Friday, April 27, 2007

The Tavern

Tavern on the Town
519 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Libertyville, IL 60048, (847) 367-5755

We decided to go out to dinner last night because I was all gussied up with my new hair cut and makeup-person applied makeup (see previous entry about the Mario Tricoci Salon). I suppose you could look at that one of two ways: either we're the kind of people who will celebrate anything or I'm the kind of girl who so seldom gets gussied up that it's an event. I'd like to go with the former, but it is probably a bit of both.

Anyway, I made a reservation at the Tavern because they were the closest restaurant that looked cool on Open Table:

From silk Thai lanterns and colorful beaded curtains that hang from the ceiling to an original Brunswick bar painted in gold and turquoise, this is clearly not your father's steakhouse. The Tavern's menu features USDA prime beef, Australian Wagyu, organically raised free range chicken, diver-caught Maine sea scallops, assorted fresh fish, New Zealand Rock Lobster Tails, and in season: oysters from both coasts, the Alaskan king salmon run, live Maryland soft shell crabs, morels, chanterelles, and porcini from hunters in Oregon and Washington, fresh produce from local lake county farms, and the Tavern's own home-grown heirloom tomatoes (last year 35 different varietals were brought home for service). An award winning wine list featuring over 700 selections. A great wine by the glass assortment, an unusually well stocked bar, and draught beer (including several outstanding Belgian selections)round out the Tavern's beverage program.
It almost sounds kind of cheesy, but it is actually quite a neat and eclectic look with all the lanterns and the random swathes of wallpaper. Little bit of an old school smoking room at a pub look, little bit of an Eastern bordello.

We had the oysters (covering both coasts) for an appetizer and they were good, albeit almost too big. And since we were being bad, I had an 8 ounce filet with foie gras and truffle butter. The foie gras was good, but man, give me all the truffle butter you can. Tony had the New York Strip steak. He said it was good, but not earth shattering. I think he should have tried the Wagyu beef from Australia. What the heck, it being our "beef" night. We're trying to eat red meat only once a week.

Dessert was really good -- malted milk ball gelato. And I guess I should mention their wine selection (very extensive; we got a Chateau St. Georges that was definitely a Tony kind of wine). They even had a decent after-dinner selection.

Oh, and Tony noted an interesting exchange between the bartender (a rather large-ish fellow) and a patron who said she was going to Scotland:

Bartender: This is the best book on scotch there is. We just added it to our library. Keep it as long as you like; a few days, a year, whatever.

Kind of cool. I imagine she's a regular.

So, to sum up (as Inigo might say): good place. We'll have to try it out again sometime. Nice atmosphere and a fun location right in the middle of the quaint section of Libertyville.

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