The Ghost Guest's Birthday at Ruxbin

October 7, 2014

Let me just start off by saying this post is WAY overdue! Sorry!

For my bday back in August, the BF and I made reservations at Ruxbin, in Noble Square. The restaurant recently began taking reservations which made it easy for us to get a table in the tiny restaurant. When we arrived on a Tuesday night, every table was taken (no surprise). The restaurant's decor is pretty awesome--everything is recycled. In fact, the seat I sat on was made out of seat belts.

The BF and I started out with a few appetizers. The first was the oyster trio (it just so happened to be National Oyster Day). Each oyster was prepared very differently. From left to right we had one with apple mignonette, one with sambal pickled ginger, and then one with wild rice and pork belly and smoked on applewood. The last one was awesome because it arrived with a glass dome to keep in the smokey scent until you were ready to eat it. These oysters put plain raw oysters to shame.

Oyster Trio
Next up was my favorite dish of the evening, grilled octopus with crispy chickpeas, radish, soybean, roasted grapes, and ginger-scallion vinaigrette. The complexity of flavors and textures was outstanding. The char-grilled flavor of the octopus with the acidity of the vinaigrette, and sweetness of the grape just blew my mind. I hope they always keep this dish on the menu!

Grilled Octopus
For kicks we threw in an order of garlic fries...obviously delish and not greasy. I dug the aioli on the side.

Garlic Fries
The BF and I decided to share two entrees because we couldn't decide on just one we each wanted. The first was hanger steak with heirloom potatoes, broccolini, caramelized bacon, and chimichurri. The steak was cooked perfectly and I loved the fresh veggies (side note: Ruxbin has a rooftop garden and uses herbs and veggies from there whenever possible).

Hanger Steak
Our second entree was lamb saddle and belly with Israeli couscous, roasted fennel, mission figs, lemon and feta. This dish again exemplified the complexity of flavors Ruxbin achieves so effortlessly in its dishes. I preferred the lamb to the steak, but the BF was a bigger fan of the hanger steak. I thought the portion sizes were quite generous as well.

Lamb Saddle & Belly
For dessert, we ended up ordering both, again because we couldn't decide on just one. I chose the lighter berry panna cotta with fresh herbs, berry, and shortbread. The dessert was a little salty and a little sweet at the same time.

Berry Panna Cotta
The chocolate cake featured cherries and marcona almonds and was pretty light. Honestly, that's all I can remember because I much preferred the berry dessert (the BF liked the cake better).

Chocolate Cake
My meal at Ruxbin was one of the best meals I've had in awhile in Chicago. There was nothing cookie cutter about it. The dishes were interesting, the flavors complex, and the atmosphere unique. I'm giving Ruxbin 4.5 ghosts, just shy of a perfect 5 because I went there for my bday and they didn't give me a candle :tear:

851 N. Ashland
Chicago, IL 60622
Ruxbin on Urbanspoon


  1. Ruxbin has been on my list for a while but I haven't gone because of the long waits. Good to know they take reservations now! And happy belated birthday! :)


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