545 North Bar & Grill
545 North Milwaukee Ave, Libertyville, Illinois 60048, (847) 247-8700

Tony had to stay later than normal at work yesterday, which means he missed his normal train. Then, he missed the next train out to Prairie Crossing too. So he called me to come meet him at the Libertyville station instead of having to wait until the 7 PM train. I made it there without too much hassle (i.e. I didn’t get lost even once).

It was too late for him to start making the dinner he’d planned (turkey breast, stuffing & mashed potatoes — we had it tonight instead), so we went to dinner in Libertyville at 545 North seeing as how it a) wound up being the closest restaurant to where I parked the car and b) it looked nice. It was actually a little nicer than we’d planned on for a Tuesday night dinner, but luckily I’d changed out of my shorts and t-shirt into something cuter. I was still sniffling and coughing, but at least I didn’t look like a total drudge.

We decided to do an appetizer sampling and picked four off of the menu: an artichoke & spinach dip (very yummy and actually served with enough chips), beef skewers (really nice — chunks of filet topped with blue cheese and skinny fries, done to a turn), chicken avocado quesadilla rolls (also really good, in what was labeled a lime creme sauce, though it didn’t taste all that limey to me), and a foccacia bread Grilled Asparagus & Portobella Pizza (definitely my least favorite — has a kind of odd smokey flavor but with an overwhelming sense of blandness for all that).

The waiter was personable, prompt, and polite — Jeff, also a relative newcomer to Grayslake, though he’s lived in the greater area all his life from the sound of it. He gave us some ideas of things to try out (Firkin, another place in Libertyville that has blues on Thursdays; some huge mall in Schaumburg that has an Improv playhouse in it with big headliners, but also funny local comedians; some monastery place that has a real pretty drive) and even explained to me the difference between Cubs and Sox fans. Good waiter. Ask for him if you go. I like when they’ll talk to you like real human beings. He was even nice enough to take the pizza thing off of our bill (we left the majority of it; I think I had 3 bites).

Atmosphere-wise the place seemed pretty nice and stylish. Too bad it was raining though…they have an outdoor patio on the back with a really nice outdoor fireplace. That would have been really cozy. Everyone was actually pretty friendly. Not sure if it was the owner that lit the candle at our table, but it seemed like it — who else is casually friendly and dressed in street clothes and comes and goes when they want? Oh — and it passed Tony’s water glass test…they kept the glasses filled.

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