Get those Teddy Ruxpin comparisons out of your system.
West Town’s new BYOB, Ruxbin, opened by Chicago-born chef Edward Kim (nickname: Teddy), swaps creepy sound bites for those of the edible variety.
After training at Le Cordon Bleu and working alongside Thomas Keller at Per Se, Kim took his skills back home, enlisting his sister, Vicki, and friend Jenny Kim.
His progressive American dishes hint at French, Latin, and Korean influences: K-town empanadas burst with masa, kimchi, and Oaxaca cheese; a crispy eggplant salad gets a creamy tang from honey-cardamom yogurt; a springy pan-seared trout plays host to asparagus, dates, and basil; hanger steak takes a bath in a fennel seed gastrique.
Settle into chairs made of repurposed seat belts or booths sewn with leather jackets, gaze at the vintage cookbook-decoupaged ceiling, and get ready to be stuffed.
Ruxbin, 851 North Ashland Avenue, between Pearson and Chestnut Streets (312-624-8509 or ruxbinchicago.com).
Photo: Emily Johnston Anderson