If your idea of dining out is to experience an excellent meal, not just to eat a good-tasting meal then you need to check out this restaurant in St. James, just two hours from Sedalia.

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Sybill's Saint James Restaurant opened in May 2006 without any promotion in a modern Southern plantation style-home with a floor plan befitting a restaurant. The owners, Tom and Janet Scheffer and their daughter Sybill were relying on the family's reputation of being great restaurateurs. You see Tom's parents, and then Tom and Janet owned Zeno's in Rolla for nearly half a century.

They were planning on retiring until Janet found the Dillion property on Highway 68 in St. James, which contained a 100-year-old farmhouse.

Janet thought would be a perfect place for her antique and gift store. Fast forward to 2005, with the urging of a lot of her customers, the family decided to build Sybill's Saint James Restaurant on land behind the store.

Sybills St. James Restaurant
Sybills St. James Restaurant
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The modern Southern plantation-style home makes a statement from the outside with a spectacular porch that you can dine on in nicer months. While inside there's a comfortable vibe that isn't what I'd call opulent, but not like Country Kitchen or Perkins either. In other words, the atmosphere is nice enough for a celebration, yet not so over-the-top swanky that you'll feel out of place if you are not dressed in your Sunday best.

Sybills St. James Restaurant
Sybills St. James Restaurant
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For lunch, the restaurant offers a variety of sandwiches from a Reuben and a French Dip to a Prime Rib Grilled Cheese served on marbled rye with Horseradish steak sauce or a panko-crusted Lemon Pepper Cod sandwich. As for dinner, there are plenty of options from steaks to pasta, to chicken and seafood.

Sybills St. James Restaurant
Sybills St. James Restaurant
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In my mind, Sybill's Saint James Restaurant and Gift Shop is reminiscent to me of the family-owned restaurants we'd occasionally go to outside of Chicago while I was growing up. Places that had been there for years, with a great reputation for good food, friendly service, and a dining experience that keeps you coming back time and time again.

Sybill's Saint James
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Sybill's Saint James Restaurant and Gift Shop is located at 1100 N. Jefferson Street in St. James, Missouri. And reservations are encouraged. You can reach the restaurant at 573-265-4224 and they're open Tuesday through Saturday from 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM, with the last seating at 8:00 PM. The restaurant is closed on Sunday and Monday.

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