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#1
Posted September 12th 2011, 2:46pm
I had the pleasure of eating dinner at Libertad on their opening service a couple of weeks ago.

Although I live and work in the burbs, I like to dine in the city weekly because there is a lack of
modern restaurants near me. Eating at Libertad was like being in the city. I'm happy that the
suburbs has another modern dining option.

I very much enjoyed the food, atmosphere, service, drinks and menu (structure/layout).

The restaurant is billed as modern Latin. What makes it so?

    -Latin flavors, but many dishes have some non-traditional and/or creative touches.
    -Small plates
    -The plating is striking
    -Decor is fresh (reclaimed woods; kitchen overlooking dining area)
    -Menu changes frequently (supposedly - we'll see in a few months)
    -Drink menu contains some craft beers, wines and cocktails (many with Hum spirits)

The menu is separated into fish / veg / meat categories and dishes range from $5 - $13.

The wife and I stared with the ceviche of the day (~$12), which was tilapia. We enjoyed it,
but I don't remember enough about it to talk in more detail. We each had a Hum cocktail ($9)
with the ceviche.

The next dish we ordered was our favorite. It was scallops with black rice, green beans
and a yummy yuzo-habanero butter sauce ($13). The scallops were perfectly cooked with a
solid sear. The sauce was rich, but not to heavy, had a little kick at the end and complimented
the rice. The green beans had a nice crunch. Excellent. Here is a picture from their website.
I didn't take any photos, but this is a good representation of what I received.

Image

We had a risotto ($8) off of the veg menu. A good risotto, but in hindsight I'd have skipped it
since there was a decent amount of rice with our scallop dish.

As for meat, we tried the chicken ($11) and pork tenderloin ($12) dishes. The chicken was moist
and juicy and had a crispy skin. It was served with asparagus and jus. I think the a different
veg would make for a more successful marriage between the chicken and jus.

Our last savory was the pork tenderloin. I was running out of steam at this point, but did like
the pork with the parsnip puree.

Unfortunately, I didn't have room to order the lamb plate. I'll try that next time.

We did try the carrot cake ($7). This was also a favorite of mine. I was a modern interpretation - a
small square with pineapple chunks, pineapple ice cream and carrot syrup. Yum.

They recommend 2 to 3 dishes per person and I think that is a reasonable expectation.


Libertad
7931 Lincoln Avenue,
Skokie Illinois 60077
847.674.8100
http://www.libertad7931.com
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#2
Posted September 12th 2011, 4:02pm
Thank you for the report. This is one of the restaurants on my to-do list.

Downtown Skokie becoming a foodie location. Who woulda thunkit.
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#3
Posted September 17th 2011, 11:07am
{second post, be gentle}

Based on milz50's report, my wife and I checked out Libertad last night in Skokie. We arrived at 6:45 and there were a few tables open, by 7:30 the place was nearly full. They have been open about three weeks.

The food was great (more in a sec) and the service was warm, genuine, but inconsistent. They might not have expected to be as busy as they were, and the kitchen was clearly in the weeds at times.

The bartender greeted us first, and showed us some of the fresh herbs from their garden boxes he is using to make drinks. He recommended a berry mojito, using some of those herbs, which I had and enjoyed. Despite it being a "berry" mojito, the mint flavor came through clearly, and it was refreshing.

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Berry Mojito at Libertad by ed brill, on Flickr

My wife drank a cazuela with tequila, which she enjoyed enough to order a second. So, kudos to the bar.

Moments after we were sat for dinner, bowls of soup arrived for each of us. Our server Hugo told us this was an amuse, carrot soup with red and green pepper and maybe ginger. It was very nice, but a little strange to receive an amuse before even ordering. Hugo also explained the menu style; as milz50 says, they bill it as "tapas-style", but Hugo told us the plates were a little bigger and said we could get by with an appetizer and two or three other dishes. We found the dishes we ordered to be closer to main course size than tapas, but maybe they feel it is easier to go with the trend than to break out appetizers and mains. Hugo also said if we didn't feel we ordered enough, we could order more as dishes "come out quickly."

