Elske

1350 W Randolph St, Chicago
(312) 733-1314

Recent Reviews

Pat Diaz

Everything about this place is A+! The bartender makes the best drinks ever! And he will make you anything, on or off the menu! The greeters and servers are incredibly sweet and helpful, especially when selecting items from the menu that were new to us. From our experience, I am sure there is not anything that isn’t supura! This restaurant is a little out of the normal tourist area, but it is worth it to Uber it over!

Shannon Slattery

So delicious, absolutely worth it! We did the tasting menu with the wine pairing and everything was amazing.

keeley304

seated before our reservation time:) shared several dishes with 2 friends...all was fantastic. seasoned well and the bread was delish!

Shreena P.

Came here for my anniversary and was amazed by the ambiance, fresh bites, and amazing service. We ordered off the a la Carte menu. Our waitress placed everything perfectly so all the food would not be rushed to us at once. We ordered two types of salad/veggie dishes, the aged gouda with yellow beet-ice cider jam and crackers (which was absolutely amazing). For the mains we got potato dumplings and a white pepper sweet corn pasta that was tasty and well balanced. Finally for dessert we got the sunflower seed parfait. Everything was equally delicious in its own way and i literally did not have one bad bite. They cater to restrictive diets and did an amazing job with all the vegetarian dishes.

Brandie H.

Loved the ambience here it's casual but still trendy so you can get away with a wide variety of dress. I would go for smart casual! This restaurant has 1 Michelin . So if you go here I would absolutely recommend the tasting menu because to me if you're going to a restaurant that has achieved any Michelin star level you should go for the tasting menu. I always do a wine pairing if that's an options. The somelier was awesome and we enjoyed all the wine. My favorite was the last wine, a red wine. I put a picture of it here. It was full bodied, just like I love my red wines to be. A dessert in itself. They offer a vegetarian tasting menu which I actually liked more than the regular menu. The last vegetarian dish, risotto, came with shaved black truffle . If you sit on the patio you will be surrounded by all their beautiful plants and herbs. They use some of these to flavor their dishes, which, I think, is very resourceful. Being surrounded by greenery on the patio creates an even more relaxing vibe that I miss, due to living in Chicago.

Helena Z.

A group of 7-8 of us came here after we had made a reservation in advance. For such a large party a reservation a few weeks in advance is necessary. We went with the tasting menu with the option of ordering other dishes if we wanted to. While the dishes were decent, the pacing was fairly slow. The whole thing ended up being around 3-4 hours. We even had asked them if we could hurry the pacing and bring out dishes together, but the chef refused. While I understand respecting the chef's art, 3-4 HOURS is quite a long time with the number of courses the tasting menu had. Additionally, turning down a customer's request was slightly shocking and off-putting to me. I think it was worth coming but I don't know if I would recommend the tasting menu given the length of time it took. That being said, the wildflower honey dessert with pollen was very interesting - I enjoyed the innovativeness of it, but if you haven't had bee pollen before I would be on the cautious side.

Danielle C.

I love everything about this restaurant, from the cozy patio (love the plants & fireplace), to the kind wait staff (Kyla & Bridget are sweethearts), to the decor (I mean even the bathroom soap dispensers are cool), to the amazingly flavorful food. Even my husband, who certainly doesn't do the whole Michelin star restaurant thing, was super impressed by how delicious every ingredient of every dish was. Our favorites were the Potato culurgiones, White pepper rigatoni and the Grilled wagyu flap. And for dessert the Sunflower seed parfait with sour honey, licorice, and bee pollen was so unique and delicious! Not sure how the pastry chef even imagined that one--she's a genius! I also just love that the head chef and pastry chef are the most adorable married couple. Elske will be our go-to birthday/anniversary spot for the foreseeable future.

Adina D.

Went to Elske for a graduation celebration. It was the perfect choice! The atmosphere and the people were warm and welcoming. From the fireplace with cozy chairs and blankets on the patio (come early or stay after dinner you will want to sit by this lovely fire) to the serene yet comfortable interior the setting was special. The host and wait staff were similarly warm unrushed and low-key. And the food!! Do not miss the oat sour dough bread with koji cultured butter or the sardines with toast (lemony, salty yummy) or the homemade pasta with corn and some delicious crunchy stuff. And definitely do not skip dessert. It was just as delicious and creative as the rest of the meal. I rarely review a restaurant but this was really a special experience

Richard

Entirely and utterly incredible dining experience. It deserves every 5 star here. The highlight was actually the service because it was amazing. The food was superb. Loved that they had a non-alcoholic pairing with the food. Well done and thank you team.

