Twelve for $12 lunch menu now available at 437 Rush
What's for lunch? If you're in the River North area, that can be a difficult question. That particular part of town has a wealth of restaurants, but relatively few that are open for lunch with reasonable prices and high quality food. Among the available options, one of the best is Phil Stefani's 437 Rush located at (you guessed it) 437 Rush Street between Hubbard and Illinois.
Long known as one of the best of the Italian-inspired steak houses in the River North area, 437 Rush also has a superb lunch menu. The 'regular' menu offers many of the restaurant's best-known dishes, but for the summer Executive Chef Christian Fantoni has rolled out an excellent special menu called "Twelve for $12."
Recently, I was invited to bring a friend to sample this new menu. The twelve options, each for $12 dollars, are the following:
- Spinaccio - organic baby spinach salad, diced local peaches, shaved almonds, mixed berry vinaigrette, shaved parmesan.
- Rucola - wild arugula salad, shaved fennel, pine nuts, mandarin oranges, pecorino cheese, citrus dressing.
- Bresaola - imported dry beef carpaccio, arugula, oven dried cherry tomatoes, red onion confit, parmesan shaving.
- Meditterranea - assorted mixed greens salad, kalamata olives, feta cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes, lombardi peppers, red onion.
- Pollo - crispy chicken wrap, flour tortilla lettuce, tomato, ranch dressing, parmesan fries.
- Tonno - whole wheat bread, tuna salad, melted Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, parmesan fries.
- Panino - toasted ciabatta bread, roasted beef au jus, melted cheese, parmesan cheese.
- Tacchino - grilled turkey burger, lettuce, tomato, side of cottage cheese, avocado
- Spaghetti - tossed in a tomato basil sauce
- Primavera - rigatoni pasta tossed in a summer vegetable ragout, tomato sauce, basil, parmesan.
- Vongole - linguini pasta, tossed in baby clam sauce, garlic and oil, parsley, herb mollica.
- Pasta in Insalata - cold pasta salad, diced salami, ham, olives, Swiss cheese, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, oregano vinaigrette.
The first four are lighter and more in the "appetizer" zone. If you're in the mood for a very light lunch, grab one of those. My suggestion, however, is to share one of those as a starter. The second four are all sandwiches, and the portions are extremely generous.
Between the two of us, we sampled the Pollo and the Panino. Both were excellent and definitely a filling meal for lunch. The chicken was particularly flavorful and was a unique crunchy take on the “traditional” chicken wrap. The parmesan fries could have used a bit more parmesan, but overall they were superb – hot, crunchy on the outside, soft in the center.
The final four offering are all pasta-focused and are also extremely generous portions. Although we didn't try these, the Pasta in Insalata (which was ordered at a nearby table) was beautifully presented and looked to be an excellent choice.
They have a superb wine list, so you may wish to opt for a wine pairing. For most of the appetizers and the lighter of the entrees, they have several Sauvignon Blanc offerings that are superior pairings. Try the Brancott (New Zealand). You won't be disappointed.
437 Rush is open for lunch on Monday – Friday between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. They are located at 437 Rush Street, between Hubbard and Illinois. You can get more information on their website, their Facebook page, or follow them on Twitter.