Highly Recommended ***** For many years I resided down in the Gold Coast area of Chicago. At the corner, less than a block from my condo was Timothy O’Tooles, an Irish pub that I stopped by from time to time. Moving to the burbs, every so often I thought about the zesty Shepherd’s Pie they served up, reminding me of my visit to Ireland many years ago. I have tried other spots, but none compared. Now, in downtown Libertyville, last night, I went back to heaven as we dined at O’Tooles Libertyville! HOORAY!
As usual, when we look at restaurants, we ask another couple to join us so that we can get more flavors to savor and discuss the items that we partake of. Marty and Shelle Singer joind us at O’Tooles Libertyville for a dining experience. The building is a bit hard to find as the entrance is set back allowing for outside dining in the summer months, but once inside, we could feel the warmth of the staff and the setting. Our waitress, Cally, knew the menu inside and out and I must say, they “pour a solid drink”.
The menu is very large in scope offering small bites, where we sampled the Deviled Eggs (always a favorite of mine in a saloon/bar settling) and their special SCOTCH EGG- a masterpiece in my eye- soft boiled egg, wrapped in meat and lightly fried in a spicy beer mustard shell- “to die for!”. We enjoyed the standard appetizers, house made hummus and their warm pretzel trio with a beer cheese fondue, spicy mustard and Guinness Honey Mustard sides for dipping- truly scrumptuous. We also had the chips and home-made guacamole (as tasty as any Mexican dining spot in Chicago).
The menu goes on and on with these first editions as well as soups and tacos which I will try next visit (and there will be another visit-the brunch menu looks very “appeteasing”). For our main fare, we selected the Shepherd’s Pie (lamb, root veggies and gravy in a marvelous pastry crust and served with one of my favorites, Irish soda bread. We also had the grilled wild boar meatloaf served with smashed potatoes , veggies and fried leeks in a mushroom glazed gravy- wow!. We also had one of their evening specials, a steak that was delish even without the crust they offered (Marty is not big on crusts) and we added the whitefish . A few salds- The Michigan Avenue and the Harvest Salmon Salad were plentiful and more than enough for the four of us to share and have some left over for lunch today. In fact, all of the menu items were portions that are perfect for either sharing with each other or make it fun and bring a group so you get a chance to savor many of the flavors of O’Toole’s Libertyville.
I watched the burgers going by (to other tables and they are also on my agenda for the future as are items like “Sloppy Joe” in a different manner, Skirt steak , the grilled apple and brie Panini, the lamb burger and of course their signature “Who’s your daddy” a burger that I am certain tastes as good as it looked. I almost followed one into the bar for a little taste. Their are all types of sandwiches and wraps as well as special brunch menus and of course, this is Libertyville, so a KIDS menu would be perfect as many families enjoy dining together in this bright atmosphere. Yes, it is a bar, or saloon or even a tavern, but it is not the old fashioned no kids, heavy drinking atmosphere at all. It is very family friendly where your dining pleasure and satisfaction is what it is all about!
We also partook of a few deserts- pretzel bread pudding (what a treat this was), their apple crisp with just the right flavors and their crème broulee of the “moment”-changes every day. O’Toole’s is definitely a spot worth the drive.
Wednesday and Thursday 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Friday and Saturday 11 a.m.- 1 a.m.
Sunday 11 a.m.- 10 p.m.
The address is 412 N. Milwaukee Avenue in downtown Libertyville, just a few blocks north of Route 176 and there is street parking as well as a lot in the back of the restaurant. They do parties and events and have just enough giant tv sets to make sure you can watch your favorite sports teams. To check out some of the specials, visit www.timothyotooles.com
FYI- they have another location in Gurnee and of course, the original Ontario Street location. Comfort food in a cozy location with a staff that is waiting to make your experience one that you will remember. As my grandmother always said- ENJOY!