The owners of Village Bar & Grill in Buffalo Grove opened The Still Bar & Grill in Bartlett in June, serving a fresh menu of barbecue and moonshine-based cocktails. The family-friendly space also offers plenty of options for kids, including the chicken fingers the Buffalo Grove Golf Club spot has become known for.
Motif: The dining room features a mix of booths and tables, with a stacked brick wall separating it from the small bar area, which houses two TVs tuned to sports and a couch where you can chill while waiting for a table. Walls are lined with pictures of rural areas that go with the country-focused menu.
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The Still Bar & Grill326 S. Main St., Bartlett, (630) 855-9402, thestillbargrill.com
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Food: The Still offers a menu of combo and sampler plates giving first-time diners the chance to get a good feel for the offerings before coming back to ordering a full portion of their favorites.
The Bootleggers Smorgasbord includes portions of chicken fingers, onion rings, fried pickles, smoked sausage and nachos. The pickles were the best, thinly sliced, crispy and a little sour. The nachos brighten up the dish with red, black and white chips topped with melted Colby-jack cheese, beans, corn and tomatoes. It's also easy to see why the owners put the chicken fingers on the menu of their new spot, since the heavily battered meat is very good, especially with the excellent honey mustard sauce.
You can keep the combo theme going with the Texas Two Step, a plate of barbecue chicken breast and ribs, and the Hillbilly Surf & Turf, which features deep fried catfish and smoked beef brisket. Unfortunately, we found the brisket chewy, the catfish overwhelmed by breading and the boneless, skinless chicken breast lacking flavor. The fall-off-the-bone ribs, however, were nicely charred and the baked beans and sweet potato waffle fries are both tasty sides.
Liquid consumption: The bar's name comes from its focus on moonshine cocktails, which are all served in Mason jars. The Tennessee Lemonade, which features amaretto and 100 proof whiskey. is super smooth, but if you want something lighter opt for the Smokey Mountain Sunrise, where the booze is only 40 proof and blended with lemonade, lime juice and strips of basil.
Crowd: The space brings in a solid crowd for dinner, attracting casually dressed families and small groups.
Service: The Still was busy when we came for dinner, and one of the owners waited on our table. She provided detailed advice on the menu and updates on the status of our food, which was well-paced so that the entrees came out soon after we finished our appetizers. The restaurant's cocktail menu hadn't been printed yet when we were there, but she was happy to explain the options to us.
Parking: You'll find plenty of free spots in the small strip mall lot.
Overall: Cool off this summer with a moonshine cocktail at The Still.