We had the pear salad, which was nice though relatively standard fare. As Hugo promised, it arrived very quickly. Then we had quite a wait as the (open) kitchen heaved a bit. In a quick burst arrived our two main dishes -- the cordero (lamb) and the veneras (scallop). milz50 nails the scallop dish; the lamb was nice, but under-seasoned in some way. It just needed something else, and the plantains and potatoes didn't quite do it. We also ordered the risotto, which was cooked perfectly and had bright flavors from the vegetables.

The restaurant got pretty loud at its peak, and the tables are pretty close together. I felt like I was a little up in our neighbors' business; the table next to us at least became friendly over it, telling us the lomo was great and they enjoyed the scallops as well. Also my wife commented that the dishware used was a little large for "tapas" as well as for the proportion of the tabletop; and I felt, though an extremely minor complaint, that the cutlery was of low quality and heft (the fork seemed like a salad fork rather than an entree fork).

No time for dessert, though they looked good on other tables. Hugo was great and the food was tasty. We would definitely go back, probably more potential enjoyment with a 4-top trying more things.
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#4
Posted October 5th 2011, 9:27am
They are now open for lunch. Starting today.

Tues-Fri LUNCH - 11am-3pm

Sopa del dia daily selection of seasonal soup | 5
Hummus chipotle hummus, olive oil, queso fresco, chives, chapatti tortilla | 6
Peras Asian pear, arugula, cabrales cheeses, candied pecans, sherry vinaigrette | 7
Flautas chicken barbacoa, watercress, pickled onions, queso fresco, crème fraîche | 6
Jibarito plantains, zucchini, yellow squash, greens, avocado, serrano aioli | 8
Tacos al pastor guajillo pork tenderloin, caramelized onions, grilled pineapple | 8
Tacos de cordero lamb, potato, chayote, queso fresco, radish | 8
Tacos de pescado tilapia, jicama, mango, cucumber, jalapeño-yuzu aioli | 8
Tacos asada skirt steak, soy ginger glaze ,sesame seed, kimchi | 8
Torta de pollo braised chicken, cheddar cheese, arugula, avocado | 8
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#5
Posted October 5th 2011, 11:25am
milz50 wrote:They are now open for lunch. Starting today.

Tues-Fri LUNCH - 11am-3pm

Sopa del dia daily selection of seasonal soup | 5
Hummus chipotle hummus, olive oil, queso fresco, chives, chapatti tortilla | 6
Peras Asian pear, arugula, cabrales cheeses, candied pecans, sherry vinaigrette | 7
Flautas chicken barbacoa, watercress, pickled onions, queso fresco, crème fraîche | 6
Jibarito plantains, zucchini, yellow squash, greens, avocado, serrano aioli | 8
Tacos al pastor guajillo pork tenderloin, caramelized onions, grilled pineapple | 8
Tacos de cordero lamb, potato, chayote, queso fresco, radish | 8
Tacos de pescado tilapia, jicama, mango, cucumber, jalapeño-yuzu aioli | 8
Tacos asada skirt steak, soy ginger glaze ,sesame seed, kimchi | 8
Torta de pollo braised chicken, cheddar cheese, arugula, avocado | 8

Thanks, Matt, for the information. This is now lunch option at work. :)

=R=
_______________________________________

“I firmly believe that if you love restaurants for the right reasons, they will love you back.” --Steven Shaw (RIP)

I just wanna live until I gotta die. I know I ain't perfect but God knows I try --Todd Snider

Twitter: ronniesuburban
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#6
Posted October 6th 2011, 9:26am
ronnie_suburban wrote:Thanks, Matt, for the information. This is now lunch option at work. :)

=R=


Me too - hot diggity! I may not wait for my friend in November after all. ;)
_______________________________________

I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love
There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach
Bacon is the duct tape of the kitchen. ~ Chef Bruce

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#7
Posted October 6th 2011, 1:06pm
For those hankering to try Libertad at lunchtime, the Evanston Lunch Group is planning to have lunch there on Friday, November 11. Details to be posted soon in the Events Calendar....
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"Life is a combination of magic and pasta." -- Federico Fellini

"You're not going to like it in Chicago. The wind comes howling in from the lake. And there's practically no opera season at all--and the Lord only knows whether they've ever heard of lobster Newburg." --Charles Foster Kane, Citizen Kane.
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#8
Posted October 12th 2011, 3:34pm
Just had a carry-out lunch from Libertad, it being down the street from my office.

