Posts Tagged Eli’s the Place for Steak

Eli’s Welcomes a new neighbor to the former site of Eli’s the Place for Steak—the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago

From August of 1966 until July 30 of 2005, Eli’s the Place for Steak called the Carriage House at 215 E. Chicago Avenue home. Although it was a sad day when we closed, we were delighted when the new use of the property was announced–the construction of the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. After more than 130 years in Lincoln Park, Children’s is now home in Streeterville on the site of Eli’s the Place for Steak. What a great for the Children’s Family, Northwestern Medicine, the Magnificent Mile Neighborhood and the City of Chicago. To see the bridge to Prentice so that critically ill children can get attention immediately is such a benefit.

The Carriage House was the home for Eli’s the Place for Steak from 1966 until 2005.

Eli’s Welcomes Children’s to our neighborhood–today the Hospital is moving its patients and will call the former site of Eli’s the Place for Steak as its home.



Eli’s remains an active part of the Streeterville/Magnificient Mile Community with the Eli M. Schulman Playground, named for our Founder, at Seneca Park. Opened in 1990 after a major community fund raising campaign, the Park is now bordered by American Girl at Water Tower Place, Prentice Women’s Hospital and The Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago making it the number park and playground for youth in Chicago and the country.




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Eli’s the Place for Steak, the birthplace of Eli’s Cheesecake, named as one of the Top 40 Chicago Restaurants Ever by Chicago Magazine!


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Eli’s the Place gets ready to say goodbye–for now

If you are an Eli’s Blog follower, you will have noticed that I have written very little in the past several weeks. You might wonder if I was on vacation or experiencing computer problems. It was none of the former. but rather, I was communicating the old fashion way—face to face.

In February of 2005, Northwestern Memorial Hospital advised us that it was nececessary to demolish the Carriage House—our home since 1966—for the campus expansion. We negotiated a last date of Saturday, July 30th which seemed so long ago back then. Well time has flown by and the last week has been one of the busiest in our history. The love for Eli’s and our people is just fantastic.

For over a week, I have been in the restaurant nightly being hugged and thanked for our 39 years of service. I cannot say enough about our people at Eli’s and the amazing service and quality experience that they have given our customers—right up until the end.

When asked many times if this was bittersweet, I always reply that it was far more bitter. It will be a sadder day in Chicago without Eli’s the Place for Steak, and I can only take solace that the Eli’s Cheesecake Cafe at Eli’s Cheesecake World features many of our Eli’s specialties, desserts and also offers catering. We look forward to returning one day soon to the Magnificent Mile nighborhood that we have been a part of since 1962

Thank you for everything and we will continue to keep you updated with photos of our celebration and our plans for the future.


Marc Schulman

The best staff in the world!

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The Hungy Hound, Steve Dolinsky, Features Eli’s the Place for Steak and Eli’s Cheesecake on ABC7 Chicago News

These are very important days at Eli’s as we celebrate the 25th birthday of Eli’s Cheesecake and the Taste of Chicago on Saturday, June 25th, and one month later, on Saturday, July 30th “mourn” the closing of Eli’s the Place for Steak at its location for 39 years at 215 E. Chicago Avenue in the Carriage House. Northwestern Memorial Hospital. our landlord for the past 35 years, needs the site for the expansion of the Prentice Woman’s Hospital, so there was no choice but to close. We are working on several opportunities in our area, on or near the Magnificent Mile, and will keep you updated on our future plans.

Today Steve Dolinsky, the Hungry Hound, on ABC7 Chicago, is celebrating Eli’s history on a pre-Father’s Day segment. Steve is one of Chicago’s brightest talents in the food industry and we were delighted to have him visit the kitchen and dining room at Eli’s the Place for Steak.

Hungry Hound: Special food for
Father’s Day

June 17, 2005 — There are dozens of restaurants offering special meals for Father’s Day on Sunday. ABC7′s Hungry Hound has two suggestions — both offer something a little more than just food on a plate. Father’s Day is of course a time to honor dad. There are two food-worthy options this Sunday. One, on the South Side, honors dads with a gigantic cookout that raises money for charity.
The other, a longtime Chicagoicon about to close its doors, honors both the legacy and culinary invention of one of the city’s famous dads.

This Sunday, the 16th Annual Real Men Cook event fills the grounds of the SouthShoreCulturalCenter, getting dads and kids together over lots of good food.

“Helps to shine a good light on, in this instance, primarily the African American community and man who is a part of that community,” said Kofi Moyo, Real Men Cook. “Real men cook, but real men serve the food they cook as well, to the public that comes in and makes a charitable donation.”

The proceeds from the event will benefit the Community Mental Health Council.

