When you grow up in the family business, it's natural to follow a similar path. So when your dad has a successful Mexican restaurant, why not take some of that experience and go off on your own? Such is the case with Marcos Rivera, who is the former partner with his dad at the popular Las Palmas restaurant in Bucktown. Now Rivera has opened his own spot, Libertad, in Skokie bringing the first "modern Latin" spot to the northern suburb.
Rivera, along with chef/partner Armando Gonzalez (Bin 36, MK), has created a chef-driven casual 40-seat spot in downtown Skokie offering a well-edited menu featuring small plates reflecting the various cuisines of Latin America. The menu is broken down into four sections: fish, vegetarian, meat and dessert with just a handful of dishes in each category. Look for things like skirt steak with chimichurri sauce and yuca frites; scallops with black rice and yuzo-habanero-butter sauce; and tempura poblano with goat cheese and epazote.
Hum Spirits' Adam Seger and Jenny Kessler helped create the beverage program, which features cocktails like a roasted pineapple jalapeño cooler; and the Not a Cuba Libre, which has Hum, Jo Snow cola syrup No. 6, hoja santa and soda. And Henri's sommelier, Shebnem Ince, who was named one of the top sommeliers in the U.S. in April by Food & Wine, consulted on the wine list.
The intimate and bright gut-rehabbed space was designed by restaurant partner J. Omar Magaña and incorporates salvaged items, a grey and silver color palette that also shows splashes of red on the leather banquettes and an open kitchen. So if you're ready to take a quick trek out to Skokie, take a look at the menu below.