Elate Restaurant (Huron and Clark)

March 19th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

A delicious amuse featuring salmon and avocado, courtesy of the kitchen. Having a friend in the business pays off!

Some of the best places in Chicago are completely hidden to most people. Elate restaurant, located relatively close to the Clark and Division Red Line stop, isn’t widely known to College students.

I discovered the place because my friend works in the kitchen. She is well-educated in the restaurant industry, and demanded that we go. Monday nights are “industry night,” as it’s the least busy evening in the field. That means half-price menu items.

The first thing I noticed as I entered the restaurant was the awesome ambience. With faux tea-light candles flickering a warm, LED light.

The restaurant is decorated in a somewhat minimalist, but comfortable, design. It is a little industrial and the lighting is kept low.

A delicious, thin crust pizza with dried cherries and feta cheese. As my friend works at the place, we got a few extra treats. The first of which was what they call an "amuse," a term I had never heard before.

Essentially, it’s just a little nom. The first they brought us was a small slice of salmon with a garnish on top of a few avocado slices. Yum!

We then split A pork flat pizza, topped with dried cherries, adobo pork, feta, arugula and pork fat.

It featured some pretty intense ingredients, and was a delicious step out of the ordinary for me.

They treated us to another amuse, this one the creator referred to as “sweet bread.” It wasn’t until he left that my friend told me that meant it was a part of a brain from an animal battered and cooked. Ahh! I love how they give it an innocent little name- sweet bread- to lull you into a faux sense of security.

A sweet bread amuse. That's industry terminology for animal brain. Yum!

It didn’t taste bad, quite the contrary actually. But I couldn’t get it out of my mind that I was eating something’s neurons. I felt kind of bad. But at the same time, I was happy that they were using as much of the animal as possible.

After that semi-scary experience, we chose a dessert- the ice cream trio. It actually came with four flavors (another favor of the kitchen). Featuring peanut butter and jelly, burnt caramel, strawberry banana and a local take on Ben and Jerry’s Chubby Hubby, it was super satisfying.

But they weren’t done. As one final treat, the back kitchen brought us out rice pudding with a cocoa foam. I felt like we were being ridiculously spoiled, but I loved it.

It was my birthday, so they insisted on adding a candle. Nice.

“Elate restaurant, just north of downtown Chicago, is bringing much experience from several great resturants in the city to its small kitchen,” my accompaniment, Renae, said. “Aside from just putting out great food, the staff is constantly changing menu offerings, creating new dishes and dreaming up new food combinations daily.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself. It was an awesome experience, and it’s the perfect spot to take your mom or dad when they come to visit. It shows off that Chicago is a restaurant city, but it won’t break your wallet.

Perfecto!

Price Rating: The Journalist- Kids who are doing alright- this is the middle of the road. They are good with money, but aren’t going to get rich in an industry of dying newspapers.

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