The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Obama Chooses graham elliot for Birthday Dinner, Oprah In Tow

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Aug 5, 2010 2:40PM


You're the President of the United States. It's your birthday, your wife and daughters are across the ocean and you swing into your hometown for a whirlwind frenzy of rest, relaxation, photo opportunities, fundraising and gift suggestions from smart-aleck bloggers. But you have a small window of opportunity for a quick birthday dinner and you have a reputation for knowing the hip restaurants in town. Where do you go?

If you're Barack Obama, you hit graham elliot, a restaurant that could certainly use the publicity these days. Few details have come out yet about the dinner, like what #44 ate (the normally loquacious Graham Elliot Bowles only tweeted the photograph above and ge General Manager Jim Colombo told us in an email he was "sworn to secrecy"). Even though Michelle and the girls were in Europe, he did have dinner guests last night in senior advisor Valerie Jarret, friends Dr. Eric Whitaker and Marty Nesbitt, Oprah Winfrey and BFF Gayle King. (Do Gayle's business cards simply read "Oprah's Best Friend?") That's the same crew who tagged along with us to Jimmy's Red Hots on Pulaski and Grand a year ago for hot dogs and bootleg DVDs.

Word is the entire restaurant also sang "Happy Birthday" to Obama. From the photo, we can safely assume the President didn't grade the food.