Just like that, a new spot quietly opened on Halsted in Lincoln Park. Chef Jason Paskewitz and his business partner at Gemini Bistro, Ryan O'Donnell, started seating guests last night at Rustic House, which took over the former Trattoria del Merlo up the street from Alinea, Charlie Trotter's and Boka.
The main rooms of the restaurant can seat 78, with an additional eight seats at the bar and 24 in the wine cellar for private events and the ambiance features reclaimed barnyard materials and burlap on the wall to help the space live up to its name. The food does a good job of that as well.
Paskewitz will source much of his meats from Gepperth's Meat Market across the street and produce from Green City Market to create dishes like a lobster caesar salad; hand-rolled gnocchi with Hudson Valley foie gras; petite watercress salad with chevre crostini; free range organic chicken; baby suckling pig; chicken pot pie and braised lamb shoulder. Check out the full menu below.
Even the beers lean local while featuring brewers like Flossmoor Station, Goose Island and New Holland.