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Restaurant News: Exodus At Graham Elliot, Carriage House Opens

By Anthony Todd in Food on Sep 20, 2012 3:20PM

2012_9_20_CarriageHouse.jpg - It's always strange to watch a restaurant spiral downward from the distance as bits and pieces of bad news leak out. Graham Elliot is a chef known for his outsized personality, but his eponymous restaurant isn't usually the source of much drama. Until this week. First, 312 Dining Diva reported that some of the staff walked out before service on Sunday. Then, Eater Chicago reported that Chef Andrew Brochu, who only took over in January, left on Tuesday and Elliot himself was taking charge of the kitchen. Yesterday, another bombshell: Bryce Caron, Graham Elliot's pastry chef who had only been at the restaurant for three months announced that he was leaving. If we had reservations at Graham Elliot, we'd seriously consider postponing and this probably puts a dent in Elliot's plan to get more Michelin stars.

- The Carriage House is now open! We previewed the new spot, from The Bedford Chef Mark Steuer, back when it was under construction (and will be heading in soon for a first-hand taste) and the official opening date was September 18th. Grubstreet has the opening menu, which includes some of the classic dishes that we were promised last month: Charleston she-crab soup with drop biscuit, crab salad and sherry gastrique, Shrimp and grits with South Carolina shrimp, heirloom grits and hunter gravy and Pork and beans with ham hock, yellow eye bean succotash, soft egg, okra pickles and Creole mustard vinaigrette. Check out the whole menu, and make your reservations before it gets crazy.

- Tony Hu continues to expand at a pace so rapid we can't even keep track. Chicago Magazine reports that he's taken over the space next to Lao You Ju and plans to double the size of the restaurant and start serving dim sum. It may open as soon as this month. He's also opening Lao 18 in River North, a restaurant on Michigan Avenue and an outpost of Lao Sze Chuan in Uptown. Phew.