North Shore Views
I have been meaning to try this new restaurant ever since it opened to rave reviews back in the fall of 2011. Now, with our kitchen remodel underway, we have an excuse to eat out. So, last night, with kids gone, we made our way down to Skokie to finally check out Libertad.
As the name implies, the menu is Latin-inspired. But this is not your father’s Mexican joint. If you’re hankering for a chimichanga or a burrito, Libertad is not the place to go. The food is much more sophisticated than that. Described as Nuevo Latino, the dishes blend Argentinian, Brazilian and Mexican flavors and ingredients, plus a little bit of whatever else inspires Chef Armando Gonzalez.
The menu features a rotation of five dishes in three categories: vegetarian, meat and fish. The concept is “small plates” but they are more like medium plates – bigger than tapas. The server recommended that we split three plates between the two of us, and that was just perfect. Most dishes are between $10 to $15.
We started with the Calabaza – an acorn squash filled with a creamy wild mushroom risotto, chile de arbol and truffle oil. It was gorgeous but I dug in and ruined its lovely presentation before I thought to take a photo of it.
As our “main dishes” we split the Camarones (shrimp) and Pato (duck). The camarones included four large, grilled, head-on shrimp glazed with pomegranate, ancho chile, sugar snap peas and purple Peruvian potatoes. Yum. The Pato featured slices of braised duck served with house-made chorizo, fingerling potatoes and shallots in a red wine reduction. Also yum.
Not only was the food great but Libertad also prides itself on its creative cocktails. One great summer choice is Spice and Ice: a concoction of Banks Rum, lime, ginger-habanero syrup and passion fruit served in a martini glass with a cinnamon stick. The maragaritas are tasty too. The beers are local craft brews and the wine list features Chilean, Argentine and Spanish selections.
I didn’t discover that they had patio seating out back until I went to use the restroom, but I’d recommend requesting that when you call for reservations (and you should definitely call).
All in all, a terrific dining experience right in downtown Skokie. Who knew?
Libertad is located at 7931 Lincoln Ave. in Skokie. Call 847-674-8100 or visit www.libertad7931.com.