For $8.00, I ordered the Tacos De Cordero, which contained lamb, potato, chayote, queso fresco & radish. There were four of them, nicely packed with seasoned lamb shards & triple-tortilla-d. I would guess that the tortillas are NOT made on site, not necessarily a demerit because of all the fresh tortillerias in Chicago. The ancho salsa was very good as well. This was definitely meal-like in its volume, and it was devoured & enjoyed. I did also--for the heck of it--try a pumpkin soup to go, more a yellow creamy pureed heavy broth than anything else, OK quality for three bucks. A decent value overall.

Like above posters have stated, it's a beautiful little room, but with the high ceilings & close table proximity I can see it getting a little loud. The menu is adventurous, something you'd see at a Latin fusion joint on the North Side, and I hope that their 'out-of-the-box' menu items will be embraced rather than disparaged in this area. I will also say that not every lunch item was available today, for whatever reason. But I was happy with my choices. Next time I will eat in, as I would look forward to their inventive plating & warm service.

This is another feather in the cap for downtown Skokie's growing destination status for ethnic fare. Once Libertad gets its sea legs, especially for lunch, it will definitely be in my rotation with Kabul House & De-Jred. However, (off-topic), I think Tub Tim Thai on Oakton Street--even with the Steve Dolinsky 'Hungry Hound' seal of approval--has kind of lost its way, after a couple years of being one of my favorite Thai restaurants around. It looks like they've changed hands at least once & quality has suffered maybe as a result.
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#9
Posted October 14th 2011, 1:49pm
We had a promising little carry-out lunch today from Libertad. We tried a few items:

Hummus - chipotle hummus, olive oil, queso fresco, chives, chapatti tortilla
More hummus-esque than hummus but still delicious, with a little kick. The chapatti tortilla was very well-grilled.

Jibarito - plantains, zucchini, yellow squash, greens, avocado, serrano aioli
This contained well-grilled vegetables, and the serrano aioli was very tasty. Seasoned matchstick potatoes, served on the side, were also very tasty but somewhat soggy, which mainly seemed to be a function of being carried out. The same was also true of the plantain in the jibarito. It lost a little bit in transit.

Pumpkin and Poblano Soup - (soup of the day)
A well-made, creamy soup but a little too sweet for my palate. If I hadn't been told there was poblano, I'm not sure I would have recognized it. The pumpkin (and a maple-tasting note) dominated. One of my companions really enjoyed it, though.

My overall sense -- after a single takeout experience -- is that they're putting out food here that is thoughtfully conceived and carefully prepared. Other than the soup, the only issues that came up with our order seemed directly related to the unpreventable perils of carry-out. I look forward to exploring more of the menu. I'd like to eat in, and hopefully will, but unless it's really slow at the office, that's not how it normally goes at lunch. Maybe I'l give it a shot for dinner. In any case, I'm eager to return.

=R=
_______________________________________

“I firmly believe that if you love restaurants for the right reasons, they will love you back.” --Steven Shaw (RIP)

I just wanna live until I gotta die. I know I ain't perfect but God knows I try --Todd Snider

Twitter: ronniesuburban
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#10
Posted October 15th 2011, 10:45am
Last night we made last minute reservations at Libertad, had a great time and were thrilled with the food.

The staff were delightful and the room, though spartan, was really cool and a lot of fun. The kitchen is pretty much right in your face so you can glance over and get an eyeful.

Our waitress explained that their portions are somewhere between a tapas portion and an entree portion, so they recommend two people order three dishes.

We started with "natural" margaritas that tasted of fresh lime and were a bit lethal. A tad sweet for my taste but enjoyable and I'd recommend.

