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  Elizabeth - underground chef joins big leagues

  Elizabeth - underground chef joins big leagues
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  • Elizabeth - underground chef joins big leagues

    Post #1 - February 15th, 2015, 4:00 am
    Post #1 - February 15th, 2015, 4:00 am Post #1 - February 15th, 2015, 4:00 am
    I first heard about Iliana Regan nearly 4 years ago when her underground restaurant, One Sister Inc., was discounted on some groupon-like website. Though I missed the deal, the idea sounded intriguing enough to warrant a visit. What I experienced was a meal like no other I ever had which I documented here on LTH.

    A little over a year later, Iliana opened her restaurant, Elizabeth, to critical (and LTHForum) acclaim in a small space on Western Avenue with communal tables. Utilizing the same techniques that she did in her own kitchen, Iliana prepared 3 different menus consisting of her foraged foods and innovative techniques.

    She has since done away with communal tables, and is now offering one menu at a variable price.

    Here are a few high praises:

    Gonzo70 wrote:In my opinion Elizabeth is already one of Chicago's best and most interesting dining experiences.

    Darren72 wrote:The meal was excellent, fun, exciting, and delicious! Worth every penny we paid and more.

    Bspar wrote:I am still coming down from my meal last night at Elizabeth.

    turkob wrote:I made it to Elizabeth a couple days ago and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

    gastro gnome wrote:This was one fantastic meal.


    Main Thread: http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=35638

    Elizabeth Restaurant (website)
    4835 N Western Ave
    Chicago, IL 60625
    (773) 681-0651
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  • Post #2 - February 16th, 2015, 1:54 pm
    Post #2 - February 16th, 2015, 1:54 pm Post #2 - February 16th, 2015, 1:54 pm
    Great nomination; I have been dining at Eizabeth regularly since the opening and it has been a pleasure watching the venue evolve and Chef Regan steadily improve and take a restaurant that was amazing from day one to an even higher level. Dining here is always a fun, whimsical experience with interesting, well prepared food and hospitality to match.
    Twitter: @Goof_2
  • Post #3 - February 17th, 2015, 11:25 am
    Post #3 - February 17th, 2015, 11:25 am Post #3 - February 17th, 2015, 11:25 am
    I fully support this nomination. My comments from the best of 2013 thread:

    PopcornMegaphone wrote:For me it's the Deer Menu at Elizabeth. In May I discovered their facebook page was offering discounted same day tickets and on a lark my wife and I decided to go. Best decision ever. For the past few years the majority of my fine dining budget as been devoted to the what has been become a comparatively soulless exercise: Next. In contrast my visit at Elizabeth was warm, personal, distinctive, and yes, delicious. It was a meal that reminded me why I love true chef driven restaurants.


    Link


    Elizabeth is a wonderful fine dining restaurant that feels like a neighborhood gem. That's not easy to pull off, but somehow they do it.
  • Post #4 - February 17th, 2015, 12:41 pm
    Post #4 - February 17th, 2015, 12:41 pm Post #4 - February 17th, 2015, 12:41 pm
    PopcornMegaphone wrote:Elizabeth is a wonderful fine dining restaurant that feels like a neighborhood gem. That's not easy to pull off, but somehow they do it.


    Exactly what I was going to write! +1 for Elizabeth as a GNR--I haven't been in a while (too many restaurants, too little time) but hope to fix that soon!
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #5 - March 2nd, 2015, 7:32 am
    Post #5 - March 2nd, 2015, 7:32 am Post #5 - March 2nd, 2015, 7:32 am
    Elizabeth is exactly the kind of fine dining restaurant that feels like a GNR. Of course the food is top notch and the creativity and dedication from the kitchen are evident in everything they do. But the experience at Elizabeth extends beyond that. Iliana Regan insists on over delivering at every step of the process. Whether she's foraging for the ingredients herself, offering multiple tasting menus on the same night (something she mercifully discontinued because it was too much for any kitchen to handle), or selling $65 seats on week nights, Elizabeth is the fine dining restaurant that is least afraid of trying something different and doing whatever it takes to make it happen. They sell tickets but if you call them with enough advance notice they'll exchange them with no hassle. Recently they've started offering doughtnuts on Sunday mornings and they're even planning a Game of Thrones theme meal in April. I just love so much about what they're doing. I support Elzabeth as a GNR.
  • Post #6 - March 11th, 2015, 8:19 am
    Post #6 - March 11th, 2015, 8:19 am Post #6 - March 11th, 2015, 8:19 am
    Elizabeth for GNR, yes Absolutely!