Coleman Balogh

Phenomenal food and the best priced Michelin Star in Chicago. This is my highest recommended tasting menu in Chicago because of the bang for your buck. I love Nordic cuisine (fresh seafood, vegetables and herbs) and always get their tasting which I believe is one of the best priced in the city if not the very best. It's usually around $100 or less (sometimes more) and the pairing is only $45! A one of a kind experience.

Samuel Waggoner

Six friends visited on a beautiful August evening. The outdoor area is so charming...but not room for six people. However, restaurant sides were open, so we had a lovely semi-outdoor experience. Service and food were excellent. We shared several dishes - cheese & crackers, Publican bread were both fabulous. Belgian endives salad was outstanding. Also absolutely loved the grilled tuna, rigatoni with sweet corn, pork belly, soft shell crab and grilled wagyu. Save room for excellent desserts - sorbets, sunflower seed parfait and milk chocolate custard were so worth the calories. Come with several people so you can sample many dishes...it would be hard to choose only three or four.

Helene Wiswall Perdue

We always like to explore new restaurants when we come into town to visit my daughter and Elske did not disappoint. We were drawn to the name by our Scandinavian roots. Your restaurant is a gem. We ordered multiple dishes from the regular menu that were delicious - the Endive salad was refreshing and tasty. I had never had Skate Cheeks - - yum! The pork belly was mouth-watering. We asked our server for a wine recommendation and after describing our likes, she recommended a very reasonably-priced bottle that was indeed perfect and tasted exactly as she had described. We will definitely come back on future visits. Thank you for a memorable and lovely dining experience.

Claire S.

Came here for a special occasion, and I mean, it was an overall pleasant experience. That being said, there were far too many misses than hits on the tasting menu given the price, so if you're coming, SKIP the tasting menu and just order à la carte. THE OVERVIEW. + Dine early if you want to avoid the crushing noise level that can build in the evenings. We were unfortunately seated next to an older gentleman hellbent on impressing his much younger date (colleague, I hope) with his knowledge of Game of Thrones by SCREAMING plot points. So that sucked. - The bread is from The Publican and it is perfection, of course, as is the koiji butter they serve it with. Order this. - Service is spotty, servers were either incredibly attentive at times or super aloof and impossible to flag down. - The dishes were very hit-or-miss as I said above, some were absolutely a revelation and a pleasure to enjoy, others seemed like an after-thought. The same happened with their cocktails - Dessert was the most disappointed part of the meal, which was a bummer Most snotty/memorable experience was with the dessert server/possibly chef. When I asked what was unique about the Danish soft serve (like, is it prepare in a special way? specific dairy used?), she stared at me angrily and said "it's soft" and stormed away. So that was fun.

B R.

Beautiful looking food and the taste is modern, clean, delicious and inventive. Coconut soufflé with beet fluff anyone? The atmosphere /décor is fine dining, but never pretentious or stuffy. On both visits, it seemed to be bubbling with people celebrating big occasions (anniversaries, bdays, graduations, etc.)

Charisma Nguyen

We did the tasting menu and every single dish was DELICIOUS. I cannot emphasize how amazing everything was. I had a tree-nut allergy so I wasn't able to have one of the dishes and the replacement dish was even better than the original dish (according to my date). The dessert, blueberries with ice cream and coffee, was an unexpected combination but was truly the highlight of my meal. I was more than satisfied by the end. 5 stars for food. 5 stars for customer service. 5 stars for setting (we sat outside). Amazing restaurant, I would recommend this place to anyone I know in the Chicago area and I would definitely come here again.

Cheryl Berger

A wonderful experience. The food was not only delicious, but beautifully presented. The wine pairings were excellent. When asked to have the names of two of the wines we were given a card with the entire menu including the wine pairings which was very helpful. The wine pairings were in nice amounts.

Shruti Parikh

Amazing food and over all experience was positive and worth trying.

David H.