They started us with a corn & herb soup. Our server said the herb is from Mexico and is a cross between mint and root beer. It was creamy with a nice corn taste.

We next had the chicken flautas which game dressed with creme fraiche and cilantro (both sprigs and sauce). Three flautas total. The tastes were bright and we enjoyed the contrast between the deep fried flautas and the coolness of the creme and cilantro.

Our second dish was grilled shrimp with pomegranets (sp?), peruvian potato sticks, pea shoots and dressed with fresh jicama slices. The chef stopped by to tell us this was a new dish and we made several hand signals to signify that it was a success. I think there were four large shrimp total.

Our third dish was the tilpaia which was grilled and served over mashed peruvian potatos that were very buttery on a rich, thin broth/sauce that had japanese overtones. At this point we asked our serve where the chef had cooked previously and she said a lot of different restaurants including a japanese restaurant.

Our bill was approximately $75 with tip which included three drinks (two margaritas and a beer).

Impressive food. Not overly complicated and neatly executed. I think a very nice value.
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#11
Posted November 12th 2011, 4:35pm
Lunch at Libertad yesterday affirmed and advanced my initial feelings that this is a special place.

Tarte tatin and GAF did the ordering for the 10 of us, after negotiating with the kitchen to cook some items from their dinner menu for us. Almost everything pictured below is exclusively from the dinner menu, with the expection of Pear Salad and the Flautas . . .

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Libertad - 7931 Lincoln Ave., Skokie


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Cordero | lamb, guajillo pepper, agava leaves, arepa, mint-cucumber-jalapeno yogurt


Image
Calabacita | mini pumpkin, wild mushroom risotto, chile de arbol, truffle oil


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Flautas | chicken barbacoa, watercress, pickled onions, creme fraiche, queso fresco salsa crudo


Image
Peras | asian pears, cabrales cheese, candied pecans, arugula, balsamic vinaigrette


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Camarones | Hum-pomegranate-ancho glazed shrimp, sugar snap peas, Peruvian potato, frisee


Image
Pastel de Cangrejo | pan-seard lump crab cake, jalapeno-cucumber-avocado relish, jalapeno aioli


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Mussels | leeks, potatoes, Spanish chorizo, coconut-saffron broth


Image
The Room

Given the circumstances of yesterday's lunch, I'll hold off on more detailed commentary since I'm not sure I tasted all the components in every dish. That said, the meal further demonstrated that Libertad is turning out serious, thoughtfully-conceived and skillfully-executed cuisine. I really enjoyed the tastes of everything the 10 of us shared and look forward to returning soon.

=R=
_______________________________________

“I firmly believe that if you love restaurants for the right reasons, they will love you back.” --Steven Shaw (RIP)

I just wanna live until I gotta die. I know I ain't perfect but God knows I try --Todd Snider

Twitter: ronniesuburban
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#12
Posted November 12th 2011, 6:13pm
I grew up near this neighborhood.

Can this area support a restaurant like Libertad?
Downtown Skokie has seen many failures over many years from restaurants. I wish them the best of luck and hope to check it out next time I'm in the area.
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#13
Posted November 12th 2011, 8:46pm
Schad wrote:Can this area support a restaurant like Libertad?

Kabul House, nearby, seems to be thriving. Visibility may be working against Libertad - it's not as visible on Lincoln as places on Oakton tend to be - but when a place is good, word can get around. (In part thanks to LTH.) And Libertad is very good indeed.
Last edited by nsxtasy on November 13th 2011, 9:13am, edited 1 time in total.
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Don't say "sammich" if you're more than six years old.