    I have deep respect for Iliana Regan and consider Elizabeth one of my favorite restaurants.

    Image

    Elizabeth, Count me a Fan!
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #7 - March 12th, 2015, 3:45 pm
    Post #7 - March 12th, 2015, 3:45 pm Post #7 - March 12th, 2015, 3:45 pm
    Might be just me - I am opposed to any restaurant where one has to buy a ticket in order to eat there being a GNR -

    Elizabeth - Not a GNR to me.
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #8 - March 12th, 2015, 3:50 pm
    Post #8 - March 12th, 2015, 3:50 pm Post #8 - March 12th, 2015, 3:50 pm
    jimswside wrote:Might be just me - I am opposed to any restaurant where one has to buy a ticket in order to eat there being a GNR -

    Elizabeth - Not a GNR to me.


    You can make reservations over the phone at Elizabeth.
  • Post #9 - March 12th, 2015, 3:56 pm
    Post #9 - March 12th, 2015, 3:56 pm Post #9 - March 12th, 2015, 3:56 pm
    milz50 wrote:
    jimswside wrote:Might be just me - I am opposed to any restaurant where one has to buy a ticket in order to eat there being a GNR -

    Elizabeth - Not a GNR to me.


    You can make reservations over the phone at Elizabeth.


    for dinner tonight if I wanted? - guess not eh ace..? lol

    beyond the ticketing

    I cant support a fine dining spot for a GNR - not what I think the list is supposed to be about.

    just my opinion -

    a little discussion has never hurt anyone, id prefer some dissent vs rubber stamping every nominee.
    Last edited by jimswside on March 13th, 2015, 12:09 pm, edited 3 times in total.
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #10 - March 12th, 2015, 5:02 pm
    Post #10 - March 12th, 2015, 5:02 pm Post #10 - March 12th, 2015, 5:02 pm
    I tend to agree that the higher end places need to be extra special--not just a great restaurant because, at least theoretically, all higher end places should be pretty great. But in the case of the ones that we have included, like El Ideas and, hopefully, Elizabeth, there are special things about them that make them a deserving component of our GNR program.

    In the case of Elizabeth, it's the very unique way that Iliana Regan approaches what she does--the intimacy of the food, the incredibly personal nature of what she wants the guest to experience and how much that has connected with members of our community. I feel like if I wanted to recommend a GNR-like place at the higher end of the spectrum, and a lot of us do want that, Elizabeth is one of a very select few that I could feel 100% comfortable with.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #11 - March 14th, 2015, 2:22 pm
    Post #11 - March 14th, 2015, 2:22 pm Post #11 - March 14th, 2015, 2:22 pm
    Elizabeth as a GNR feels like a natural fit to me and I fully endorse this nomination. Yes, it can be relatively pricey but I'm not even sure it's accurate to describe it as fine dining. That's a bit of a pigeonhole. If it is fine dining, it's certainly street-level fine dining because the vibe at Elizabeth is decidedly casual and informal, and eating there is fun.

    What happens on the plates (and stones and inside the test tubes and atop the patches of grass, etc.) at Elizabeth makes it one of the most distinctive places - if not the most distinctive place -- in Chicagoland. The stories behind the food are important and clearly reflect Chef Regan's personal journey and philosophy. They are not just random gimmicks but vignettes; almost like pages from her diary communicated in culinary form. She cares immensely about what she's doing and she puts herself out there in a way that many other chefs would never even think to. And she's been doing it (previously at One Sister) since before Elizabeth even existed. Through that entire time, our community has been ovewhelmingly receptive to her work.

    Eating at Elizabeth isn't 'getting your grub on' -- a term I use often and also something I love to do -- but that doesn't make it any less deserving of being a GNR.

    =R=
    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French

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