Illinois Restaurant Review: Rare Chop House in Mount Vernon

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Rare Chop House

Photo by Michael Tedesco

Rare Chop House makes an impression long before you taste the food, thanks to an open kitchen and its crown jewel: a glass-enshrined wine cellar.

“We are definitely known for our atmosphere,” says Bradley L. Peters Jr., general manager and director of wine and spirits for the Mount Vernon restaurant. “This place has a ‘wow’ factor as soon as you walk in the door.”

The slick, industrial-chic décor – featuring exposed brick, refurbished steel and frosted glass – offers a feast for the eyes. Meanwhile, the creations of Chef James “Buddy” Rushing create a more traditional kind of feast.

Foodies come from near and far to sample the modern American menu. Favorites include artfully prepared steaks and fresh seafood. Among appetizers, the beer-battered Cajun shrimp reigns supreme.

“Our staple is the filet, topped with pork belly, caramelized shallots and bourbon sauce,” Peters says. “We’re also known for prime rib and fresh seafood, caught just a day or two before it’s served.”

Rare Chop House

Photo by Michael Tedesco

Whatever you’re craving, you can count on superior service and fresh, quality ingredients.

“We have very high standards for what we buy,” Peters says. And that includes the libations.

“Wine and spirits are our biggest draw. We have an extremely extensive wine selection and a sommelier on hand to help you choose,” Peters says.

The award-winning wine selection features 120 varieties from around the world, with a focus on California’s finest.

Wine not your cup of tea? You’ll discover hard-to-find craft beers on tap, too.

If You Go...


Location: 224 S. 10th St. in Mount Vernon
Hours: Open for lunch Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Open for dinner Tuesday through Friday, 5 to 9 p.m., and Saturday, 4 to 9 p.m. Appetizers and salads served daily from 4 to 5 p.m. Closed Mondays.
Phone: (618) 244-7273
Website: rarechophouse.com

“One of our goals is to secure as many rare allocations as possible, such as Kentucky Breakfast Stout, and keep them in stock,” Peters says. “A lot of what we carry is seldom seen outside the city.”

Sip and savor your drink of choice in a lively lounge – and tap your toes to live music on Saturday nights.

Upscale, but accessible, “you won’t find another place like this within 60 miles,” says Peters. “And you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to dine here.”

In fact, the modestly priced entrees range from $13 to $33.

If you’re looking to eat, drink and be merry in Mount Vernon, you’ll find a rare treat in Rare Chop House.

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