This past Sunday night, my twin sister, Hanna and I celebrated our 29th birthday and it was a blast! Every year, we overdo it with a a huge dinner with 20+ people but decided to keep things small and simple. We only invited one of our best friends who resides in Chicago, Dana (and her husband, Elliot), whom we have known since 6th school.
We decided to have dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, Ruxbin, a 2011 Top 10 Best New Restaurants nominated by Bon Appétit Magazine. This gem in the Ukrainian Village neighborhood is culinary perfection as Chef Edward Lee’s menu constantly changes due to the season and his creative dishes. As you can see in the images below, it was an amazing night.
The menu is short and uncomplicated, allowing the kitchen to focus on quality. The night started with the Chef sending out his oyster trio – prepared in three distinct ways, my favorite was the pork belly with wild rice quicked-smoked with applewood. Next was one of my favorite styled dish, their octopus, grilled with crispy chickpeas, radish, black soybean, roasted grapes in a ginger-scallion vinaigrette. We then moved on to their beets and labne, their roasted & pickled beets with orange, pecans, and white anchovy were the perfect toppings to compliment the overall dish. Then, to their perfectly roasted butternut squash dish. Next were the garlic fries and as soon as I bit into the house cut french fries with chipotle aioli, I knew I just ate the best fries of my life.
As the staff worked as a team moving from table to table in this 32 people seating space, we decided to uncork our wine bottle at this BYOB establishment and many glasses and laughs later, our entrées came out. I had the sea bass with pickled plum & horseradish pommes puree, Hanna had the farmers market raviolo with hand cut pasta, Dana had the dayboat scallop, and Elliot had the hanger steak.
All the dishes were spot-hitting, but my sea bass was unforgettable. The earthy roasted sweet potato and crispy notes of the ginger complemented the clean, fattiness of this perfectly cooked fish. And that broth – I wanted to swim in that perfect sea of black tea & cured lemon.
By the end of the night our stomachs were content and we were slightly buzzed, but could not bring ourselves to leave. Then, Chef Eddy and the wonderful staff brought our two desserts with sparkling candles topped on their chocolate quartet and pear tart tatin topped with blue cheese ice-cream, a wonderful ending to a great dinner.
My advice would be to order many different plates to share so you get a taste of everything that Chef Kim has to offer and on a sidenote, be sure to check out the restaurant’s amazing restroom, the entrance door is extraordinary. Huge thanks to Chef Eddy and Jenny for making our birthday at Ruxbin so special.
Cheers to another year of happiness, good health, and success. Happy birthday to us!!
Also, I have to thank my hairstylist Amanda, from Blohaute, an on demand beauty service that sends the “Blowdry Salon” right to your door, is so amazing at what she does – Hanna and I absolutely loved our hair.