"we must all understand that we're not all going to agree on everything, so let's just accept it -- hell, let's cherish it -- and move on." - ronnie_suburban
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#14
Posted November 12th 2011, 11:34pm
I thought the food was outstanding. Certainly equal to Kabul House. The creativity and care in preparation was evident, and it was one of the most successful Evanston Lunch Group lunch in memory. I hope that they thrive.
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Toast, as every breakfaster knows, isn't really about the quality of the bread or how it's sliced or even the toaster. For man cannot live by toast alone. It's all about the butter. -- Adam Gopnik
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#15
Posted November 14th 2011, 1:05pm
I was at Libertad on Saturday, and I could not have asked for better service.
I arrived early (wha? huh?) and decided to spend some time at the bar while I waited for a friend. I ordered the Calabaza Borracha, made with their house-roasted pumpkin purée and el malpais mezcal reposado and jo snow cafe de olla (sorry, but I can't remember what these are) and a 7-spice rim. That was really nice, a little heavy on the anise for me, but a perfectly mixed drink that was neither too watered down or too strong, wonderful flavor, and a decent size. The bartenders were quite friendly and engaging, and didn't mind all my idiotic questions (what's this? what's that? is it a thick drink?) Our table was not ready at 7:15 per my reservation; I had no problem with this, but they comped our first round of drinks! I thought that was really generous, since we were only waiting about 10, maybe 15, minutes before they offered this.

Afterward, I don't know if this was an extra generous touch or not, but we received an amuse bouche—little demitasse cups of black bean soup. For some reason, the presentation really tickled me.
Our first course was the Camarones (see ronnie_suburban's picture above). I was not a fan of shrimp before this dish. First off, these shrimp were massive, global domination-size beasts, and they were tender like lobster. I loved the glaze; it was not too sweet and just a little spicy. It was a mess to eat, but I didn't care; I'm embarrassed to say I hesitated to get up and wash my sticky hands for fear that my friend would snag more than her fair share.

Second: Remolacha (roasted beets, watercress, Mandarin supremes, manchego cheese, sherry-truffle vinaigrette). Is there anything that manchego doesn't enhance? This was a delightful salad and I plan on recreating it at home. Though we questioned whether the beets were really roasted...I thought they may have been canned. They had a slight pickled taste. But then I put the thought out of my head because I realized I didn't care.

I think around this point I ordered another drink, the Spice & Ice (rum, lime, house ginger-habanero syrup, passion fruit, 7-spice rim). If you like spicy ginger beer, this would make your day. I think I'm going to take up drinking on the job, so if you see me on my lunch hour, please look the other way. It was a nice touch that they added a disc of fresh ginger to the bottom of the drink.

Third: Lomo (pork tenderloin, butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, applewood smoked bacon, mezcal caramalized apples). This pork was quite rare, and thus, very tender and juicy and just fantastic; now I know I can make rare pork and not worry about E Coli or whatever the hell. After my bad experience making root vegetable soup not long ago, I couldn't really enjoy the purée as much as my friend. But the rest of this dish was incredible. I want to find Brussels Sprouts this tiny in stores.

Fourth: Tilapia (Peruvian potatoes, wild mushrooms, leeks, jicama, soy-lemongrass vinaigrette). This dish could only be described as buttery. At first, all I could think was "damn you, I could be eating mussels instead of chicken of the sea" but I was glad she ordered this one. Despite the buttery taste, nothing was greasy, and the dish was as beautiful to look at as it was to eat. Right before we ordered, our server came by to taunt us with the pumpkin risotto. It was so cute and looked so delicious that it was hard to choose. Sadly, we couldn't eat another entrée.

Dessert: We weren't really bowled over by the options—apple pie, pumpkin cheesecake, and carrot cake—but we couldn't think of another place in the area that was open for dessert besides Baker's Square, so we tried the pumpkin cheesecake. Unfortunately, I can't remember what came with it. There were two schmears of chocolate next to it, and at the end were two little bites of something that I just can't recall. It was a fine cheesecake, with a nice amount of spice and a gingersnap crust, if I'm not mistaken.

The price for all this was pretty reasonable. I can't wait until the next time I "forget" my lunch. I wonder how many of these plates I can get through on my own. I'm glad the Lunch Group® was able to order off the dinner menu, because I can't get that pumpkin risotto out of my head.
I assume Libertad has a seasonal menu? I can't find that information anywhere, but the current menu looks like something that will change at least by the time spring rolls around.
_______________________________________

I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love
There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach
Bacon is the duct tape of the kitchen. ~ Chef Bruce

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#16
Posted November 14th 2011, 2:31pm
Pie Lady wrote:we couldn't think of another place in the area that was open for dessert besides Baker's Square

Sweety Pies is a block north on Lincoln and is open till 6:00 pm. In addition to pies, they have various cakes and cupcakes and other baked goods. Their buttercream is sheer heaven.
_______________________________________

Don't say "sammich" if you're more than six years old.