Decent food, probably a 3.5. No dishes that amazed me or that I really want to order again - lots of misses with execution (oversalted, overcooked/undercooked pasta, etc). Expensive for a pretty standard meal, and did not live up to expectations for having a michelin star. We tried every dish on the a la carte menu. They were all visually appealing, very pretty dishes with lots of flowers/herbs/pretty garnishes and great plating. But the flavors were lackluster overall. My favorite dish of the night was a pretty basic endive salad. Other bites were good (porceletta, agnolotti, crispy sweetbreads), but the whole dishes left me wanting something more. Service was good, drinks were good, water refills were good, and the restaurant is cozy and cool inside. But given how many good restaurants there are in Chicago and even in the West loop, it's hard to justify a return trip to Elske anytime soon

Brennan P.

Paid 60$ to hold a space for 4 reservations for my restaurant team. We were visiting Chicago for the food show and looking forward to seeing what Elske had to offer. Unfortunately they were not able to honor our 930pm reservation and we chose to go elsewhere after waiting for over an hour to be sat as we could not wait to eat any longer. Front of the house management was very poor and not able to work out a solution within the hour and fifteen minutes we were waiting. Feel free to see my previous reviews, this is my first and only 1 star restaurant review. There are a ton of great restaurants in Chicago, this is not one of them.

Nancy Konior

We had the tasting menu with the wine pairing. The experience was absolutely fantastic. The food was exquisite and artistic. The wine was perfectly paired. Can't wait to go back!

Penny L.

Went here with my husband for a drink at the bar after work and ended up trying half the menu. I'm not sure where the bad reviews came from because this is one of my new go-to's in Chicago. The cocktail menu was small but we tried three of the drinks and they were all delicious and used really interesting ingredients. For food we tried the bread and butter, which is simple but so tasty. We also ordered the gouda and crackers which I have been thinking about for the last two days. Also the agnolotti with morels was insane! I would come back just for that. Of course after a few drinks and some food, we had to get a dessert so we ordered the fried bread with chocolate sauce. We were so full but it was worth it. The staff was so friendly and attentive even at the bar. We sat by the fire with a drink at the end of the night. Definitely coming back here as often as we can!

Nam-Kha Tran

Dinning at Elske was a lovely experience from the food to the service. The desserts were amazing. Great place to take a date. Also the ceramics used were great too!

99TedP61

Mid-week business dinner in upper level private dining room. Classy decor with great ambience. Understated, friendly and helpful waitstaff. The food was superb. Wonderful flavours - not too heavy - all beautifully balanced. Enjoyed some beautiful wine as well. Can highly recommend.

Evan M. Brady

One of the best and most memorable meals I’ve ever had. Incredibly delicious... Can’t wait to go again.

Matt Schroll

Amazing this was a great meal, can’t wait to try the set menu!

Caitlyn M.

My husband and I fill the dreariest months of the winter with a few exciting reservations that we can look forward to. We had been seriously disappointed by three we visited and were feeling pretty jaded before the Bar at Elske turned things around for us. We arrived on time for our reservation, but when we saw the cozy fire and blankets we asked if we could enjoy some gluwein outside first and they obliged. That experience was really lovely. We got two tasting menus with wine pairings and got another bottle on top of that and after tip totaled just under $400. So, the price point is ultra-special-occasion, but I recommend going all in. It's worth it. The steak, pate, and bread course really stood out to us, but everything was truly excellent.

Aparna B.

