Top Chef alum Chef Fabio Viviani has done it again. He’s brought another great food spot to downtown Chicago called Rustle + Roux. This time, Chef Viviani has staked ground on the west side of the Loop, offering fast and affordable food but never jeopardizing the quality of taste.
Guest blogger, Renessa with Top Chef alum, Fabio Viviani
Located on the second floor of the Franklin Center, Rustle + Roux has multiple stations to satisfy any food craving. They open for breakfast at 7:00 am and proudly home the first and only illy café in Chicago offering Lezza treats and sweets. For lunch options there is the standard deli for sandwiches and fresh salad bar. One station called Create offers a new dish cuisine each week. On this visit they were whipping together Mac + Cheesyology with many noodle, cheese and add in options. There is more than enough seating to accommodate a large office team lunch or a party of 1. A mix of high tables with bar chairs and long tables make the dining area inviting.
I was very excited to find out that one of my favorite Chicago restaurants, Mercadito Taqueria is now a station at Rustle + Roux. They have the same savory flavors at a lunch price and quick! My friend Rita and I decided to try the offerings of Mercato and shared the Chianti Wine Poached Pear and Strawberry Salad, Slow Braised Bolognese Sauce and Parmesan Pasta, and Prosciutto Pizza. In the salad, the pieces of Chianti wine poached pear were morsels of sweetness that went well with the other ingredients. (I just paused a moment, stared off to lala food land and reminisced the flavors of that memory sigh) The other ingredients were strawberries, candied walnuts, sharp blue cheese crumbles and balsamic dressing. The dressing was too heavy and salty with the blue cheese and delicate poached pear pieces. I’ll stick to the practice of dipping salad into the dressing versus covering an entire salad only to find an unsatisfying mix. The slow braised Bolognese sauce and parmesan was not disappointing. The pasta is made fresh and is evident in the consistency in each bite. Cooked al dente and covered with Bolognese sauce it was memorable.
Our pizza was covered with 400 day aged prosciutto, grilled pears, fresh buffalo mozzarella, and shave parmigiano. This dish was a savory
with hints of sweet pairing that I would recommend.
Rita and I were too full to get dessert but I did sample the gelato being passed around; it would have been an insult not to. Pistachio,
vanilla, and lemon were all delicious, if only I had more room in my stomach for scoops of each.
Having just returned from Italy the visit to Rustle + Roux brought my taste buds back to vacation. I look forward to returning for a lunch
time getaway in the Loop!
Located at Franklin Center, 227 W. Monroe 2nd Floor
Hours: 7:00 am – 3:00 pm Monday to Sunday