Slideshow: Go Back To The Future For EL Ideas’ Cheeky 80s Week


If Next’s Childhood menu represented the wistful memories of an 80s childhood, the 80s Week menu at EL Ideas this week is more like its older brother, the sarcastic teenager. Phillip Foss and his crew donned Bears jerseys— the ultimate symbol of Chicago in the 80s— and cranked up the early MTV-era tunes. But they didn’t just go for fun, but easy, 80s references with the food (Gag Me With a Spoon of Caviar! Star Trek II: The Wrath of Consomme!) The most ingenious part is that they built their menu around versions— from straight up to reconstructed and remixed— of genuine 80s food. While some of it’s naive or dated from our perspective, the 80s were the decade where our modern foodcentric world was born, and the EL team’s tributes to Asian fusion, Cajun cooking, or the then-novel idea of mixing fruit and seafood makes 80s Week a fascinating excursion into the archeology of our own tastes. (Then there’s the dessert course called “Like a Virgin,” built around a cherry that pops.) Check out our man Huge Galdones’ pictures of the menu, which runs through this weekend and occasionally has spaces become available, below.