I so enjoyed my first visit to the sprawling Tavern on Rush in the Gold Coast last Friday. I was invited in for a seafood tasting and was able to bring a guest, which is always a plus. Most tastings are typically scheduled during the week so this was a welcome change to be able to catch the restaurant in its weekend atmosphere. The restaurant was pulsating with energy when we arrived, and instantly livened our mood.
Shortly after we were seated, Chef John came over to greet us and provided an overview of what he had planned for our tasting. Little did we know that Chef’s hospitality knew no bounds, because the tasting started with the colossal Seafood Tower for Two. This three-tiered tower came with an assortment of jumbo shrimp, seared tuna, snow crab claws, avocado crab salad and oysters. The top tier also had some of the finest Maine Lobster I’ve had. I instantly took a liking to the Avocado Crab Salad, which was light in taste, with tiny amounts of limejuice and olive oil to appropriately highlight the delicate flavor of the lump crabmeat. All the meat was as moist and fresh as you could hope for. Not only was this seafood tower appealing to the eyes, but also the best way to satisfy and gratify any seafood cravings one could have. We were also served the Alaskan king crab legs, which were delicious. The crabmeat here was snow-white, tender, and gently sweet. By the manner in which we devoured them, you wouldn’t have known that minutes before we had gorged on the seafood tower.
And even with all this seafood, we showed no signs of giving up, as we confronted another platter of their Seared Hawaiian Tuna. The tuna came sprinkled with sesame seeds and was marinated in a mouthwatering ginger-soy sauce. I always enjoy a meaty tuna (served rare or raw), as long as it’s sushi grade. But something about the dense, rich flavors of these mini tuna steaks was intensely enjoyable. The sweet and salty taste of the sauce was also perfect for the flash-seared fish meat. I highly recommend this dish!
And since we were on a tuna kick, we also tried the Tuna Avocado Tartare, which was a pretty looking dish, fresh with cucumber and avocado. I swear that tuna avocado combination never gets old.
For entrees, we split the Alder Wood Planked Salmon, which was also very tasty and apparently a favorite with restaurant patrons. You could very much taste the smoky, slightly charred flavor that the wood plank imparted to the fish, giving it an amazing flavor combination. Bonus: I got to go behind the scenes to watch the salmon being cooked first-hand, which was fun. A special mention to the creamy mashed potatoes it came with on the side. You could tell that the potatoes were freshly prepared and made the entire dish even more delightful.
Dessert was their Chocolate Marble Tiramisu and Gold Coast Organic Cheese Cake. The former was their take on this Italian classic with crème anglaise on top. The word ‘moist’ doesn’t do it justice, as every spoonful just melts in your mouth. A nicely done dessert and a very satisfying treat! The carrot cake was iced with cream cheese frosting and had lots of walnuts. It was sweet but not too much, making it easy to stuff my face despite the very elaborate meal we had just had.
Good food can always set a great tone for the rest of your day. Case in point, I got my first hole-in-one at indoor mini golf afterwards, and I believe the food had something to do with it. It was a memorable evening all around!
We couldn’t have asked for better food and hospitality for a tasting. There is attention to detail at this restaurant, and everyone seems committed to giving you the best dining experience. Tavern On Rush is not a restaurant to be missed!
Tavern On Rush
Neighborhood: Gold Coast
Address: 1031 N Rush St, Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: (312) 664-9600
Hours: Mon-Fri: 11:00am-2:00am, Sat: 11am-3am, Sun: 9am-2am
Price: $9.95- $102.75