This restaurant was absolutely amazing! If you are going to be in Chicago, try to get a table at the EL ideas. You will definitely not just like it, you will love it!
The chef and owner Phillip Foss offers a unique dining situation. Right inside his kitchen providing only 24 seats.
As seating is very limited, making a reservation is absolutely mandatory. We made our reservation about one month in advance by email, asking for a slot in the week we happen to be in Chicago. They came back to us very fast, and when we received our confirmation, we were introduced to the procedure, or lets call them rules. On the one hand their email was written very friendly, but also – on the other hand – quite decisive.
And all is simple as this:
- no dress code
- pay one week prior to your reservation
- come in time (those arriving late will receive the current dish in the menu’s progression)
- no reservations for odd number parties. If you have an odd number of people, you will be charged for that extra seat, that we could not otherwise fill
- the EL is BYOB
After I got over that email – which is at least fro Germany quite unusual – I thought: if the food and the whole dinner experience is perfect, how cool is that. And you read it in the beginning; how cool was that! We had a blast of an evening, starting with our cab driver:
Driver: “Are you sure you want to get out here?” We: ” Yes” Driver: “Here is my number, call when you want to get back into the city, you don’t want to wait on the streets here to wave a cab…”
The menu we – and all other guests – were able to enjoy, consisted of 14 different dishes. And there is no need to really talk about the fantastic food, just have a look yourself.
salmon – hibiscus / elderberry / cabbage
ling cod – celeriac / tomatillo / clam
scallop – chanterelles / miso / dashi
sturgeon – lardo / mushroom / mustard
potato – black truffle / roe / parsnip
foie gras – umebushi / togarashi / yuzu-sake
bison – malt / garlic / ground cherry
pinapple – tamarind / coconut / chili
bolognaise – chorizo / ricotta / green beans
porcelet – milk / barley / apricot
lamb – eggplant / cucumber / tahini
new york strip – shallot / bearnaise / firestreak
grapefruit – grape / granola / fennel
corn – chocolate / tequila / dulce de leche
our amazing chefs that night
foss / mcmullen / manley / dubois
Guys, thank you so much for that evening. I think we had as much fun being there as you had. It was great watching chefs at work, who have so much passion for what they do. I hope I’ll be in Chicago again quite soon, then we will see us again.