"we must all understand that we're not all going to agree on everything, so let's just accept it -- hell, let's cherish it -- and move on." - ronnie_suburban
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#17
Posted November 14th 2011, 2:49pm
nsxtasy wrote:
Pie Lady wrote:we couldn't think of another place in the area that was open for dessert besides Baker's Square

Sweety Pies is a block north on Lincoln and is open till 6:00 pm. In addition to pies, they have various cakes and cupcakes and other baked goods. Their buttercream is sheer heaven.

This was closer to 9pm, but I did forget all about Sweety Pies somehow.
_______________________________________

I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love
There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach
Bacon is the duct tape of the kitchen. ~ Chef Bruce

Late-Nite Eats Database
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#18
Posted November 14th 2011, 6:10pm
Or scoot about 2 minutes east along Oakton to Village Creamery.
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A bagel is a doughnut with the sin removed. ~George Rosenbaum
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#19
Posted November 14th 2011, 8:00pm
D'oh! :idea:
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I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love
There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach
Bacon is the duct tape of the kitchen. ~ Chef Bruce

Late-Nite Eats Database
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#20
Posted November 17th 2011, 5:23pm
My wife has turned Vegan (health issues) - although she's not "religious" about it - but definitely isn't eating meat. Are their options there that would suit her? We are LONG overdue for a date night and live in Skokie...
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#21
Posted November 17th 2011, 5:46pm
Fuzzbone wrote:My wife has turned Vegan (health issues) - although she's not "religious" about it - but definitely isn't eating meat. Are their options there that would suit her? We are LONG overdue for a date night and live in Skokie...



Check the menu:

http://www.libertad7931.com/menu/
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#22
Posted November 17th 2011, 5:54pm
D'oh! Not sure why I couldn't have figured that one out on my own!
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#23
Posted November 25th 2011, 11:32pm
Count my whole family as fans. Nine of us ate there tonight (we were expecting as many as 14, but some folks shopped til they dropped and backed out last minute).

The "Not a Cuba Libre" cocktail (Hum botanical liquor, cola syrup, soda and a couple other things) was very tasty -- sort of a gingery herbal rum and coke.
There was a demitasse of a cream of corn soup as an amuse -- which my brother in law fell in love with and ordered a big bowl with dinner.

Sue and I had the crab cake, lomo (pork loin) and poblano (cheese, mushroom and tofu-stuffed pepper) all of which were wonderful. Other dishes on the table included the skirt steak, of which I got a taste, the scallop, shrimp, flautas, pumpkin and tilapia of which I did not. They recommended three dishes per two people, we ended up ordering a couple more -- the pumpkin and poblano on one end of the table, the flautas on ours.

We had two of each dessert on the table: A chocolate cake with a milk chocolate mole ice cream, a pumpkin cheesecake, and an apple tart with vanilla white chocolate ice cream. The pumpkin cheesecake, while very good, was probably the least successful with braised squash dice on the plate that really needed something to make it pop (a pepita brittle maybe?), and a sliced strawberry which seemed a little out of place. The mole ice cream had some spots where chiles showed up abruptly and others where you say, "mole? it's just chocolate -- a better spice distribution is probably needed there.

Total bill with tip was $36/head -- very reasonable (there were only a couple drinks)

Each of us was very pleased and plans to return.
_______________________________________

What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
-- Lin Yutang
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#24
Posted November 26th 2011, 4:06pm
Was there Fri night. Really enjoyed it. Excellent food, great service. Will go back when I get a chance.
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#25
Posted November 28th 2011, 9:34am
Schad wrote:Was there Fri night. Really enjoyed it. Excellent food, great service. Will go back when I get a chance.

Yeah both of us.

