universe and to interpret it in his own way.

Viewing the kitchen as more of a sanctuary or laboratory, rather than a place where you simply work, I seek out new ingredients and techniques with an almost frightening zeal. Constantly looking for a way to surpass every guest’s expectations, I work towards the greater good, letting ego fall to the wayside. Cooking with love, and creating with an open mind, only then can the Chef discover his true voice.

Graham Elliot Bistro offers several options for guests seeking private dining spaces:

Our Chef’s Table can accommodate up to 8 guests and is set off of our open kitchen.

Additionally, the bistro is available for seated dinners from 8 to 50 people and receptions for up to 100 people.

We also feature our outdoor patio (seasonal) that can accommodate parties between 10-50 guests. Our secluded outdoor patio features original cobblestone and beautiful plantings.

If you are interested in hosting a private or large party event at Graham Elliot Bistro, please submit the form at the right or call:

312 888 2258
(Graham Elliot Bistro)

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Significant sequels

May 02, 2013 | Phil Vettel | Food critic

GE Bistro

A host stand made from a Marshall amplifier. Devotional candles dedicated to "saints" Johnny Cash, Lou Reed, Anthony Bourdain, Charlie Trotter and many more. A cocktail named for Wu-Tang Clan's Ghostface Killah. Background tunes recognizable by their bass lines — which is good, because when the restaurant is full, subwoofer sound is all one can discern.

It's fair to say that G.E.B. revels in its rockin' inclinations.

The monogram stands for Graham Elliot Bistro, and by all appearances it's the casual counterpart to Graham Elliot's eponymous two-Michelin-star restaurant in River North. In reality, G.E.B. is the restaurant the chef had in mind in 2008, when he opened Graham Elliot after leaving Avenues, at the time one of Chicago's most experimental restaurants.

That place, originally, had loud music and jeans-clad waiters and very playful food. But as Elliot's fine-dining fame grew (thanks in large part to his TV presence as cooking-competition judge), Graham Elliot grew into a more serious restaurant with, in Elliot's words, "tweezer food."

But the casual-concept dream was reborn in a narrow space in the middle of Randolph Street's restaurant row, a space "where the rent was so ridiculously cheap — with a patio/courtyard area — that we couldn't pass it up," Elliot says.

The chef is Jacob Saben, who was part of Graham Elliot's opening team, and he oversees a menu in which few dishes ever exceed three ingredients. This works quite well, especially with pasta and seafood dishes — the seared scallops with sweet-potato-filled pasta packets and lemon-grass broth, crisp-breaded whitefish over sunchokes and thickened citrus coulis and pappardelle noodles with wild-boar ragu are all terrific. Ditto for the rabbit composition, a confit leg and bacon-wrapped loin medallions over a rich broth accented with house-made ranch sauce.

If you're eating lighter, the "GE" Caesar is a less-fussy version of the Caesar that opened Graham Elliot five years ago, the lightly spiced pakoras (Indian fritters) with apricot chutney are agreeably fun finger food, and whatever the day's flatbread pizza might be, chances are it'll be worth your attention.

Desserts continue in the laid-back vein with an upright banana split (in a Mason jar), a tall stack of fresh-baked chocolate-chip cookies with milk, and gianduja-stuffed beignets.

Staffers provide professional attentiveness amid the dining room's sonic chaos. Jennifer Trotter, onetime sister-in-law of you-know-who, is the perpetual-motion general manager on the floor; beverage manager Ryan Brignole oversees a small but focused assortment of wines, beers and cocktails so interesting I'd come here just to drink. And I probably wouldn't be alone, especially when the courtyard in back opens.

Critic Reviews

phil vettel - view article »

forbes travel guide - four stars

michelin guide - two star

james beard award nominations - 3

crains business - 40 under 40 club

youngest 4 star chef in US - age 27

food & wine magazine - top 10 best new chefs

master chef judge - seasons 1, 2, 3

top chef masters - season 1, 2

iron chef america - battle chocolate