Ruxbin opened its doors in 2010 to all kinds of critical acclaim. GQ and Bon Appétit named it one of the best new restaurants in America, and talks of greatness immediately spread. They didn’t take reservations at the time, and it was nuts.
A few years have passed, along with the influx of press accolades and no reservations policy, but Ruxbin is still one of the best dining experiences around. The quiet, tiny shoebox of a restaurant is Perfect For Date Night, and also cool parents who always complain it’s too loud during a meal. The room is dark, ensuring no Instagram pictures will be taken, but it helps Ruxbin retain a sort of hidden gem feel even if that’s not actually the case.
The excellence of Ruxbin starts with the room and decor. You’re greeted by a staff genuinely happy you’re there, and an exciting space that isn’t generically designed. Apparently hiring a budding artist works better than scraping pennies for an established firm. Ruxbin is decorated out of recycled material - church pews and car seat belts being two integral parts. And the result is a tasteful restaurant version of Will Ferrell/Mugatu’s Derelicte - KILL THE PRIME MINISTER OF MALAYSIA.
The same creativity and passion finds its way into the food. The menu might sound basic, but the execution is so good that seemingly simple ingredients will wow you in ways you didn’t think they could. An oyster trio served three different ways is inventive, foie gras with strawberries and watercress is picture perfect, and a pork chop accompanied with grilled peaches is more satisfying than any Netflix binge - Breaking Bad included.
H*ll, even the bathroom entrance is innovative and fun. You’ll feel like you’re about to do your best Clark Kent impression on the way to becoming Superman. But don’t take that feeling too seriously - you’ll be your same mediocre self after you pee.
You will, however, feel a lot happier after eating at Ruxbin, and it feels even better not having to share that experience on social media with your friends.
This obviously changes, but you’d be wise to order whatever it is if you’re a fan of fish. Our favorite has been a trio of oysters, the third of which is still smoking over some wood chips while it comes out on the plate.
Foie Gras served with candied rhubarb, pistachios, brioche granola, strawberries, onion, and watercress. Balancing the foie gras out with some fruit plus the crunch of the pistachios and granola is a genius touch.
Roasted octopus with chickpeas and a ginger scallion vinaigrette. Simple, tasty, and a good small bite.
The pork chop might be on the smaller side, but taste makes up for any misgivings about the size. The modest piece of meat comes with crispy hominy, grilled peaches, basil, and apple cider jus. The sweetness of the fruit and sauce is what makes this dish so good. Who would have thought grilled pears and pork together are a perfect match.
Olive oil poached halibut over some crispy wild rice that rests in a pool of kimchi-tarragon sauce the fish was poached in. The fish is good, but the sauce is even better. There’s a reason they give you a spoon with this dish - don’t be shy.
Yes, it’s a pot of dark chocolate with pecans and marshmallow fluff. It also comes with some little pastries meant for dipping, plus a small banana milkshake shot just because.