Were you the other person in the Niles Binny's looking for a bottle of Hum? The clerk mentioned that someone else had said they'd had a cocktail that contained it "at a restaurant in Skokie."

I decided that at $34.99, I'd put it on my X-mas wish list.
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What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
-- Lin Yutang
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#26
Posted December 18th 2011, 9:42pm
Had lunch with a couple of friends last week and the food was, again, very good . . .

Image
Black Bean Soup (soup of the day)
This soup was tasty though not particularly remarkable in any way. I wish it had been a little more distinctive in some way.


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Tacos Al Pastor
Luckily for us, the regular al pastor taco filling, pork tenderloin, was 86'd in favor of belly. The meat here was cooked perfectly. It was tender, sticky and unctuous. There was too much pineapple for my taste but that's just me. The caramelized onions were great and again, there's no arguing the quality of the cooking here.


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Fish Tacos
These nicely-cooked tilapia tacos were served with a jalapeno-yuza aioli that could have even made my mother's cooking taste good. :wink: Topping the tacos were mango and jicama, which was a nice, crunchy/sweet combination.


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Tacos Asada
I thought the meat and the kimchi were great but not so much together. I took the kimchi off and ate it separately, as it just seemed to overwhelm the other components, including the delicate, aromatic tortillas.

I really love the quality of the food here and how close it is to my office, which makes it a great lunch option. I was even able to order a 5 Rabbit 5 Lizard, which was a nice beer option and their list is small but very good. Service, provided again by Hugo, was smooth as silk and pricing is reasonable, especially given the quality. I do wish there were a bit more variety offered on the lunch menu but I'm hoping that will come naturally as they get a few more months under their belts. It was very encouraging to see the place nearly full, even after 1 pm. I think it's really gaining some traction and deservedly so.

=R=
_______________________________________

“I firmly believe that if you love restaurants for the right reasons, they will love you back.” --Steven Shaw (RIP)

I just wanna live until I gotta die. I know I ain't perfect but God knows I try --Todd Snider

Twitter: ronniesuburban
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#27
Posted December 20th 2011, 12:37pm
Since I had the pleasure of sharing the lunch with Ronnie, let me throw in my two cents.

Good ingredients, prepared well. Everything was cooked properly. On the other hand, I had a similar experience with most of the dishes (not that surprising since we shared and discussed), though we did not share or discuss the bean soup. The soup was blended, had a nice touch of tang from vinegar, but could have used a bit more heat, more onions, or more something. A Ronnie noted, the pork belly and beef tacos were out of whack as far as flavor profile - the meat dominated by the garnish, pineapple and kimchi respectively. Fish tacos and tangy, creamy sauce were quite good.

The salsa for the pork belly tacos was almost bland, clearly to avoid offending the tastebuds of the locals. This was pointed out to our waiter, who pretty much agreed. They need an alternative salsa with some real heat.

I get Ronnie's point about well made food, nearby, because it was all that, but in the end my palate and the chef's were not on the same page. I would compare this place in almost every way to Bien Trucha in Geneva, except one - I would head to Bien Trucha every time because the food tastes great even though I think Libertad may use superior ingredients and technique (though it is close).
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#28
Posted January 2nd 2012, 9:44pm
Just a heads up - starting tomorrow, lunch service is in hibernation until spring.
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A bagel is a doughnut with the sin removed. ~George Rosenbaum
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#29
Posted January 2nd 2012, 10:33pm
Dave148 wrote:Just a heads up - starting tomorrow, lunch service is in hibernation until spring.

Thanks, for the heads up. This is a big bummer and exactly the opposite of what I hoped would happen (expanded lunch menu).

=R=
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“I firmly believe that if you love restaurants for the right reasons, they will love you back.” --Steven Shaw (RIP)

I just wanna live until I gotta die. I know I ain't perfect but God knows I try --Todd Snider

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#30
Posted January 3rd 2012, 7:54am
On a related note - according to http://siunikarmeniangrill.com/find_us - the Skokie location is now open. I'm planning to do a drive-by later today to confirm.
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A bagel is a doughnut with the sin removed. ~George Rosenbaum
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