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Lunch South American Streeterville

Chances are you've heard about Chef Jose Garces. The decorated Iron Chef has long held the Executive Chef position for Mercat a la Planxa, and now brings his unique South American flair to Rural Society.

"Inspired by Chef Garces' travels to South America, Rural Society is at once rustic and luxurious, bringing the energy and sophistication of Buenos Aires to Chicago."

The typical Argentine steakhouse rules apply at Rural Society, including high quality (and generous) cuts of meat with smokey, unpretentious finishes. We sat down to see how Rural Society translates a common dinner experience into lunch.

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The Buenos Aires Express is Rural Society's version of a pick two lunch: Diners get coffee, tea or non-alcoholic beverage and a two course meal with choice of soup or salad followed by fugazza (a take on pizza) or sandwich.

We started with the ensalada de arugula.

Ensalada de arugula
Baby arugula, lemon, reggianato, and fig emulsion
Rural Society Chicago food
A light mix of fruits and greens makes for a healthy start

An alternate option for the first course could have been soup, and the only offering on the menu is the sopa de bori bori.

Sope de bori bori
House soup featuring pork belly, charred corn, and parmesan dumplings

Soup sufficiently sampled, we moved on to the ensalata mixta and threw sliced flat iron steak on the side for good measure.

Ensalata mixta
Baby mixed greens, poached cherries, toasted walnuts, goat cheese, and shallot-oregano vinaigrette
Rural-Society 0015 IMG 7753
Put a steak on it

Argentine pizza is a relatively unique innovation in the Chicago market, and Rural Society is no slouch. The alcochofas version includes a generous portion heaped with artichokes and olives.

Argentine Pizza
Pizza with grilled artichokes, fontina, and black olive

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Rural Society Chicago Pizza
These filling pizzas are easy to split

What pizza tasting would be complete with out a traditional margerita? Rural Society adds a few flourishes to put their distinct mark on a classic.

Rural Society Chicago Pizza
Pizza with tomato sauce, fior di latte cheese, and basil
Rural Society Chicago Pizza
One of the only vegetarian options on the menu at Rural Society (you didn't expect anything less in an Argentine steak house did you?)

At this point we paused to take a look at focaccia bread with caramelized onions and herbs.

Bread at Rural Society
Watching carbs? Not today

Yes, we're sharing a picture of butter. This isn't ordinary butter though... Merlot butter means you're sort of having a drink with lunch.

Wine butter
Wine butter is real

An Argentine restaurant is not complete without a helping of red meat. If a steak doesn't suit your lunch time fancy, Rural Society offers a premium burger touted as their signature sandwich.

Rural Society Burger
A heaping burger cooked to perfection

The sandwiches don't stop at the burger. The medialuna ham on croissant is a lighter, but still very hearty option.

Ham Sandwich
Smoked ham, fontina cheese, and lemon aïoli on a sweet croissant with arugula

Finally, we sampled the choripan sausage sandwich. The savory grilled sausages serve as an excellent option for any Buenos Aires Express lunch.

Chorizo sausage
Housmade Chorizo sandwich with smoked tomato and chimichurri

It's highly doubtful you will make it to dessert, but just in case...

Flan at rural society
Flan de dulce de leche with mango sorbet and shaved chocolate
Rural-Society 0026 IMG 7734
The main dining room at Rural Society has a distinct Pampas feel.


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