The Trademark Tavern recently opened up in west-suburban Lombard, advertising a welcoming atmosphere with reasonably priced food and a great selection of beer, wine and spirits. The restaurant is all that and more. The kitchen is turning out high quality, hands-down delicious food; the staff, from the front of the house to the back of the house, is friendly and accommodating; and the décor manages to be both upscale and fun.
Trademark Tavern, you may be my new favorite restaurant in DuPage County!
Husband and wife Matthew and Mandy Lewandowski, who own the restaurant with partner, George Cibula, describe the venue as an upscale neighborhood tavern with a whimsical atmosphere. The whimsy of place is evident in its eclectic menu, from the Green Eggs and Ham flatbread (which we didn’t try) to the Lamb Lollipops (which we did).
We started out our meal with a cocktail, a sweet Skinny Cucumber Mojito that was filled with lots of real cucumber, lime and mint flavor. And, of course, we had to order beer. There are a vast amount of draft, cans, and bottle beers on the menu, from old favorites to small craft beers and local and seasonal brews. There is also a very nice selection of wines available by the glass and a great selection of whiskies, including their own Trademark Bourbon, made exclusively for the restaurant by Evan Williams.
Our waitress, Megan, recommended the Wisconsin Cheese Curds as an appetizer, a dish that honestly sounded incredibly unappetizing. But Megan swore they were terrific so, with great trepidation, we ordered them, along with the Lamb Lollipops and the Jamaican Jerk wings. The cheese curds arrived first and we were blown away by how good they were. Crispy beer batter outside, gooey cheesy goodness inside and served with a fantastic Cajun aoli - these were addictive! (Thanks Megan!)
The Jamaican Jerk wings were also a hit. The wings were tender and juicy and spiced exceptionally well.
But the star of the appetizer round - and the entire dinner - was the Lamb Lollipops. I love lamb and I think these chops may be the best lamb I have tasted in a long time. Hgh quality meat, nicely spiced and flawlessly (and I mean Flawlessly) cooked. I wasn’t a huge fan of the dipping sauce that came with the appetizer chops but who cares? Those beauties didn’t need it! I will be coming back for that lamb - and next time I’m getting the full entrée portion!
While we didn’t try the flatbreads or the sushi rolls on this visit, Megan said they were very popular, especially late at night when people tend to drop in for beer, cocktails and appetizers.
We did sample two of the salads. The Beet Salad was a delicate mix of fresh red and gold beets on greens, with sweet candied walnuts, orange slices, and blue cheese crumbles. My companion practically swooned over the Cobb Salad, painstakingly tossed in a wonderful dressing, each bite bringing a perfect blend of greenery and dressing, with a generous amount of bacon, eggs, and tomatoes mixed throughout and a huge portion of avocado on top.
There was nice variety of sandwiches to try, including a grilled pork Bahn Mi and Asian Fish Tacos, but we decided to try one of the best seller’s on the menu: The Trademark Burger. Made from a mix of ground chuck and ground short rib, the burger was juicy and delicious and all the toppings were fresh and of high quality. And though a few entrees like Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Lake Superior Whitefish tempted us, we stuck with beef for the entrée course as well, enjoying a perfectly cooked New York Strip Steak.
Throughout the meal, we were continually impressed by the high quality of ingredients Chef Geoff Silverwood used in every dish. From the meat to the salads and slaws to the French fries and vegetables - everything was top-notch, fresh, and beautifully cooked.
The only dish that disappointed was the homemade Garden Ravioli. The ravioli arrived slightly overcooked, and the buttery tomato sauce was in desperate need of some kind of kick. A generous dose of salt and pepper at the table convinced me that an increase in seasoning and a decrease in cooking time could easily transform this bland dish into a light, delicious meal.
The sweets we ordered for dessert, Bananas Foster and homemade Doughnuts, were tasty though, in all honesty, not quite as wonderful as the savory portion of the menu. Our favorite was the generous portion of doughnuts, reminiscent of churros, which arrived warm and fragrant, covered in cinnamon and sugar, and accompanied by a lovely raspberry dipping sauce and whipped cream.
The restaurant itself is very large and airy but has been divided into several smaller, more intimate seating areas and three private dining rooms. The décor is simple and clean, reminiscent of an upscale rustic lodge. There is certainly less of a “sports bar” vibe than one usually feels surrounded by so many flat screen TVs, though this would definitely be a great place to watch a Bears game.
One of the most novel places to sit inside are at the four booths that have their own built-in beer tap (two beers per booth). Each of the four booths has a different pair of beers, and guests can pour their own beer from any of these eight taps and be charged by the pint.
There are also two really lovely patio areas. It was too hot to sit outside when we arrived but by the time we left there were people filling the tables and the outdoor couches.
Kudos to our server, Megan, who was terrific in guiding us through the menu and making sure we felt well cared for. When I mentioned that I had a food allergy, she really went the extra mile to check with the kitchen about ingredients.
Who: Trademark Tavern
What: An imaginative menu of high-quality, reasonably priced food and drink in an inviting, upscale atmosphere.
Where: Trademark Tavern
777 E. Butterfield Road
Lombard, IL 60148
When: Monday - Thursday: 11am to 1am
Friday - Saturday: 11am to 2am
Sunday: 1am to midnight
Don't Miss: The Lamb Lollipops, the Wisconsin Cheese Curds, the Cobb Salad, Trademark Burger. Excellent beer and whisky selection, terrific cocktails.
To make reservations or for more information about the Trademark Tavern, visit www.trademarktavern.com or call (630) 472-0777.
Photos courtesy of Jim Frost and Cindy Kurman.