Dining Day Trips
These restaurants and eight others are the hidden gems of 417-land’s dining scene, and they’re located all over our corner of the state.
DISCLAIMER: The information in this article was fact checked and accurate at press time, but 417 Magazine cannot guarantee its accuracy indefinitely.
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Rock your Face Off
Undercliff Bar and Grill has a rock-wall that gives the place an unusual feel. And built into a cave, The Cave Restaurant allows people to eat underground. But which one makes for a better cave-like dining experience? We visited them both to compare.
Undercliff Bar & Grill
6385 Old Hwy. 71, Joplin, MO 417-623-8382, undercliff.net
Mike Winn opened Undercliff Bar & Grill in 1995 on his father-in-law's property. "He said, 'I'd finish the building if someone would do something with it, '" Winn says. "I said, 'If you'd add eight feet on the right side, I'll make it a restaurant and gill." Today, the restaurant, built into the side of a cliff, is one of the area's hottest spots to eat.
The Cave Restaurant
26880 Rochester Rd., Richland, MO 573-765-4554, thecaverestaurantandresort.com
The Cave Restaurant originally opened in the 1920s, when it was a speakeasy. After some expanding and renovations, the restaurant opened in 1994, and a little more than two years ago, Gary Dyer purchased the property and transformed it into The Cave Restaurant and Resort. The restaurant is built into a cave and sits 30 feet off the ground and 100 feet from the Gasconade river. A little more than two years ago, Gary Dyer purchased the restaurant and surrounding property, which offers guests cabins, float trips and fishing.
The Face Off:
The following items were judged on a scale of 1 to 5 starts, with 5 being awesome and 1 being mediocre.
How was the wait time?
Undercliff Bar & Grill: 5 stars (This place has a neighboring joint called The Hangar, where you can grab drinks and appetizers while you wait)
The Cave: 4 stars
How bat like did it feel?
Undercliff Bar & Grill: 3 stars
The Cave: 5 stars (This is really a cave, people!)
How tasty was the food?
Undercliff Bar & Grill: 5 stars
The Cave: 4 stars
How was the service?
Undercliff Bar & Grill: 4 stars
The Cave: 5 stars
How quirky was the decor?
Undercliff Bar & Grill: 5 stars (There's a life-size James Dean cutout in the bathroom, and stuffed animal heads in the dining area.)
The Cave: 5 stars (Dining area decor includes a stuffed cougar that watches you eat, a Christmas tree and an old bee hive.)