Just off the Mag Mile, another father and son act…but this one is bittersweet. After 39 years in business, Eli’s The Place For Steak will shut its doors at the end of July. After World War Two, Eli Shulman owned a handful of restaurants and delis…and with his son Marc always at his side, he opened his legendary steakhouse in 1966.

“I think what Eli really brought was the great mix of being an exceptional host and very focused on the customer, and a lot of innovation in food for that era,” said Marc Schulman, Eli’s, The Place for Steak.

That meant legendary Chicago dishes like shrimp dejonghe: baked prawns with butter and breadcrumbs…or gently seared liver with sauteed onions and peppers. Thick, juicy prime-aged filets and strips were always prevalent…as were the celebrities. Not only Sammy and Frank, and a President or two…but also the people who covered them, like Kup, and some other famous faces. In 1980, at the first Taste of Chicago, Eli had another idea: come up with a new dessert. He settled on cheesecake. There was the original, then the white chocolate with raspberries, and of course, the rich, chocolaty Turtle. Years later, Eli started making enormous cheesecakes for special occasions, and eventually, opened a giant manufacturing plant on the city’s far west side. Schulman says this year’s Taste will be just like all of the others…except for the fact that the cheesecake business has now eclipsed the legendary restaurant.

“Taste of Chicago we’ll be celebrating 25 years and here, to the end of July, we’ll be celebrating 39 years, and we’ll be doing it with the service and quality that people would expect from Eli’s.”

There are still about six weeks left to enjoy Eli’s although the cheesecakes aren’t going anywhere. They will certainly have a big presence at this year’s Taste of Chicago.

Real Men Cook
7059 S. Shore Dr.

June 19, 3 – 6 p.m.
773-734-4033 x422

Eli’s The Place For Steak
215 E. Chicago Ave.

Eli’s Cheesecake Co.
6701 W. Forest Preserve Dr.

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Eli’s Cheesecake World and Eli’s the Place for Steak welcome the University of Denver School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management

One of Eli’s great traditions during the National Restaurant Association Show
is hosting a group of students and faculty members from the University of Denver
School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management (HRTM). I am proud to be a
graduateof the University of Denver School of Business and always look forward
to the opportunity to meet with the current student and with Peter Rainsford,
the Director of the Program.

In 2001, I had the pleasure to return to DU as a participant in Master’s
Week. This is a time annually when a diverse group of graduates come back to DU
to reflect on their experience at DU and how it has impacted their career.

When I was at DU, Chancellor Ritchie and Peter Rainsford shared with me their
vision for a new hospitality school. At a time when DU was experiencing
unprecedented growth in facilities and student achivements, the HRTM School was
in an obsolete facility.

This year, when I met the travelling group from DU, they shared the photos of
the construction of the facility and its upcoming opening. The growth of the
facilities is exceeded by the growth in the enrollment and enthusiasm for the
program. Congratulations to Peter Rainsford and his team for bringing DU back to
the excellence in hospitality that it was long known for.

The HRTM Program at DU is part of the nationally known Daniels School of Business

The exterior of the new facility matches that of the landmarks of the University of Denver Campus.


Established in 1946, the School of Hotel, Restaurant and
Tourism Management (HRTM), part of the Daniels College of Business at the
University of Denver, prepares students for senior management positions in the
fast-changing and competitive hospitality industry. As an HRTM graduate, you
will possess knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in all aspects of
the hospitality and tourism business.

As one of the most prominent hotel programs in the nation,
the HRTM program enjoys a superb reputation for innovative educational programs.
The student-oriented faculty members are internationally recognized for their
contributions to teaching, research and publications in various hospitality

The Denver hospitality industry and the Colorado resort
industry are our laboratories. Vail, Aspen and other resorts provide our
students with the opportunity to gain valuable industry experience in our
management intern program.

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Scott Simon, of NPR and author of Pretty Birds, at Eli’s the Place for Steak

The women are strong in Garrison Keillor movie

May 17, 2005



SEEN ON SCENE: Chicago native and National Public Radio host Scott Simon joined his wife, Caroline, at Eli’s the Place for Steak to celebrate the success of his first novel, Pretty Birds, scoring high on

One of Eli’s and the Cubs biggest fans is Scott Simon, host of NPR Weekend Saturday. A graduate of Senn High School, Scott is a Peabody Award winner and one of the most popular hosts on the radio today. Scott, wife Caroline, and daughter, celebrated being at Eli’s and the publication of his first novel on Sunday night at Eli’s the Place for Steak.

Look for “Pretty Birds” his first novel published by Random House in your local book store

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Dawn Wells at Eli’s the Place for Steak

One of the most energetic and active actresses that we know is Dawn Wells. She visited Eli’s the Place for the first time when she was promoting the Gilligan’s Island Cookbook at the Taste of Chicago and then returned when she was the guest star of the Vagina Monologues at the Apollo Theatre. This weekend, we were delighted when Dawn visited Eli’s during her stay in Chicago to help promote the Idaho Potato Commission at the FMI/Produce Show at McCormick Place.

