This casual fine dining restaurant boasts an aura of relaxed southern hospitality. Opened in September 2008, Mint Julep near the railroad tracks in Palatine occasionally hosts private parties. But the rest of the time anyone can enjoy its southern charm, and without mortgaging the entire plantation in the process.
Lady Dee moved up from Savannah, Ga., to open Mint Julep. A true southern lady, she settled in Palatine because, as she told her staff, "the city's too big" for her. On the walls you'll see pictures of Lady D riding her Tennessee walking horses with blue ribbons from competitions she's won.
For lunch, start with the fried okra ($6) or the crab cakes ($10.50) and then move on to a southern BLT with applewood-smoked bacon and fried green tomatoes ($8). Or if you need something heartier, try the Brunswick stew ($11) or the chicken pot pie in a flaky crust ($13). Lunch entrees range from $7.50-$13. For dinner, Chef Rich, who makes everything from scratch, recommends the Southern fried chicken ($16.50), the shrimp 'n grits ($16) or the shrimp, crawfish & andouille jambalaya ($15.50). Dinner prices range from $11-$29. Top it off for dessert with a peach cobbler or Kentucky bourbon pecan pie ($6.50)
But don't walk out the door without trying the locale's staple drink, the House Mint Julep ($6.50), a fresh, bourbon delight. Lady Dee learned this drink recipe from the official bartender of the Governor of Kentucky back in the day.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Jacob Wheeler