If you've been looking for an excuse to pull out the neon, the Capezios and a pair of tapered jeans, Phillip Foss just gave you one. From Oct. 9 to 13, Foss will transform EL Ideas into a temple paying homage to the '80s. The restaurant will create a multi-course meal (about 15 courses over three hours) inspired by the music and pop culture of the decade that brought us Pat Benatar, Madonna, Fast Times at Ridegemont High, Duran Duran, Back to the Future, Beverly Hills Cop and more.
"We listen to a lot of '80s music in the kitchen during the prep day and we just started bouncing thoughts off each other regarding the cuisine of the decade and popular culture," Foss said. "It seemed everyday there were new ideas, so I thought it would be fun to re-concept for a week. The menu started slowly developing, mostly based on fun thoughts of pop culture and music from the decade."
The dinner, priced at $165 a head exclusive of tax and tip (it's BYOB, too), requires all guests to don their favorite '80s costume. For the week, Foss and his team will dress up as the 1985 Chicago Bears and Foss, appropriately, will play the role of quarterback. And like Jim McMahon, Foss will wear a headband, but instead of writing "Rozelle" on it in protest of then NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle, he'll write the names of different influential chefs from the decade, like Daniel Boulud, Larry Forgione and Jean Banchet, to honor them.
As for the menu, Foss is keeping the specifics a surprise for diners, but he said it'll be based on a number of cultural themes including Like a Virgin, Flashdance, Purple Rain, Studio 54, Eddie Murphy, Michael Jackson and the Cold War and the collapse of Communism.
If you're interested, some spots are still available. You can make reservations via email (preferred) or call 312-226-8144.
· EL Ideas Sets Flux Capacitor Back to the 1980s [EL Ideas]
· All Phillip Foss Coverage on Eater Chicago