I feel kind of bad reading the other 1-2 star reviews of this place, because I honestly can't say a bad thing about it. Our experience and food was so great, I can honestly say this is now in my Top 5 best meals, best dining experiences I've ever had. My sister made a reservation for she, my brother-in-law and myself for a Friday night after Valentine's Day and they were able to accommodate. She did have to pay a deposit to hold the reservation -- so keep that in mind. This is a Michelin-starred restaurant, which I know for some doesn't mean anything, and it's all relative, but this lived up to the hype for me. The husband-and-wife chef-and-pastry-chef duo really do have a lovely restaurant. It's located in the Loop on Randolph along the same corridor as some rival Michelin restaurants and bars (Blackbird isn't too far away!). Elske means "love" in Danish and you can tell they put time, love and precision in their menu and food. The ambiance is so hygge/cozy without being stuffy like some fine dining places. The outdoor space is great and has a nice wood burning fireplace you can sit in front of. Our service was amazing! We had a lovely server who was able to make some great recommendations for us. Being a vegetarian wasn't even a problem, they were able to modify most any dish to be vegetarian and if you do the tasting menu, they were able to recommend items to replace the main meat entrees. While we didn't do the tasting menu (we wanted to try too many other things) we did have a lovely meal! Here's what we ordered: * Aged gouda with beet-quince jam and crackers * Belgian endives with almonds, pickled raisins, and sherry * Pan fried red snapper with broccoli-creamed spinach, and sorrel (for my sister and brother-in-law) * Yeasted spaccatelli with soured squash, urfa pepper, and pecorino * Soft scrambled eggs with mushroom-braised kale, confit maitakes, and scallion (this was AMAZING) * Celeriac 'risotto' with candied hazelnuts, apple, and parmesan (I'm still trying to process this dish. It was probably one of the best dishes I've ever had) * Roasted pork shoulder with smoked carrots, dandelions, and candied spices (for my sister and brother-in-law - they thought it was absolutely delicious!) * Sunflower seed parfait with sour honey, licorice, and bee pollen (I absolutely LOVED this dessert) * Fried bread with dark chocolate sauce and bay leaf (this tasted like gulab jamun - an Indian dessert) All the dishes had plenty of food for the three of us to share (and for the two of them for the meat dishes). We got a few drinks and a bottle of wine and overall, it was just one of the best dining experiences I've ever had. We left full and happy and I haven't stopped talking about it with friends and family. If you're in Chicago and want some new food to try that isn't stuffy American Contemporary, then give Elske a shot!

Nerissa T.

I was really looking forward to celebrating my birthday dinner here this weekend and even though elske means love in danish, I didn't find much to love after dining here. We both did the tasting menu with 9 courses ($90 per person) + the wine pairing ($45 pp). 1. Cured hamachi with crispy potato and dill pickles 2. Tempura sweet potato with savory yogurt and peach 'olives' 3. Duck liver tart with salted ramp and buckwheat 4. Tea of lightly smoked fruits and vegetables with grilled shiitake and marigold cracker 5. Charred autumn squashes with pumpkin seed praline, lingoto, kombu oil, and purslane 6. Poached hake with clams, roasted cauliflower, and preserved meyer lemon 7. Grilled beef coulette with sunchoke, fried rosemary, and quince 8. Frozen fennel jelly with mint 9. Caramelized hazelnut with sweet cream and bitter citrus The first three dishes come out as a finger food "snack" portion of the meal. I enjoyed the duck liver the most out of the three little bites that were considered "courses". Then everything started going down hill from here - the next course was pretty much a piece of cracker with some flower garnishes and a cup of broth. After that, we were served some greens and squash - no thought was put into this presentation (look at pictures for reference). The fish was EXTREMELY SALTY x100... not even exaggerating and pretty much ruined the meal for us. Literally felt like it was just soaked in salt. I was not a fan of the bitter citrus in the dessert, it was very overpowering. I really hate to say this but none of the dishes we had seemed Michelin worthy. After spending $300+, it was most certainly a let down. Save your money and go somewhere else!

Samuel W.

I Should Have Known This Restaurant Was More Pretense Than Substance When I Heard The Arcade Fire This is not a knock on Arcade Fire by the way, which is one of my favorite bands. Elske on the other hand, managed to enormously disappoint me in a way that I've rarely experienced, especially for a michelin star restaurant with such hype. When I initially came to Elske, I was extremely excited. Romantic ideas of Nordic Cuisine, spread by Rene Redzepi and Magnus Nilsson of Noma and Faviken respectively, and glamorized by fanciful ideas such as hyper-locality have long stood firm in my brain and I came in Elske with perhaps unreasonable expectations. After all, its hard to compare Elske with a restaurant such as Noma which receives actually government support in its pursuit of culinary glory. On the other hand, I can be immensely shocked when a restaurant I eat at serves me food which is literally inedible. For the $90 I paid for the tasting menu as well as the $25 non-alcoholic drink pairing I would at least expect dishes and drinks that I could eat. Alas, this was not the case. The slices of venison loin I received were so overly salted, I couldn't finish them. A drink of turmeric was legitimately so strong, that the odor was offensive, and the taste repungent. We received a drink that was essentially distilled beet juice that I could have just as easily swiped for $5 at my local Jewel Osco. Overall, I found most of Elske's dishes to be perplexing, poorly garnished and simply lacking in flavor. Of the dishes I could eat, I found myself mostly confused at their composition as opposed to enjoying their taste. A tea of smoked fruit and vegetables tasted simply confusing, and a delightful piece of poached sturgeon was dragged down by a disgusting composition of creamed wax beans. A green garbanzo fritter tasted like a piece of falafel that I could have grabbed at Chipotle, and made my dinner seem like a confusing confection of grocery store ingredients instead of the delightful nordic dinner I was looking forward to. The highlights of the meal, few as they were, did make an impression. A delightful tart of duck liver was both light and incredibly flavorful. A delicious tart at the end of the dinner made an impression, and I was extremely fond of the texture of the frozen fennel jelly. Overall though, I left this dinner not only disappointed, but with every romantic conception I had of Nordic cuisine absolutely trashed.

