Rural Society is an Argentinian restaurant tucked inside Streeterville’s Loews Hotel, created by Chef Jose Garces (an Iron Chef and James Beard Award winner) and helmed by Chopped champion Chef Corey Morris. This year my birthday fell on a Sunday, so I decided to celebrate by brunching with my besties. I didn’t take the task of selecting a restaurant lightly, and after careful consideration I picked Rural Society. I had an exceptional dinner there over the summer, and their brunch menu is anything but ordinary, and the rustic yet elegant space is welcoming. It was the perfect setting for a birthday celebration.
When we arrived at the table, one of Rural Society’s signature brunch cocktails, the Pomelo, made with brut, grapefruit, and elderflower was ready. It was bubbly and refreshing, and just what some of us needed after a wild Halloween the night before.
Then we were treated to a multi-course brunch that started with an arugula salad with lemon, reggianito, and thinly sliced fig emulsion. Starting the meal with a healthy serving of greens made me feel less guilty about the midnight burger I had after leaving a Halloween party. While the salad was simple, it had a nice balance of flavors. It’s the type of salad I can’t stop eating and I kept going back for another scoop.
Charles’s favorite course was the Morrones, a focaccia topped with roasted red peppers, whipped eggplant, and anchovies. The bread at Rural Society is so good, and loved the bold taste of this simple appetizer.
Fugazza is Argentine Pizza. It’s a little different from other pizzas, but it’s oh so delicious. We had the tradicional pizza with has a nice focaccia-like crust topped with melted onions, lots of mozzarella, and oregano. The crispy texture of the crust, the soft onions, and the browned cheese are a winning combination.
The empanadas at Rural Society are outstanding, and I was excited when their Swiss Card, Provolone, and Roasted Onion Empanadas arrived at the table. Empanadas deserve more street cred. They are handheld, easy to eat, and perfect for snacking. Why aren’t there places serving late night empanadas?! The beef empanadas on Rural Society’s dinner menu are also excellent.
Next up was wood grilled Black Angus Skirt Steak that arrived at the table all rolled up. The servers unroll the steak across long cutting boards and then slice up the steak and serve it. The steak was loaded with flavor and cooked to a perfect medium rare, just the way I like it. The large portion of steak is perfect for sharing.
The last brunch dish to arrive was scrambled eggs with roasted red pepper, topped with a bit of cheese. Served along side the skirt steak, this was a fun take on steak and eggs. These eggs were also light enough for us to try after lots of serious eating.
And for dessert, we had the most amazing Rogel, a traditional Argentine cake made with layers of puff pastry and dulce de leche topped with a dense meringue. It is a delicate dessert that is sweet without being heavy. It was a fitting meal to an incredible meal, and my friends kept texting throughout the day raving about the food! The dinner menu is equally amazing, and I keep saying that I need to take Charles for dinner at Rural Society followed by a movie at the theater across the street.
If you haven’t been to Rural Society yet, you need to go. It’s still under the radar enough that reservations are easy to score, but I expect that to change as word is getting out about this Streeterville gem. Rural Society is in the Loews Chicago Hotel, and the address is 455 North Park Drive, in Streeterville. They do accept reservations, and they are open daily serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner during the week, and they serve brunch and dinner on weekends. The two course weekend brunch is just $25! (P.S. Rural Society has a location in Washington D.C. too).