Ate here on a Sunday night. Four of us (two adults, two teenagers). They’ve only been open a week – so we weren’t sure what to expect. We dined at another Libertyville restaurant shortly after it opened and did not have a good experience.
First impressions – great urban vibe. Exposed brick walls, comfy wood plank tables. Minimalistic without trying too hard. Great lighting. Open kitchen.
My only first impression complaint was that the music was a bit loud (to the point where it was hard to have a conversation). However in fairness to them -- #1: we were sitting right under the speakers and #2: the particular music was more the culprit. Once the album changed it was better.
Great drink list. Old school classics. Will have to try their Manhattan and Old Fashioned next time. All cocktails are $11. Though their wine list is small, it is well thought out and priced well. I had a Zin and my husband had a Malbec. Both excellent. They made my son a homemade ginger ale and he said it was the best one he’s ever had. (I tried it – and it was tasty!)
The food: Here you have three size plates: small, medium, large. The concept is to share – much like Girl and the Goat.
We decided to order 2 small plates, 1 medium plate and 2 large plates. They bring them out in stages. Just as we were finishing the first, they brought the second and so on. They brought out the large plates at once, which was appropriate.
• Roasted garlic served with wonderful ciabatta toasts. ($8) Garlic spread like butter and the toasts were amazing. Plenty for the four of us to share – although we did ask for a few more pieces of bread. They charged us for these ($1.50) but that was fine. The bread is that good.
• Fried potato wedges. ($8) Again, enough for the four of us to share. No one felt cheated. These were so good. Nice crunch on the outside, great flavor.
• Gruyere dip – served with the toasts. ($10) OMG. I felt like I was transported to France. Fondue-like – not at all oily. They didn’t skimp on the lardons.
• Dry aged NY Strip. ($35) While this was pricy – it was absolutely delicious. Ordered it medium rare and it came out perfectly. (so many places screw up their steaks – which can be so annoying) The peppercorn crust is to die for. It is served sliced, and we each had two pieces.
* Half Roast Chicken ($23) Perfectly cooked – juicy and tender. The grilled onions and avocado take it to another level. Only complaint is that I could have used a serrated knife to cut it. The table knife didn’t cut the skin easily (and we all love the skin!) You really just need to get your hands in there and break it apart. Fine if you’re with your good friends or family – but I wouldn’t attempt this on a date or with colleagues.
For dessert we had the Key Lime Pie and French Toast. ($8 each) Sadly, they were out of the warm double chocolate cookie – and we couldn’t wait the 20 minutes it would take them to make more. (they were nice enough to comp one on our next visit) Both desserts were delicious. Pie had a lovely graham cracker crust and the filling was just tart enough. The French Toast is on the lines of a bread pudding – and the maple syrup is top shelf. They also sent over two complimentary glasses of champagne to end our meal. How nice was that?
Our server, Jerry was attentive and friendly. Really added to the overall experience. The manager Emma made a point to come by and check in on us.
Our bill was $155 after tax and before tip.
We are very lucky to have so many restaurants choices in Libertyville. We will definitely return here. I have a great feeling about Milwalky Trace. It won’t take them long to be the next hot place in town.
ps. I used the bathroom and it was clean as a whistle.
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