Allison S.

It's too difficult to go into detail about each dish in the meal but I would suggest to just come in with an open mind and an appetite! We had the tasting menu which I would highly recommend. We were able to request an item each (just because it sounded really good on the menu and we wanted to try it). I really wanted the octopus and the BF wanted the skate. Overall the meal consisted of lots of delicious flavors with interesting textures, and everything from fried fritters to savory tarts to hot soups. Service was warm and friendly. We had a fun time on this foodie adventure!

Ashley C.

We came here for my birthday dinner. Love the ambiance and coziness of the place. We sat outside in this enclosed courtyard with a fireplace. Tip: use the blankets to make the chair more comfy. We did the tasting menu which is highly recommended for your first time. The menu is different and unlike anything I've had. I'm not sure I really knew what some of it was, but all the food was delicious. The first 3 dishes came out on one plates as small bites. The duck liver tart was the standout and delectable. The tea of smoked fruits and vegetables was most surprising. It was like a light brothy soup with mushrooms. Sooo yummy. For more of the main courses, both the poached halibut and stuffed quail were excellent. The wine went really well with the courses. It was also the right amount of food - left full but not stuffed. Service was excellent. They coursed everything out well and explained the good and wine with each course. It's expensive but a more "reasonable" tasting menu than some ($135/person for the tasting with wine pairing). I definitely want to return to eat more of their regular menu. Highly recommend.

Mac M.

Top to bottom, we had a delightful evening at Elske. My hubs and I were in town for the weekend of the Chicago marathon with friends and it also happened to be our anniversary, so I gathered recommendations and landed on Elske. They were very accommodating when I made a mistake with our arrival time from LA and changed our reservation to later in the night. It really saved our night! The whole atmosphere is cozy and elegant. It was a rainy and thunderstorm-filled night that we were there, but we were lucky to get 15 minutes out by the fireplace before we hustled inside to avoid the downpour and to await our reservation (we arrived quite early to walk around the neighborhood). We ordered a la carte and started with the bread and butter. It feels quaint to even mention it, but the rye bread was so outstanding. It's a must. We also ordered the scrumptious gouda, tomato-vanilla jam and house-made crackers. Our three larger items were the snapper, rigatoni (totally incredible, lick-the-plate delicious), and the pork collar. We finished with the rosette for dessert. The service was wonderful, just attentive enough, explained everything and gave more details when requested. Everyone felt kind and friendly.

Betty S.

My husband and I were looking for a restaurant to celebrate our anniversary. We were a little late this year since our anniversary is on the 10th, but we visited Elske on the 20th. My husband really wanted to go here being that he is from Denmark. While this is not a Scandinavian restaurant, they do say they are "Danish-inspired". Elske is Danish for love. Elske is located in Chicago's West Loop neighborhood. I find the neighborhood a bit boring as it is mainly restaurants and warehouses that have been now converted to condos. However, he neighborhood is very walkable and is easily accessible by bus or the Green Line train (Ashland stop). I really like the entrance to Elske. It's a little courtyard with tables and chairs with a fireplace. Very cozy (hygge). Inside, the tables are lit up with candles with wooden tables and chairs. It does look very Scandinavian. Large windows let you see outside throughout the restaurant. Since I'm not a meat-eater, we decided to skip the tasting menu and order a la carte. Our waitress recommended that we order 2-3 small plates per person, but from past experience, I know that ordering too much will not leave room for dessert. :) We started off with the rye bread and cultured butter, which was a huge portion and very tasty. We ordered the rigatoni with smoked corn to share and by far, this was our favorite dish. I ordered the skate with broccoli and creamed spinach. Since I'm not a fan of creamed spinach, my husband ate it and liked it and felt it was made right. The broccoli seemed dehydrated, like it was left in the oven way too long and was very salty. The skate was okay. I don't feel there was anything special about it. My husband ordered the veal with sweetbreads. At first, he thought it was a very small portion but then realized, it was just right. For dessert, I ordered the sunflower parfait with sour honey and bee pollen, which I highly recommend and my husband ordered the chocolate pudding, which was very rich and filling. For drinks, I stuck with water and my husband ordered a beer. My husband absolutely loved this place and said it was one of his favorites.

