Oak + Char

Mighty Oak

Graham Elliot Is Now This Place

F67d94f9f2a27d6cda4f8d403870f2c8d006a24c7 PhotosOak + Char
Let’s introduce you to some new friends.

Meet Rodney, Alicia, James, Margot (warning: she’s kind of cold), Dolly, Maury (no, not Povich), Mandy, Heidi, Samira and Jeff.

They’ll be joining you for dinner.

See, Oak + Char, the new thing now occupying the old Graham Elliot space, has a very personable approach to naming cocktails and is opening as early as Wednesday in River North. (Here’s the slideshow and here’s the menu.)

Start by forgetting what you remember about GE. It’s now a place balanced between cheeseburger dinners at the bar and full-blown business meetings in the video-wall-equipped meeting room.

It’s all hand-charred wood, tables made from some poor Winnetka tree that got struck by lightning and a ceiling that’s festooned with white drapery to look like smoke. Or clouds. Maybe laundry.

Anyway, discuss it over drinks at the bar. Margot is a vegan chocolaty frozen cocktail; Samira and Jeff are hot toddies; the rest are served at normal cocktail temperatures and have animal protein content.

Then you and your dinner companions will split a Chef’s Board—the all-beef version of a shellfish tower. After which you’ll charge forth into an evening dominated by lamb sweetbreads, skate schnitzel and tandoori octopus.

They’ll schnitzel and tandoori just about anything these days.

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