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updated: 8/31/2012 4:15 PM

Trademark Tavern aiming to make mark with modern menu, drinks

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  • Christine Kaberna taps a beer at Lombard's new Trademark Tavern.

       Christine Kaberna taps a beer at Lombard's new Trademark Tavern.
    Paul Michna | Staff Photographer

  • Dan Sitler of Naperville and Megan Lawless of Elmhurst chat over dinner at Trademark Tavern in Lombard.

       Dan Sitler of Naperville and Megan Lawless of Elmhurst chat over dinner at Trademark Tavern in Lombard.
    Paul Michna | Staff Photographer

  • A patio provides outdoor seating at Lombard's Trademark Tavern.

       A patio provides outdoor seating at Lombard's Trademark Tavern.
    Paul Michna | Staff Photographer

  • Trademark Tavern opened in July.

       Trademark Tavern opened in July.
    Paul Michna | Staff Photographer

  • TVs entertain sports fans at Trademark Tavern's bar.

       TVs entertain sports fans at Trademark Tavern's bar.
    Paul Michna | Staff Photographer

  • Trademark Tavern in Lombard comes across as upscale yet casual.

       Trademark Tavern in Lombard comes across as upscale yet casual.
    Paul Michna | Staff Photographer

 
By Samantha Nelson
Daily Herald correspondent

Open since July, Lombard's Trademark Tavern offers a little something for everyone. Whether you're a beer lover, cocktail connoisseur, sports fan, foodie or looking for a gorgeous space to hold a private party, you'll want to check Trademark out.

Motif: Trademark Tavern makes excellent use of its huge space. The dining area features a mix of candlelit wood high-tops and lower tables, many offering a view of sports on a multitude of TVs. Lights in metal orbs dangle overhead. A brick fireplace is decorated with candles now, but will be turned on in cooler months when guests can get cozy on the couches surrounding it. There also will be an outdoor fire pit to warm guests on the patio.

Trademark has party space for groups of all sizes, with private rooms seating 14, 35 or 80 people. The smallest is the chef's room, an intimate venue where the chef will discuss his work with you while you dine.

Crowd: Business has been slow so far, with small groups of families and older couples coming in early and younger patrons heading in later. While the food and atmosphere feel like fine dining, dress is casual.

Service: Our server was friendly and attentive, checking in regularly to refresh our drinks. We were pleased with her recommendations throughout the meal.

Food: The menu showcases contemporary takes on comfort food made from scratch. The lamb lollipops starter was superb, perfectly tender and juicy and served with a light chimichurri sauce that brought out the flavor of the meat. The Mexican sushi roll packs plenty of kick from jalapeņos, but the fresh tuna inside and topping the roll still shines. On the entree side, the mix of fresh lime and peanut sauce help make the Asian fish tacos refreshingly light, and the tasty corn tortillas hold up surprisingly well when so many soft tacos are prone to falling apart. You don't have to be a vegetarian to love the garden ravioli, tender pasta packed with a complex blend of finely chopped squash, zucchini, asparagus and cheese served in a light tomato sauce with big chunks of artichoke.

If you save room, the doughnuts are worth trying. The tube-shaped pastries are covered in powdered sugar, making them reminiscent of churros. They're particularly delicious dipped in the caramel and tart raspberry sauces they're served with.

Liquid consumption: Trademark offers 30 beers on tap, with options changing seasonally. Serious beer drinkers don't have to wait for refills, as they can get a seat at one of four booths with a pair of built-in taps and pay by the volume consumed at the end of the night. If you're looking to expand your drink knowledge, Trademark is planning on hosting beer and wine dinners.

The cocktail offerings are also impressive. The signature basil strawberry mojito tastes strongly of the herb and is so thick with fresh fruit its hard to drink with a straw. The Big Tavernowski -- a blend of Absolut vodka, Kahlua and RumChata riffing on the signature drink of The Big Lebowski -- is a delicious dessert treat, with the RumChata adding a strong cinnamon flavor to the sweet mix.

Music: While there's no music yet, Trademark is planning on bringing in local acts to play Friday nights.

Parking: There are plenty of spots in the large free parking lot.

Overall: Trademark Tavern provides an enticing mix of atmosphere, quality food and drinks. All it's missing are the crowds.

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