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“Great Surprise!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Rare Chop House

Rare Chop House
224 S. 10th Street, Mount Vernon, IL 62864
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Ranked #1 of 62 Restaurants in Mount Vernon
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Saint Louis, Missouri
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Great Surprise!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2014

Mt Vernon is mostly chains typical of an interstate exit. This place is a surprise to find. The food was very good with sophisticated entrees including fish. Service was excellent, food was great. It is pricey for the area but typical for any upscale restaurant. Though it is elegant enough for a very special dinner, casual diners were also welcome. Definitely the best dining option in Mt Vernon.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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49 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    34
    10
    3
    1
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Charleston, South Carolina
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Hidden Gem”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2014

I was traveling across the United States and stayed the night in Mount Vernon IL. I searched Trip Advisor and ended up at Rare. Walking in, I was amazed that such an incredibly classy and attractive restaurant was located here. Rare is the type of place I would expect to find in Downtown Vancouver, Washington DC, Seattle, etc. Not in a very small town out in the middle of southern Illinois. As soon as I walked in, a server who was carrying something past the entrance, stopped immediately, put what she was carrying down and greeted me. She seated me without delay. It was a Saturday night and they had live music playing in the lounge. Just loud enough to be entertaining in the dining room but not overwhelming. The space is incredible. Lots of glass, exposed wood, brick, stone and steel celling trusses give this restaurant an awesome look. I was seated in a great place in the middle area of the dining room facing the kitchen window. The kitchen looked ridiculously clean and well organized. It was obvious that an excellent chef was in charge.
Now to the food. I decided to have the Pork Medallions. Since I like my meat closer to well than rare I asked my server for Medium Well to Well. The wine came at the perfect temp and a short time later my meal arrived. I was amazed at how great my plate looked. When I think of pork medallions I think of small tenderloin cut pieces. There was enough pork on my plate to feed two people. I am not one to go overboard with the hyperbole normally, but this was the best pork I have maybe ever eaten in my life. It was cooked absolutely perfectly and I am not sure of the sauce but it was incredible. It also was very lean. I couldn't get enough. I made sure to tell my server how great it was and when the manager walked by and asked how my meal was I made sure to gush to him as well. The only detriment to the meal was the fact that the accompanying vegetables contained way too many peppers for my taste, as I can't eat them. Having known in advance I may have been able to work around that. But the veggies on the plate that I did eat were cooked perfectly. I managed to finish every bite and then, even though I was stuffed, I couldn't resist dessert as they have Smores on the menu. Intrigued I ordered them. Out came homemade graham crackers, toasted marshmallows in a dish and chocolate melted in a metal dish over a candle. Excellent. It was all I could do not to start taking pics of the food with my phone!
I do hope I have the chance to visit this place again. I worry as it was Saturday night at 7pm and the dining room only had about 8 tables seated. It seems like a tough spot for such a gem of a restaurant. I can only hope it continues to thrive. I have read some reviews that complain about the price. For my meal, including the entree, glass of wine and a dessert it was $40 including the tax. In my opinion very inexpensive for the quality of the food and atmosphere.

  • Visited June 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbia, IL
Top Contributor
227 reviews 227 reviews
175 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
145 helpful votes 145 helpful votes
“All I can say is WOW!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2014

What a unique and wonderful find in Mt. Vernon. If traveling through it is off the beaten track a little but worth the stop for lunch or dinner. Our server, Kristi, was knowledgeable about the food, drinks, and wine and very pleasant. We were there for lunch and started with the pork egg rolls and they were absolutely delicious served with 2 different sauces. A must try. Next we each sampled the two soups a home made cauliflower and a chicken and rice and once again we were not disappointed, with a very hearty serving portion and you could tell they were made by a chef. Then for lunch I had the fish and chips and the cod fish was thick, flakey and very generous serving again. The coating was light with a hint of cornmeal and fried lightly. Excellent. Fries were delicious. Hubby got the special filet medallions and it came with a delicious salad and garlic smashed potatoes with cheese and bacon on the top!!! Yummo!! We were here for a Rotary event but we will be back when traveling down 64 for lunch or dinner. It is located in an old building that has been beautifully renovated. Awesome wine area and bar!!

  • Visited June 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mount Vernon, Illinois
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“Comfortable Meeting Place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2014

The restaurant is clean and comfortable. I last ate here for a professional meeting and was pleasantly surprised that the meeting room was so comfortable. The food was delicious. The service was good; but perhaps, the staff could use more training on serving larger groups. They were amazing at keeping the alcoholic beverages refilled, but not so good with the non-alcoholic beverages. I was asked if I wanted a second cup of coffee to which i replied yes. I never saw the waitress again. Aside from that bauble, everything else was good.

  • Visited May 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mitchell, Indiana
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Late lunch”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2014

I have never been to this restaurant before so today I gave it a try. I had a blackened shrimp salad that was very good. The service was reasonable and Kristi checked back often. The decor was conducive to a nice experience. I recommend.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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