A great fan of Idaho while growing up, Dawn has become a major supporter of Idaho creating Spudfest in Driggs, Idaho, a drive-in family film and music festival. This year Supudfest is going to be held on August 17th to the 20th. More information is available at

Dawn’s lastest initiative is the creation of the Film and Television Institute in Driggs which will help bring films to Idaho. The Institute will be an accredited partner with Idaho State University and Stephens College in Columbia. It will offer instruction in screenwriting, cinematography, sound engineering, set design, editing, costuming, makeup and hair.


May 3, 2005

SEEN ON SCENE: ‘Gilligan’s Island’ mainstay Dawn Wells, looking for a good steak to go with her potatoes (she’s spokeswoman for the Idaho Potato Commission), headed to Eli’s the Place for Steak.

Bill Zwecker reports on entertainment and celebrities at 6:20 and 11:25 a.m. on WBBM-Channel 2.


Dawn Wells with Maureen Schulman of Eli’s at the Idaho Potato Commission Booth at the FMI Show in Chicago


Don’t miss Spudfest 2005 in Driggs, Idaho from August 17th to the 20th.

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Eli’s the Place for Steak get three stars from Pat Bruno in the Chicago Sun Times

When you have been around for almost 40 years, you don’t get reviewed very
often. Today Pat Bruno wrote the following review for Eli’s the Place for Steak
in the Chicago Sun Times. We certainly agree with him that “we need restaurants
like this that offer comfort without getting cute.”



April 22, 2005



I can’t imagine how much more there is to say or write about Eli’s the Place
for Steak. Well, now that this venerable Chicago steakhouse is about to go away,
that the building that housed the restaurant for all these years is being
wrecked by that big iron ball, I felt I should write about it one more time, and
to bid it a fond farewell before the closing scheduled for sometime this

Few restaurants survive as long as Eli’s has. What makes a restaurant stick?
Consistency is one thing. The ability to please customers day in and day out,
year in and year out. It’s a lot harder to make it work than one might

Over the years, Eli’s has been a consistently good place to dine. It never
went over the top or got too crazy.

There is the ongoing sushi craze, which for makes a steakhouse seem like a
fish out of water. Then there are all of those restaurants that are wannabe
nightclubs (and vice versa), magnets for the young and eclectic, where it’s as
much about fashion as it is about food.

That’s fine. I would be the first to admit that with so many new restaurants
popping up, Eli’s fell off my culinary radar screen. I knew it was still viable,
but I never got around to going there a whole lot.

So it was off to Eli’s. I needed a fix, and I felt a need to give it my kind
of sendoff. And, not so surprisingly, I had a great time. No surprise, because I
know that owner Marc Schulman not only knows how to fashion great cheesecakes,
but takes pride in the legacy of the place and the name on the sign over the

The Eli’s story can be traced back to 1940 when Eli Schulman opened Eli’s
Ogden Huddle on Chicago’s West Side. He soon followed with Eli’s Stage
Delicatessen on Oak Street and Eli’s the Place for Steak in 1966. It was there
that Eli created his now famous cheesecake, which made its debut on July 4,
1980, at the first Taste of Chicago.

In the scheme of things, and the way restaurant pricing has been escalating,
Eli’s is a good deal. For example, consider this from the prix-fixe part of the
menu: Soup (chicken and matzo ball) or salad (mixed greens with balsamic
dressing). Choice of entree: strip loin stir fry or oven roasted salmon or
chicken Vesuvio. Dessert is cheesecake. The price is $25. Another prix-fixe deal
offers similar choices, with the entrees being filet mignon or boneless ribeye.
The price is $39.

OK, so these deals are for the early birds (5-6:30 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 5-6
p.m. Friday-Saturday), but if you are off to a play or a movie, it’s a good

Steaks and meat are the foundation of the menu — filet, T-bone, bone-in rib
chop, Wagyu, New York strip, double-cut pork chop, rack of lamb. But there is
more. When was the last time you saw chateaubriand for two on a menu? Or calves’
liver with sauteed onions? And, that Chicago classic, shrimp de Jonghe?

Eli’s is still working with that classy old supper house tradition that
requires some type of relish tray up front. Shortly after the bread basket
appeared, a freebie plate filled with velvety chicken liver pate, cucumbers and
carrots hit the table. Openers included a fine-tasting maple-cured gravlax of
salmon with potato pancake, homemade apple sauce and orange-honey creme fraiche.
Fine eating from one end of the plate to the other, the gravlax marvelously
flavorful, and the citrus-flavored creme fraiche an excellent complement to the

Fine chicken soup here. Deep chicken flavor in the broth that was riddled
with chunks of carrots. The matzo ball (bigger than a golf ball) hulking in the
soup was as light as a feather.

