The dining room — all crisp lines, minimalist décor and soft lighting — is anchored by a wide open kitchen on one side and a small patio with a working fireplace on the other. Combined with the friendly service, it creates the impression that you’re eating in a supremely tasteful Scandinavian friend’s weekend home.
We were there to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. We lived in Scandinavia when we got engaged, so a Scandinavian-inspired restaurant was a wonderful choice. We got the prix fixe tasting menu, with one of us adding the wine pairing and the other the non-alcohol pairing. They started the meal with a complimentary pour of celebratory champagne. The entire menu was unique and enjoyable, with many ingredients suggesting their Scandinavian roots.
We thought we would try the tasting menu because it was very competitively priced. Online they advertise said tasting menu as 10 courses. When in reality, the meal is more like 7. Not the end of the world, but when I see 10 separate courses on a menu online, I want 10 separate courses when I dine in. It wouldn’t have deterred me from trying if they said “first three plates come together as small bites” or something along those lines. But it almost felt deceiving. Similarly one “course” was a palate cleanser. These are usually given complimentary at the similar restaurants I’ve tried, not advertised on the menu as a course. We expected another desert course and instead each had a half of a bite of a mint jelly cube. Bad food? Not necessarily, however compared to their listed menu online it was a very big disappointment. We were looking forward to this meal for a long time but were unfortunately let down. Don’t waste time with the tasting menu if you are going in, do yourself a favor and at least order dishes you know you like/won’t be disappointed with.
My wife and I absolutely loved our dinner. Thanks so much to the wonderful staff at Elske! The food and service were just perfect.
Lovely ambiance, great service, and truly phenomenal food. From the drink pairings to the outdoor patio, every part of this experience is perfection. I will be sure to visit again!
Beautiful food. Great service. Comfortable and laid back environment. Worth the price.
Overall great meal and service at Elske. The small plate starters and desserts were the stars of the meal. The entrees were all very good but needed a level of complexity to send them over the edge. I would return, but mostly for the sunflower seed parfait and red cassis sundae, or something similar. The Publican bread and kogi butter were also wonderful. The service was what you would have expected from a Michelin starred restaurant and the majority of the members of FOH represented that. The hostess was the least pleasant of all the staff members we interacted with. She did not seem enthusiastic and did not greet us with warmth upon entering. I really loved that the cooks ran all the food to the tables. It didn’t seem to back up the kitchen in the way I had expected and they were all very knowledgeable about the food because they were the ones that had produced them.
Everything was fantastic. Staff was amazing. I had the pre set menu with the wine pairing and it was delicous
Very creative, excellent menu.
Great experience. The food was really delicious and unique. We appreciated the suggestions and explanations of the food. We even got treated to a glass of champagne because it was our anniversary. Very great place.
We loved everything about it. Tasting menu was spectacular, great flavors and colors. Non spirit cocktails were especially innovative and tasty. Regular cocktails were good. Overall a very nice meal with great service and a strong sense of hospitality.
Great spot, wonderful food!
We loved Elske. We had the tasting menu and it was delicious and unusual. The wine pairings were wonderful. Really enjoyed our experience.
Food was incredible. The outdoor courtyard is delightful, but the chairs are uncomfortable, especially if you are sitting for the entire duration of the tasting menu experience--bring a cushion!
Food excellent. Staff was friendly. Ambience was great as well. We got prefix menu - elske stumbled here. They brought our food in wrong order and 3 dishes at once. Also, server didn’t pay attention to when our drinks were empty. Prob just an off night though. I’d consider giving them a 2nd chance since food was so tasty.
Overall comments: Great food, we sat outside in the courtyard. A very quiet setting by the fireplace. Much quieter than inside where noise levels were high.
But, service was slow...could not figure out why. There were plenty of people servicing the tables outside. All very very nice and all were very helpful. But, to get our wine glasses refilled or to give our initial food/drink order to our primary server took way too long.
To get our cocktails brought out after initial order took too long, at least in my book.
Don't know if it was our waiter or it was a backup at the bar or in the kitchen.
Everything was wonderful. I planned to surprise my fiancée for their birthday and had anticipated this restaurant for over a month. Once we arrived it was beyond my expectation and we both agreed to spend all of our significant milestones at Elske. Our service was phenomenal. Marie had great recommendations and knew the menu perfectly. There wasn’t a single dish that disappointed. We did the set menu with a non-alcoholic pairing which was lovely to see as an offer since we are a sober family. We never felt out of place and we can’t wait to go back.
Imaginative cuisine prepared with flair, although not all equally successful. Very pretty, especially on a fine summer evening, and very friendly service. But a bit expensive for what it is, especially the quite interesting wine list.
A terrific experience, start to finish. Dined last Sunday at the bar with Jake, who is a true star. Food, drink, hospitality were all top notch. Worth the hype and more. Only had a few courses as we had a second dinner elsewhere that night but ended up wishing we had stayed there and had ore to eat and drink. Very much looking forward to going back.
Husband and I spent our five year wedding anniversary eating at Elske and could not have been happier. Truly one of the best meals we've ever had. From the cheese and crackers with beet jam, the Publican bread with koji butter all the way to the black bean agnolotti, every bite was amazing. Service was also fantastic, and the ambiance is amazing. Cannot recommend it enough.
Elske was one of the best meals we have ever eaten. We debated doing the pre-set tasting menu but ended up ordering from the regular menu. The waitress recommended ordering 5 or 6 items for my wife and I to share, which we found was the perfect amount of food. We got to sample all the items we wanted and it ended up being a little cheaper than the tasting menu would have been. Everything was spectacular but our favorite items included the confit lamb and the black bean agnolotti. We had the sunflower seed parfait for dessert, which I was hesitant about ordering at first but I was pleasantly surprised. We will definitely be returning to Elske!
