If variety is the spice of life, this feature is all the seasoning you need to add a little vim and vigor to your dinners out.
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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7| La Galette Berrichonne Serves Real French Fare
La Galette Berrichonne
143 E. Main St., Fordland
Did you know you can get fine French cuisine in Fordland? Open since August 2012, La Galette Berrichonne is home to Chef Roland Parny, who was born in France and has the experience of running top-notch kitchens across the globe. In addition to a standard café-style menu, Parny brings a taste of France to Fordland daily with a variety of French pastries and specialty dishes, and he even hosts seven-course French dinners every month. If you visit for lunch, Beef bourguignon is a regular offering, and salmon, duck, lamb and veal are often on special.
Extra-Secret Tip: Check out the pastries and desserts as soon as you arrive, and order one before you sit down for your meal. (They go fast!)
8| Vasken’s Adds a Special Touch to Select Sishes
3200 Gretna Rd., Suite 100, Branson, 417-334-9182, vaskensdeli.com
Known for its gyros and tasty sandwiches, Vasken’s Deli is also loved by frequent customers for the hummus and baba ganoush. And a few customers had the idea to jazz up those dishes with some of the restaurant’s other tasty treats, like its hot giardiniera and its olive salad. “They’ll say, ‘We want Vasken-ized hummus,’” says Staci Haroutounian, who owns the restaurant with her husband Vasken. Next time you’re there, give it a try.
Extra-Secret Tip: Vasken’s Deli serves up some seriously delicious garlic mayonnaise. Give it a try.
9| Nonna’s does dessert
Nonna’s Italian Café
306 South Ave., Springfield, 417-831-1222; 3514 S. National Ave., Springfield, 417-890-8300; nonnascafe.com
We all know Nonna’s has great bread service and salads and pasta and seafood. But did you know it also has great desserts? And among these great desserts are some particularly super-extra-great artisanal cheesecakes? “Every aspect of the cheesecake is made from scratch—all the sauces, garnishes, drizzlings, everything,” says owner Shawn Kraft. Flavors are dreamed up each month by chefs DJ Ball and Peter Tinson and often reflect the seasons, such as pumpkin cheesecake in November and eggnog cheesecake in December. After developing and perfecting the cheesecake recipe over roughly a week and a half, it takes the chefs around three hours to bake them.
Extra-Secret Tip: It’s not on the menu, but Nonna’s sometimes offers spaghetti bottarga. (Bottarga is dried roe from the mullet fish and is a favorite of native Italians.) Ask about it.
10| Fine Dining Costs Less at French Medit Café
French Mediterranean Café
701 N. McCroskey St., Nixa
At Nixa’s French Mediterranean Café, you can get a top-notch meal from long-time 417-land chef Al Roubaie, and you can get it for a darn good price. But what can you get here that you can’t get anywhere else? “We do a duck breast with pomegranate and blueberry sauce that nobody else does,” Roubaie says. “And we do lamb chops like no one else does.” Both of these dishes clock in at less than $15.
Hot News: The spot now offers prime rib with fried new potatoes for $14.95 on Friday and Saturday nights.
11| Grad School Warms Things Up
434 S. Jefferson Ave., Springfield
One of the most popular choices on Grad School’s set menu is The Full Ride, a double-patty burger with lettuce, tomato, caramelized onions, bacon and sharp cheddar. But during colder months, Grad School offers a special off-the-menu dish that’s definitely worth knowing about: the Ace in the Hole. For this worth-the-splurge dish, Grad School pours a cup of its belly-warming chili atop the Full Ride.
Extra Secret Tip: Grad School’s spicy meter allows you to order any entree with one to five stars, five being “Death Star” hot.
12| Size Matters at Santa Fe
Santa Fe Grill
3120 E. Sunshine St., Springfield, 417-315-8745, thesantafegrill.com
You may fill up faster when you eat at Santa Fe Grill-–while the industry standard for tortillas is 6 inches, the tortillas here are 8 inches. That’s a whole extra two inches to love!
Try it Now: The sopapilla cheesecake.
13| Twilight Grille Offers a New Take on Calamari
1717 E. Cherokee St., Springfield, 417-886-7116, twilight-grille.com
Something here you can’t find anywhere else: stuffed calamari steak. Calamari is pounded thin and stuffed with cream cheese, a cheese blend and sautéed shrimp, then breaded and deep fried.
Extra-Secret Tip: Sometimes Twilight Grille brings in Fresh Gulf oysters and serves them raw on the half shell or in oysters Rockefeller.
Read on for tips on where to find exclusive Mexican meals and great midday steals.
Brew Co. Serves Authentic Mexican Food
Springfield Brewing Company
You know about its beer and its great bar food, but did you know Brew Co. features Mexican food lunch specials on Wednesdays? Sergio Carranza, the head chef, uses old family recipes to create mouthwatering creations, such as Carne Asada with fresh peppers.
|Extra-Secret Tip: Try some off-the-menu faves, like the homemade poblano pepper sauce and salsa verde. Ask for a side to go with your fries.|
City Gives Brunch a Makeover
City Mexican Cuisine
We keep going back here for the Mexican brunch, offered Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The brunch menu includes a Mexican omelette made with eggs, cilantro, refried beans and queso served with tortillas.
|Try it Now: The fried plantains app with mango salsa and mojo sauce.|
Mijuri Fills You Up (With Sushi!) For Less
Mijuri Sushi & Rhythm
2710 S. Campbell Ave., Springfield , 417-889-9593
On Monday through Friday from 11 a.m.–2 p.m., Mijuri Sushi & Rhythm offers quite the steal on lunch specials. You choose two to three selections from an expansive list of half sushi rolls, which are served with a fried spring roll, edamame, beef Yakiniku and a soft drink for around $12.