Graham Elliot’s newest restaurant concept, g.e.b., opens in the Chicago loop next week, and while rumors and his reputation had us expecting a rock-and-roll venue of sorts, it seems like Elliot and company are also going the more religious route.
"It’s become rather church-y," Merlin Verrier, Elliot’s partner-in-crime, told us over the phone. "We bought some pews from a church and then had them reupholstered and fit into our banquets."
Then there are Catholic Saint candles, outfitted with the faces of prominent chefs and Chicago personalities, plus confessional mesh screening partitioning the restaurant.
"The two aligining themes would be church and rock for sure," Verrier said, which fits perfectly into his philosophy that music is religion. ("Pretty much every single culture that humans have there’s always some sort of musical aspect to it, and it’s usually around ceremonial religion," he explains).
As for food, Elliot’s g.e.b. will balance the Michelin-starred food of his eponymous restaurant and the low-scale fast-casual Grahamwich. Each plate is composed of three ingredients, all priced at less than $20.
There’s buttermilk, chicken, and tarragon, plus oxtail, lasagna, and ratatouille, not to mention shrimp, avocado, and yucca for starters. For dessert? Poundcake with strawberries and rhubarb, or beignets with gianduja and sugar. All this to a constant stream of mostly 70s and 80s punk pop rock, chosen from a vinyl collection of more than 70 records (diners themselves can pick and choose the music, from Van Halen records to Guns N' Roses).
Check out the brunch/lunch and dinner menus (all attached to an individual vinyl record) below.
Update: A Graham Elliot representative tells us that the g.e.b. opening has been pushed back from June 1 to a vague opening slated for the first week of June.