Over Labor Day weekend I went home to Chicago to celebrate my mom and brother’s birthdays, as well as my friends Meggie and Lucas’s wedding. It was an incredible weekend, from the weather to the company – but what really put the cherry on top was the food! My dad made a delicious teriyaki glazed trout that was similar to salmon but possibly even better… I didn’t think that was possible. I will have to try to remake that meal and share it with you all.
Though we don’t usually eat out very often, it was Mom’s birthday, so we decided to treat ourselves a little. Dad pulled some strings to get us a big table together at the front of Milwalky Trace, a very hipster-esque vibe, New American cuisine joint. Walking up, a big, glass garage door retracted from the front to expose the entire restaurant to the sunshine.
You enter into the slick city setting and are immediately comforted by warm brick, Edison bulbs, and cozy wood tones. I have to admit, my dad was the architect for this place, so I’m not surprised I love it (check out his other Libertyville restaurant work at Bleck & Bleck Architects). I really couldn’t believe I was in little old Libertyville. The simple town I grew up in has blossomed with trendy restaurants – and I’m not complaining!
We sat down and ordered up some bevvy’s. Mimosas for most of the table, and a bloody Mary for the odd man out (me).
The brunch menu was quaint, but overarching to all tastes you could hope for. Sweet, salty, spicy, and rich all take their places somewhere on the menu, and most items were like nothing I had ever had anywhere else for brunch. And I LOVE brunch.
The chef brought us out a starter of the zucchini bread which was possibly my most favorite dish of the day. Warm, rich bread served with a big dollop of ricotta cheese, local honey, and raspberries. I wish I could truly explain what made it so decadent… I think you will have to just trust me and order one to share since it is beyond delicious.
Most everyone at the table tried different dishes – crab cake benedict:
French toast (which is also served on the dessert menu later in the day)
Shrimp and grits with a poached egg
The alsatian scramble with the biggest tater tots I’ve ever seen (hidden under the pile of eggs and cheese)
Also chilaquiles which I missed taking a picture of. All dishes were thoroughly licked by the time the server came back to clean up. Overall, I would say the flavor profile is somewhat southern, though I have never seen any of the dishes look how they did when they came out. Creative twists on all of the menu items bring people flocking in (I can’t tell you how many groups were turned away after noting the crowded dining room) and the balance of flavors is quite nearly perfect.
Though I am not one to usually do restaurant reviews, I thought this meal really deserved it. If you ever find yourself in the northern Chicago suburbs, I urge you to try out Milwalky Trace, located at 603 N. Milwaukee Ave.