I have officially added Graham Elliot Bistro to my list of favorite restaurants in Chicago. Well, at least for brunch and dessert anyways. I’ve only been there twice so far, but this eatery has definitely surpassed my expectations in food, service and atmosphere. Located in West Loop on Randolph, GEB has a modern but retro feel to it with its open kitchen and menus displayed on records. When I went for brunch, I had already scouted out the menu beforehand, but I was surprised by a special appetizer of the day: crispy zucchini bread (Figure 1). It was exactly as it sounds: a moist zucchini bread with a sweet, crispy, crunchy crust. Definitely the perfect start to the morning!
Andrew ordered biscuits and gravy (Figure 2). I thought it was going to be a generic looking dish, but it was as unique as Stonehenge standing in the middle of the field. The smooth mashed potatoes delicately piled on top of the buttery biscuit were accompanied by a well-seasoned gravy. The only problem with this dish was that there wasn’t 10 times more of it.
I wanted something more substantial, so I ended up with the GEB Burger (Figure 3), which was perhaps the best choice I made that day. Cooked at medium, this burger was placed in between a toasted pretzel bun and accompanied by oozing Gruyere fondue, spinach, onions, and a fried egg! The best part was definitely letting that yolk ooze over the burger, which also made this one of the messiest burgers I’ve ever had. But it’s definitely worth getting your hands dirty for.
The other time I was at GEB, it was for dinner. The dinner menu is quite extensive, but what stood out were the desserts we ordered. The chocolate beignets (Figure 4) came straight out of the oven; the warm doughnut balls filled with the creamiest chocolate and topped with powdered sugar just melted in my mouth.
And because I love bananas, the banana split (Figure 5) was just too enticing to pass by. It was presented in a large jar and topped with an assortment of nuts and chocolate sauce. Definitely a must-have if you are at GEB!
Although I’ve never met Graham Elliot, I must say that this is the exact type of restaurant I would expect him to have! GEB is unquestionably on my list of restaurants to go to again.
- Go for the brunch.
- Do not skip dessert!!!