There has been a lot of buzz around The Libertine since it first opened its doors back in May and most of it has been positive. Jill and I finally got the chance to go down there and experience it for ourselves. Needless to say, The Libertine lived up to expectations!
How to get there: It’s so easy to get to it should be a crime. First take the subway to Itaewon Station (Line 6) and depart from Exit 3 and make a 180. Head down the street with the Taco Bell and keep walking until you pass Route 66. It is about 250 meters on your left on street level.
Atmosphere and Service: The first thing that stood out to us as we walked through the door was how fresh everything looked. Imagine that new car smell but for a restaurant. The decor is classy, contemporary and best of all not pretentious. We were dressed in business casual and didn’t feel out of place. The chalkboard with a list of wines, drafts and specials gave the restaurant a classic touch.
Service was great! The server was very friendly, spoke good English and had our food out to us in a timely fashion. We asked for our food to be served in courses, which if you’ve been in the ROK long enough, you know that it is not uncommon for the apps, the mains and the desserts to come out all at the same time. But Libertine honoured our request and brought out our French Onion soup and Spinach Artichoke Dip first, waited until we were done and then brought out the next course. A nice little touch of service that can go a long way.
Food and Drink: Today we ordered the French Onion Soup, Spinach and Artichoke Dip, Sausage and Potato Hash and a Cuban Sandwich. We ordered two Cokes and an Orange Juice. Jill focused on “BR” and I focused more on the “UNCH”.
French Onion Soup (12,000KRW): Libertine’s French Onion Soup was the perfect way to start our brunch. The first thing that stood out was the flavoring of the broth. We make our own french onion soup at home, but it did not come near to the flavor Libertine had. The soup had plenty of onions, some white wine and stock boiled down so the flavor really pops out. The Gruyere cheese on top of a perfectly baked slice of baguette was the denouement. A great soup which was perfect for a cold winter’s afternoon.
Spinach and Artichoke Dip (13,000KRW): Jill ordered the Spinach and Artichoke Dip which came with crudités (sliced veggies) and toasted pitas. The dip was very creamy and also had a nice ratio of artichoke to cheese to spinach. The toasted pitas were nicely baked without any burn marks. Jill noticed that the toasted pitas were firm and fluffy which allowed you to dip easily. The crudités were fresh and crunchy.
Cuban Sandwich with Fries (17,000KRW): I haven’t had a good Cuban sandwich in awhile, so I was looking forward to this. The first thing I noticed was that the sandwich was grilled to perfection and stacked neatly. There was a nice ratio of pork and ham which was topped with mustard, pickles and swiss cheese. All the of the flavours balanced out quite well. The ham was a little black, but nothing to complain about. A great sandwich for lunch. The fries were golden brown and seasoned nicely. Also, they were served in a mini fry basket which I thought was cool.
Sausage and Potato Hash (17,000KRW): Overall Jill really enjoyed the Sausage and Potato Hash. She said that when you got all the flavours together on the fork, the flavours really intertwined well. All the ingredients were fresh. Her only qualm would be that she wished there was more sausage in the dish. Overall, she would order it again after a long morning of taking care of Logan… and me.
Value: The overall bill came to 79,000KRW which was a little pricey for brunch, but for us the value was there so we had no problem with the bill. Anytime we can find a restaurant with a relaxing environment with great service and excellent food the cost doesn’t bother us. We will definitely be going back soon.
Who Should Visit The Libertine: Looking for a great brunch in a comfortable environment near Itaewon? This would be your place. A great place to take a date and relax.
Who Should Avoid The Libertine: I don’t know if I would bring Logan here. It is a restaurant that is geared towards adults and the sounds of a screaming toddler might ruin the ambience. Also, the dishes are a little pricy, so if you are on a budget, McDonald’s is on the main strip (2 Egg McMuffins with Bacon, 2 Hashbrowns, 2 OJs and a Coffee from Starbucks, that will set you straight my friend.)