Chicago-Short notice-Ruxbin

My wife and I are flying into Chicago Thurs late afternoon and decide to just stay there for a night rather than get down to Bloomington late.
Staying in Near North. Any suggestions for somewhere that we can get into. Expense not an issue other than I don’t want formal. Just want some good food. Would bring some wine if there’s a byo opportunity. TIA

Without going through each restaurant to check for availability there should be tons of places you can go on a Thursday night. The list is long. BYO is relatively limited in Chicago.

Looking at Open table - Boka, Blackbird, Naha, MFK, Salero, Brindille, Maple and Ash the list is very, very long.

Personally I would take a cab to MFK - love that place.


Not sure where in near north you’re staying but an easy, casual BYO is the Cotton Duck.

Note: some of the other suggestions offer better food in a more upscale atmosphere, I was thinking of pure BYO (no corkage) in the neighborhood.

I agree with George’s recs though I haven’t been to MFK, yet. I’ve taken wine into Boka, Blackbird, Naha without issue. Sepia is great but call them first corkage, the last time we were there, was an allowable but somewhat moving target. Les Nomades (old school and formal French) offers no corkage on Thursdays. Some people like it some hate it b/c of the jacket requirement.

Is Brindille any good? Anyone?


Byo’ed at Blackbird many times; love that restaurant.

Enjoyed BOKA too.

If you can do early, 42 grams has a 5:45 opening at the counter. 2 Michelin stars, BYO, casual, and located on the north side.

42g is awesome. Go there. I have had 2 meals at Brindille one very good the other not so good.


Thanks for the input, still undecided. We’re staying on Huron near Orleans. When I said byo, I didn’t mean no fee, and really bringing isn’t essential as then I have to schlep the wine.

I went to Boka last trip (really liked it) and have been to Blackbird and Naha, so will try something newer.
42 Grams looks great, I love very creative dishes, but we don’t land till 4:20 and have to rent a car so getting anywhere before 6 isn’t happening.

if you land at that time getting anywhere before 6:30 - 7 will be challenging in rush hour traffic. If you want to eat late, Roister has some later times available. Won’t be that late as you will be on CA time Really great.


Ruxbin would be a good option… Looks like hey have an 8pm

Ruxbin is excellent, but be aware it’s all BYO (no option to purchase off the list)

Thanks all. Just landed and Ruxbin had an 8pm.

Ruxbin is great; please report back with your impressions.

We’ll be there in a couple of weeks, John. Interested in your thoughts

If you have a little time to kill… Lush Wine and Spirits is a fairly short walk. They’re not brilliant but you can buy a bottle (and there’s some fairly interesting options) and drink it there. I can’t remember but they either have no or low corkage to drink the bottle at Lish. Their by the glass seems terrible value by comparison.

i live by lush in roscoe. no corkage on bottles purchased there. i’m there quite often.

Quick revisit. Thanks for the recco on Lush. We’ll try it another trip. Those are the kind of tips that make the board great.

We ended up going to Ruxbin. Both my wife and I liked it a lot. It had a cool, comfortable vibe.
Service was good and enthusiastic. It wasn’t what I’d consider great cuisine but it was excellent and excellent value. The cuisine seemed like haute Midwest cuisine to me which was a nice variation from L.A. cuisine. My wife eats a lot of veggies and it was heavy on those. It’s creative in the presentation and ingredients but not approaching any extreme of mol. gastro. For anyone who has not been, the price is $65 for five courses. So the table picks five dishes and they prepare enough of each to be shared family style. The exception is dessert which I guess you get both of if you opt for it as a course.

What weasked to do was pick four savory courses then see if we wanted to just do the dessert or instead add in a fifth savory. We then asked, without issue, to just share one of the desserts at $12. In the midst of it all they brought us a comp dish of the ramps. At 8pm they had run out of the Pork Belly & Oyster dish which we would have had to pump up the protein. There was also a Shrimp & Scallop dish, and a Whitefish dish that looked good by description.

We had:
Shaved veggies & pumpernickel with anchovy. A creative salad. Good.
Chickpea pierogi with apple, radish, zurek. Interesting take in a nice broth. Very good.
Foie Torchon with brioche fennel salad, berries, pecans. Very good but a tad shy on Foie for a glutton.
Jackfruit Carnitas with grits, smoked tomato, escabeche. Incredible in it’s meatiness. Excellent
Rohan Duck with risotto, garlic, perilla, harissa, pom. jus. Thin sliced, balanced dish. Excellent/best
Ramps with pumpkin seed romesco, almonds. Nice to get ramps, a bit simple. Good
Dessert was pb&j choco cake, pb cream grape sorbet, berry & cherry. Nice flavors & texture. Good/VG

We toted a Kistler-Kistler pinot with us and I think Light red is a good choice there, though without a lot of meat, even white would work. No corkage fee charged. The policy said “1 bottle of wine or 6-pack of beer per couple”. I assumed that meant a foursome could bring two bottles but I did not ask.

We passed on Lush as we went to Coal Fire Pizza to meet some relatives for a beer. Pizza was Neapolitan as we prefer, with a nice crown, but the toppings weren’t interesting or very well executed. Also on the way out I made my wife detour to Johnnie’s Beef in Melrose Park. Thank god the plane was delayed as I would have missed it otherwise with the terrible TSA clog at O’Hare. Anyway the sandwich hit the spot but I prefer Mr. Beef and Al’s is still my favorite.