A salad of note is the Bibb lettuce affair. Tender leaves of lettuce were
arranged with chips of smoked bacon and one of the classiest dressings of all
time — green goddess. Nice going. My alternate choice would be the Iceberg
wedge with Russian dressing. A couple of very good entrees crossed our table one
night. The bone-in rib chop “Cowboy Max.” Excellent steak (Eli’s uses Allen
Brothers for its steaks, one of the best purveyors of beef around). Rich, deep
flavor, buttery and beautiful.

Right up there with the steak for delicious enjoyment was the double-cut
organic chop. The menu states that the chop gets a brown sugar brining, a
technique that jump-starts the flavor of the pork but doesn’t overwhelm it with
sweetness. A honey-mustard and tamarind glaze gave the chop another kick of

Unless Schulman finds a new location for Eli’s, I figured that this would be
my last chance to have the whitefish the way it is done here. Nothing special,
mind you, just broiled and served with a properly tangy lemon sauce and crispy
capers. I am not a big whitefish fan, but I am good to go with this version.

A la carte on the veggies and potatoes. Skip the creamed spinach with leeks;
it is overdone flavor-wise. Don’t skip the pan-roasted bok choy — it’s
wonderful. On the spud end of things, the “famous” hand-cut cottage fries are a
must. These are potatoes that actually taste like potatoes. The equally famous
potato pancake is another delicious option.

Cheesecake is just about it for dessert. But the choices and flavor
combinations are amazing. Bailey’s, tiramisu, pineapple upside down, turtle,
apple Bavarian and lots more. Turtle is the way to go — gooey, rich, lush,

I am giving Eli’s 2-1/2 stars for its food, and a half star for being Eli’s
and giving us some good food and good times for all these years.

Pat Bruno is a local free-lance writer, critic and author.







215 E. Chicago; (312) 642-1393




Appetizers, $8-$12; entrees, $18-$39; desserts, $6.59-$8.



Lunch, 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. Dinner, 5-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday;
5-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday.



Garage adjacent with validation for reduced price. Wheelchair accessible.



Salmon gravlax, chicken and matzo ball soup, bone-in rib chop, double-cut
pork chop, cheesecake (any flavor will do it).



Sturdy yet creative menu with a lot of new ideas fashioned by chef
Michael Tsonton. Starched tablecloths and napkins, casually comfortable,
pleasantly quiet. If a new location is found for Eli’s, I might suggest that it
be cloned. We need restaurants like this that offer comfort without getting

Pat Pourri

April 22, 2005




Salad days: Green goddess
dressing is a mixture of mayonnaise, anchovies, tarragon vinegar, parsley,
scallions and garlic. It was created in San Francisco’s Palace Hotel in the
1920s. The hotel chef named the dressing after English actor George Arliss
(above), who was staying at the hotel while appearing in the play “The Green
Goddess.” Arliss, so the story goes, had a robust appetite that was made more
robust by San Francisco’s great weather.

Saucy selection: One of
the more interesting aspects of Eli’s menu is the sauce and salt options that
you can pair with the steak of your choice. The sauce choices range from five
peppercorn to classic Hollandaise. The salt selection is all part of the gourmet
salt trend. Pick from an exotic range that goes from fleur de sel to Maldon
English Crystal Sea Salt. It’s all about flavor, but frankly, a great steak can
make it on its own

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Back Street Boys at Eli’s the Place for Steak profiled in Life & Style Weekly

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Back Street Boys celebrate Easter with dinner at Eli’s the Place for Steak

When the Backstreet Boys were in Chicago on the Millennium Tour in 2001, we were fortunate to have them dine at Eli’s the Place for Steak. It was therefore great to have them return for dinner on Easter Sunday when they were in town for the sold out show, Monday, March 28th, at the House of Blues.Thanks to Chef Michael, Jenny, Ahmad and our other staff members for coming in to serve these special guests. All of us at Eli’s wish the Backstreet Boys the best on their tour and the launch of their new “Incomplete” album.

Zwecker’s column

March 29, 2005


BOYS’ NOISE: Though Eli’s the Place for Steak is normally closed for Easter, Maureen and Marc Schulman made an exception — much to the delight of their youngest daughter, Elana. That’s why the Backstreet Boys dined at the Chicago Avenue steakery Sunday — after watching the Michigan State-Kentucky game at the eatery’s bar.

A funny note: As they left, one of the band’s huge bodyguards was heard whining, after catching a glimpse of ‘Desperate Housewives’ on the bar’s TV. ‘Oh, no! It’s a new episode and I missed it!’

*Later that night, A.J., Nick and Howie segued on to the Leg Room — hanging out ’til the wee hours and loving the hip-hop stylings of the Near North Side nightspot’s DJ Johnny Price.

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