I was a little reluctant to fight traffic for dinner downtown so a colleague and I drove to Uptown and went to Libertine. On my first visit last year I enjoyed the Crispy Pigs Ears and the out of this world Bacon Chop and wanted to see if the other items on the menu were in the same league.
We sat in the back area, in a booth, which I found had a great feel. For my appetizer I ordered the “TUNA POKE TACOS.” The dish consisted of three hard shell tacos filled with the seaweed and guajillo salsa and then topped with a mound of tuna, finished with a thin slice of Jalapeño and a little more seaweed. I have somewhat mixed feelings on this dish. First, I dislike hard shelled tacos, preferring the soft variety, but shame on me for not asking. Second, depending on the bite, the combination was either fantastic or not good at all. I really liked the tuna, fresh and filled with great flavor, but the other ingredients were bitter, to the point of approaching unappetizing. I cannot get too excited about this dish. My colleague ordered the “GLAZED CHICKEN WINGS” and I was able to sneak one from his plate. They were ordered with crumbled Blue cheese on top. It was perfectly fried and I really liked the crumbled Blue cheese sprinkled atop. I preferred the wings to the tacos.
For my entrée I ordered the “LAMB RIBS,” which were seasoned with mint and honey and described as fatty and delicious. The description is perfect but should also include fall off the bone tender. The flavor and preparation were fantastic. I loved the minty-honey combination with the richness of the meat. The menu does state “fatty” and this is actually an understatement. One bite of meat and then 3-4 bites of fat. Be prepared for this ratio. In the end it was just too much fat on the ribs.
Since we were both incredibly hungry, we also ordered a “STEAK BURGER” to share. It was served with bacon jam, grilled onion, melted white cheddar, encased in a brioche. The server told us that it was recently voted one of the fifteen best burgers in the US (she was absolutely correct, voted one of the to[ 15 new burgers in 2014 on Thrillist.com). It was excellent, the meat was delicious and cooked perfectly, and the bacon jam was really good, but I question the ranking…there a several burgers in CT that are better. Given a choice between the burger and the Bacon Chop (thrillist also called out that dish), I would recommend the latter.
For a side I ordered the carrots with Burrata. The Burrata may be the creamiest and most delicious Burrata I have eaten in a very long time. And I loved how the carrots paired with this cheese. This was a great combination.
Overall, the meal was somewhat disappointing given the first visit. Once you have devoured the “CHOP” you need to lower expectations. In addition, I think I just ordered wrong, but with the pedigree of ownership, there should not be the opportunity to order wrong.