Elements is the new name for the Main Dining Room at Starved Rock Lodge. In addition to the new name, a new menu was unveiled at 5:00 pm Friday, January 17, 2014. A new, hand-crafted sign hangs over the entrance to welcome guests to the historic venue built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. The Lodge’s Main Dining Room has stood the test of time for its comfortable, relaxed setting and as a place for lasting memories and moments. As Starved Rock Lodge celebrates its 75th Anniversary, naming the dining room gives it its own identity. “We were committed to staying true to the heritage of this unique place, inspired by nature and architecture,” said Terry Cross, Lodge CEO and president, “The name Elements is the embodiment of the environment here as it relates to the essence of great food and drink.”
Elements features a staff of experienced leaders in the restaurant industry. David Jones has taken the lead as Food & Beverage Director at the lodge, bringing a fresh perspective of dining to the table. Jones, a native to Milwaukee, Wisconsin joined the team in late 2013 after working in the hospitality industry for over 25 years in the Milwaukee area. In his career, David has had the honor of working a James Beard fundraising dinner held at Sanford Restaurant which afforded him the opportunity to cook with many acclaimed chefs such as Hubert Keller, Sanford D’Amato and Norman Van Aken. He spent several years as the Food and Beverage Director at the Milwaukee Art Museum and cooked in New York City at the James Beard House for a Valentine’s Day dinner.
Jones is teamed with Executive Chef “Bear” (Barry Brooks), who brings his wealth of culinary experience and passion for excellence to Elements. Chef Bear has worked at many prestigious resorts and ranches in the United States including the Rockefeller’s private ranch in Wyoming. Chef Bear and his creations have been featured in Phoenix Home & Garden Magazine, Mountain Living Magazine and Arizona Desert Living Magazine. Chef Bear has also appeared on Channel 15 and Channel 3 in Arizona for Sonoran Living and Taste of Arizona benefit dinner.
Together, David and Bear have developed a new menu (featured on the Lodge website at: www.starvedrocklodge.com/dining) for Elements featuring a twist on traditional comfort food. “Our menu selections have been developed with a contemporary spin on classy and traditional comfort food with a little bite of sass, and a nod to Native American cuisine. There are some menu staples that will remain, such as our signature pot roast and gorgonzola nachos,” says Jones.
The Lodge’s culinary team creates new, of-the-moment dishes that keep guest’s dining experience fresh and exciting. In addition, Elements features a variety of wines, Artisan ice cream (made at the Lodge) and great desserts (most of which are made in-house).
Elements serves breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. Sunday Brunch is a favorite at Starved Rock because there’s something for everyone. Holiday Buffets are served on Easter, Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Reservations are necessary. Call (815) 220-7321.