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Countyline Tavern brings craft American fare to Buffalo Grove
One of the newest and most exciting restaurant openings in the Chicago suburbs is set for October 12 in Buffalo Grove. Situated on the border of Cook County and Lake County, the new Countyline Tavern offers elevated comfort food in a warm, casual environment, offering guests an American tavern experience in a comfortable setting. Weather permitting, the stunning al fresco patio – complete with blazing fire pit – provides a gathering place to enjoy friends, family, and excellent food.
Located at 800 West Lake Cook Road, Countyline Tavern excels at a fresh take on traditional American dishes, something they term “Craft American fare.” The intriguing menu truly seems to offer something for everyone, and the talented chefs are both willing and able to adjust and accommodate menu items for special dietary requests.
One of the most impressive things about the menu is the beverage offerings. Countyline Tavern has a rotating draft menu with 30 beers, one cider, and two draft wines. They offer more than 50 bourbons, scotches, and whiskeys as well as nine signature cocktails and a lovely boutique wine list. The wine list includes every wine by the glass as well as the bottle, something that is sorely lacking on most restaurant wine lists in the Chicago area. That alone would make me want to return, but the food is truly the star at Countyline Tavern.
I was recently invited to attend a media preview where we were treated to samples of many of Countyline Tavern’s best offerings including:
- BEST DAMN GRILLED CHEESE EVER (Fire-Roasted Peppers, Fontina, Smoked Gouda, Tomato Jam, Onion-Bacon Marmalade) – OK. Perhaps the title of this dish is hype – but try it out and you might just agree. I would be hard-pressed to remember tasting a better grilled cheese sandwich in the past few years.
- PORK BELLY BLT (Braised Pork Belly, Jalapeño Pickled Red Onions, Sriracha Mayo, Lettuce, Tomato, Pretzel Bun) – The pork belly was crispy on the outside and perfectly seasoned. The little kick provided by the peppers and mayo was just enough and didn’t overpower the rest of the flavors. The pretzel bun is also an inspired choice. This won my vote for the best bite I tried all night.
- GRILLED HOUSEMADE BRATWURST (Griddled Bun, Pickle, Cole Slaw) – One of the tastiest brats I have tried in years!
- PASTRAMI SMOKED SALMON REUBEN (Ducktrap Pastrami Smoked Salmon, Brie, Sauerkraut, Thousand Island Dressing, Griddled Marbled Rye Bread) – We only sampled the actual salmon which was superb. I can only imagine how excellent the rest of this will taste when I return to try it.
- SHRIMP & SPINACH CROQUETTES (Cheddar & Gruyère Cheese, Sriracha Aioli) – The melted cheeses were delectable and surprisingly did not overshadow either the shrimp or the spinach. Clearly, the chefs at Countyline Tavern understand the concept of layering flavor and creating interest without overpowering.
- CHEESY DEVILS ON HORSEBACK (Medjool Dates, Stuffed with Gorgonzola, Wrapped in Bacon, Roasted Red Pepper Sauce) – One of my favorite food items on any menu is always the ‘bacon wrapped dates.’ I have sampled them all over the world and these are some of the best I have tried recently, largely due to the use of Gorgonzola balanced by the sweetness of the red pepper sauce.
- SMOKED CHICKEN WINGS (Chipotle Honey Glaze) – Yum! Tender, smoky but not overly so. If you’re a wing lover, you have to try these.
- CHICKEN YAKATORI (Chili Plum Sauce, Ginger Cilantro Chimichurri) – The ginger cilantro chimichurri makes this a special dish and the balance of sweet and heat in the chili plum sauce is another example of perfectly-layered flavors.
- PORK RINDS (Smoked Paprika, Sea Salt, Spicy Mayo, Lime) – As a bar snack, try these. They are freshly made in-house, light and airy, with just a tiny kick from the smoked paprika.
And from the dessert menu, we were treated to samples of:
- KENTUCKY BOURBON BUDINO (Maker’s Mark, Whipped Cream, Ginger Snap Crumble) – There’s just a bit of residual booziness left, and that only makes this better. This is a “must try” in my opinion.
- WHITE CHOCOLATE, APRICOT BREAD PUDDING (Apricot Brandy, Croissants, Crème Anglaise, Homer’s French Vanilla Ice Cream) – Again, just a hint of residual booziness from the brandy. I loved this one nearly as much as the Kentucky Bourbon Budino. Why not order both?
Countyline Tavern is located at 800 West Lake Cook Road in Buffalo Grove – convenient for a superb meal, but also for shopping and entertainment located just minutes from Long Grove, the Woodfield Mall, the Arlington Race Track, and the Buffalo Grove Golf Course.
The restaurant opens on October 12, 2015. Initially, they will only be open for dinner, but will add both lunch and brunch hours soon. For more information, call (847) 520-7447, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit their website. Follow their social media conversations on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.