November 10, 2022
Beyond the Ordinary
Would it be too presumptuous to crown, right here and now, Chef Chris Curren’s new St. Charles spot, The Graceful Ordinary, as the single charming post-shutdown restaurant debut of the year?
The food. The vibe. The jaw-dropping views. They’re all revelatory. Suffice to say, it’s worth the drive, no matter how high inflation takes a half tank of gas in the months to come. We were beguiled by the whole experience, in part because the last time we’d strolled downtown St. Charles there was a big old Brutalist eyesore of a concrete bank where the Graceful Ordinary now sits.
My, my, my … how things have blossomed. Makes one think of the parable of the intrepid flower that squirms its way up through a crack in the cement. The Graceful Ordinary doesn’t just rest on the banks of the Fox River, it feels like it’s perched there, almost hovering over it, the way Frank Lloyd Wright cantilevered Fallingwater over the rushing waters of the Bear Run Stream in Mill Run, Pennsylvania.