Where & Wear: Graham Elliot Bistro
There's something so deliciously silly about reality TV. Even yummier? Reality TV about cooking. Enter MasterChef and its famous judges - including Graham Elliot, who recently opened a restaurant in the Haymarket area. West Randolph Street is lined with plenty of perfect date-night restaurants, but the Graham Elliot Bistro stands out, if only for the chance to meet the chef himself and snag a picture with him (as I did!), because yes, he really does hang out at the restaurant and take pictures with fans.
The restaurant is inviting with a bright clean pseudo-industrial design - exposed brick walls and steel beams painted a fresh white. It's loud and pretty full, but the dim lights and attentive service - our waitress was more than happy to help arrange a photo with the man himself - make it perfect for a date night or girls' night out spot.
The food is American with a twist. A "deconstructed Caesar salad" sounded promising but appeared to be salad tossed into a blender and then scooped out and topped with anchovies. What made up for it however was the accompanying "twinkie crouton" - a foodie take on a twinkie in the form of mascarpone stuffed brioche lightly fried. So. Worth. It. Other standouts included a creamy burrata mozzarella with fresh honeycomb and almonds, steak tartare with a dash of wasabi for a pleasant kick at the end, and an elevated spin on popcorn liberally garnished with truffle parmesan cheese.
The silver stripe on these perfectly slouchy boyfriend jeans adds a little extra something, especially paired with cutout pumps, a lacy camisole and a surprisingly versatile metallic clutch for an easy, sexy outfit that won't stop you from trying the blood orange gelato and Mexican Coke float for dessert. Or for a more spring-inspired look, a flouncy lace up dress in a soft coral is the perfect contrast to a structured camel blazer and a sleek cross-body; paired with low heeled suede sandals, it's the ideal outfit for a long after-dinner walk.
Whether you are looking for a Saturday night out with someone special or a big Graham Elliot fan, you're in for a treat at the Graham Elliot Bistro.
$$$ // 841 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607
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Are you a big MasterChef fan? Have you been to the Graham Elliot Bistro? Let us know in the comments below!