The food was excellent, and the staff was so attentive and hospitable. We went for our anniversary dinner, and were blown away with the service. I would recommend to all of our friends and family! Great date night restaurant, or for a group outing. We also loved the ambiance as it seemed a bit more casual than the typical fine dining establishment, but with the same quality and attention to detail. You will not go wrong at Elske!
Me and my friend had the tasting menu and tried the non -alcoholic beverage pairing. The food is good and the non-alcoholic beverage pairing is very interesting
Wonderful food. We ordered a la carte and the server arranged the food to come in appropriate pairs. Unhurried service was great.
Absolute waste of money. Nothing tasted good... worst meal ever at a Michelin-starred restaurant. Had a special occasion request but they didn’t do anything.
The food was delicious and inventive yet very approachable. Service was professional and outstanding. We ate at the bar, and were completely comfortable there. Nice vibe, not overwhelming.
Amazing food, and very fairly priced. I sat at the bar and had great service - the bartender had great food and drink recommendations. Great place for a special night out!
Elske is a truly extraordinary culinary experience. Extremely knowledgeable staff and perfectly crafted dishes. Delightful!
Interesting cuisine in a minimalist setting service was excellent but a bit noisy for my liking
Our meal at Elske was outstanding. We sat in the lovely outdoor space with a welcoming fireplace, but the interior is equally pleasant. The service was friendly, knowledgeable and attentive. The food was superb. At first, some of the menu items seemed to be a bit overdone, but the actual dishes turned out to be inventive, cohesive and delicious. The wine list was also interesting - we had a lovely rose from the Canary Islands. It's definitely a splurge, but more than worth it!
Everything on menu is recommended. Chef uses familiar ingredients but combines them with delicious unusual flavors, making for a fabulous final bite. The soft shell crab, agnolotti, and sweetbreads were a real standout. Small but interesting wine, beer, and spirits list. Outdoor patio is quiet, comfortable and what’s not to love about a wood burning fireplace?
What a gem! We had a significant birthday to celebrate, and wanted to go somewhere special, somewhere new (to us). I had read a lot of raves about Elske when it first opened, and it actually exceeded our expectations. Thank heavens we live in Chicago, as it was possible for us to get a reservation only a day advance. One of the marvels of this restaurant is that an a la carte menu accompanies its tempting tasting menu. We love the combination of fine dining with a very casual vibe. We shared everything. So glad we ordered the Publican oat porridge sourdough bread, an indulgence that proved quite practical so we could sop up all the goodness of the sauces that were yet to come. The smoked fjord trout with golden beets and honey and oxalis (which we have potted at home) was so fresh, light and delicious, the perfect starter. Next came perfectly prepared soft-shell crab, so delicate and happily not heavily breaded or deep fried! Then we had some swoonworthy sweetbreads (which we always love), and absolutely delicious ricotta-stuffed black bean (read: guilt-free) agnolotti, with braised morels and English peas. So. Good. For dessert we couldn't resist the meringue with smoked rhubarb, fresh rhubarb, and whipped buttermilk, and they surprised us with a wedge of white chocolate mousse cake with a festive candle to celebrate. We'll definitely be back!
Excellent all-around. The confit of trumpet mushrooms and the endive salad were favorites. Started with some lovely cocktails from Jake at the bar, who served us there, he and Joe were gracious and hospitable, we enjoyed dining with them.
Unbelievably delicious, thoughtful and creative. Thank you all for a wonderful experience from start to finish. <3
This was my second trip to Elske and I was, again, blown away with the quality. The food is innovative, yet simple and the service is friendly yet polished. I am already looking forward to my next trip back.
Lovely experience, beautiful space, fantastic waitstaff. Food was off the charts and the drinks were wonderful and creative as well.
This is my new favorite restaurant in Chicago! I highly recommend it. We loved the tasting menu last year so we came back and got the whole a la carte menu. I can’t say enough good things about the food, service, and ambiance!!!
5 of us tasted smoked trout, soft shell crab, two pasta dishes, trumpets, chicken sausage, porcheletta and lamb. All very good, some divine. Great wine selections and reasonably priced. Their Michelin star is deserved!
Wanted to love this place, but it was just ok. Despite having a reservation and being on time, we were told it would be another 20 minutes, which ended up being 40. There were several others in the same situation. They were very gracious about It and comped a drink for us (and others) while waiting, but clearly over booked their tables. Not a great way to start a meal at a Michelin restaurant. Tasting menu was good, but not great. Some dishes (like the leeks dish, the wagu beef, and the cherry dessert) were outstanding but others were just weird and really not that good (like the veggie and fruit tea and the cod, which was insanely salty). For the price, was expecting more. It was good, but for a $300 dinner for two people, I’m not sure if “good” is enough given other options in town.
Food was amazing, a lot of creativity. Their approach of non-alcoholic beverage was unique and the flavor of the various food was very well thought
We waited almost 1h before having our table.... while being in a hurry....it took a bit of the pleasure but we forgot about it.
Fantastic tasting menu and a great variety of dishes/ingredients. We are pretty happy with our choice, as we experienced more than we could have done with a-la-carte. A little long waiting time between the two entrees (Cod and Steak), but everything else was totally fine. The other part is this restaurant offers no valet parking. Just be aware as it could take you a long time to find parking on the street. Besides that, very nice setting (the high ceiling actually helps to wind the noices level down) and great restaurant.