Marcin B.

One of the definitions of HYGGE is ritual of enjoying life`s simple pleasures. Elske is definitely one of those pleasures! We went last weekend after visiting Randolph Street Festival without reservation just after opening, and were seated right away. We got the outside seating which we wanted because their patio setting is very charming, there is a live fireplace, herbs growing in containers between the table, cant wait to go there in the fall to enjoy it more. The service is very nice and friendly, makes you feel welcomed. Now lets talk about food :) Pan fried skate with broccoli-creamed spinach, sorrel, and brown butter was very good, the fish was juicy and tender, sweet and buttery. i just love skate wing in any form. Confit maitakes with creamed barley was a perfect combination of tender barley, fava beans and green garlic gave subtle but richer flavor. Barley was al dente and the creaminess of the whole dish will just melt and combine all the flavor in your mouth. Crispy Maitake mushrooms contributed to final umami flavor. Fermented black bean agnolotti with morels, sugar snap peas, and sherry-WOW!! This dish was like fireworks of flavors. We were told by our server that chefs were working on this dish (especially the dough) to make it perfect and they succeeded entirely. I must admit that was one of the best pasta dishes I have had in my life, if not the best. The fermented bean filling was bursting with essence and snap peas and crispy morels were perfect marriage to them. I really cannot wait to go back and have it again! Grilled waygu flatiron with crispy sweetbreads, lettuces, chantrelles, and mustard--very comforting dish. The sweet breads were awesome accompaniment to this dish. Frozen hay mousse with rhubarb--dessert was visually beautiful but a little bit to sweet. Maybe it is just us but our approach to desserts is less sweet :) Last year Elske got Michelin Star award and I hope they keep it as the food and the whole atmosphere deserve it. What we like about this place is that besides they are Michelin Star restaurant they do not have that tense ambience that is usually observed at awarded restaurants and I hope they will keep it that way.

Sarah S.

One of my best friends took me for a lovely birthday dinner at Elske a couple of weeks ago and I had a lovely time! The tasting menu is one of the best values in the city at $85 a person for 8 courses. Elske is a beautiful space, I remember when it was Sawtooth which was also pretty, but it's looking even better as Elske. The only issue with the design is the gorgeous floor to ceiling windows make the restaurant quite chilly. I was freezing during my entire meal. I'm sure that won't be an issue during the warmer months. Every course of our meal was beautifully presented with my favorites being : Course 1: Tea of lightly smoked fruits & vegetables with radish & caviar toast - Light, fun, pretty presentation with a really nice contrast in tastes and textures Course 6: Aged Duck Breast with mustard seed sausage, leek barigoule & creamed duck fat and a roll - The duck breast was incredible tender and the roll was soft, airy and incredibly pleasant. This course was huge (3 plates in total) and I think could have done without the sausage, perhaps a smaller roll, less barigoule to all fit on one plate and they could then make this into a 9 course tasting. Course 7: Frozen Fennel Jelly with Mint - a palate cleanser in the truest sense. The dishes varied from excellent & creative to kind of boring & decent. Overall, it was an enjoyable tasting menu dinner though. Course 3 was Duck Liver with salted ramp & buckwheat which wins for most cool ass presentation for sure! The restaurant was incredibly generous bringing out a dehydrated strawberry vanilla cake dessert with a candle for my birthday! It was so thoughtful and beyond delicious so I was most appreciative. I liked Elske and doing their tasting menu was a fun experience I'm glad I've had. However I'd love to go back and try some of their A La Carte items the next time I'm in!