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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Learn what restaurants are serving up some unexpected delights, and hear from chefs who tell you about some of their menu’s hidden gems.
26| Flame Serves Fresh-From-the-Coast Seafood
314 W. Walnut St., Springfield,
The Menu Must Try: The Raw Bar
If you’re craving something coastal, head to Flame’s raw bar. While most people look to Flame for its top-notch steak, the spot should also be noted for flying in fresh seafood from various coastal regions every few days. Fresh oysters on the half shell and crab legs for dinner? We’ll see you there.
27| Fire & Ice Does Special Steak
Fire & Ice
2546 N. Glenstone Ave., Springfield,
The Menu Must Try: Tomahawk ribeye
Fire & Ice once featured a Tomahawk ribeye as a special, and a few regulars just can’t forget it. “It’s a two-and-a-half pound steak with a really long bone,” says restaurant manager John Blansit. “Now we have regulars who call ahead and order it.” If you want to try this Flintstone-esque steak for yourself, be sure to call and give the restaurant at least a week’s notice.
Hot News: Fire & Ice now grows its own organic herbs that are watered using collected condensation from its cooler units.
28| Soo’s Knows Soup
Soo’s Korean Restaurant
3644 S. Campbell Ave., Springfield,
The Menu Must Try: Junkol
Soo’s is known for its bulgogi and bibimbap, but have you tried the junkol? Although this mix-and-match style Korean soup is on the menu, associates at the family-owned restaurant say it’s often overlooked. The soup, offered with beef tripe, seafood, kimchi, beef or chicken, is pre-cooked in the kitchen then finished at your table on a portable stove, and it’s enough to serve two or more people.
Extra-Secret Tip: People love the summer specials here, including cold noodle soup and bibimgksu, but they are normally taken off the menu in August. Recently, the owners decided to try offering them for a full year.
29| Duck is Delish at Thai Peppers
1411 E. Sunshine St., Springfield, 417-882-1979
The Menu Must Try: Bangkok Duck
In the mood for a Thai dish that’s unlike anything else in 417-land? Skip your usual, and try the Bangkok Duck here, which is lightly battered and deep fried, then glazed with teriyaki sauce and sesame seeds and served over sautéed vegetables with a garlic sauce.
Unlike the baklava you’ve tried before, the version at That Lebanese Place features imported rose water.
30| That Lebanese Place Goes Global
That Lebanese Place
338 E. Commercial St., Springfield, 417-536-6677
The Menu Must Try: Baklava
The baklava at That Lebanese Place is made with a bit of rose water, which owner Elie Ghanem says makes it a bit addictive. But there’s no way you can whip up your own batch at home—Ghanem gets the rose water from Lebanon. And he tops his hummus and baba ghanoush with first-press extra virgin olive oil from Lebanon or Greece. “Getting things from different regions makes a big difference,” Ghanem says.
Hot News: When you stop in to try these worldly selections, order a side of fries—the restaurant’s new homemade fries are a hit among customers.
31| Rebecca Grille Gets Saucy
The Rebecca Grille
209 E. Walnut St., Springfield,
The Menu Must Try: Peppercorn bacon gorgonzola sauce
While the steaks at The Rebecca Grille are far flavorful enough to hold their own, Chef Noah Smith, who owns the restaurant with his wife, Amy Smith, released three new sauces that take them to a new level of delicious. A favorite? The peppercorn bacon gorgonzola sauce. If you aren’t having a steak, try a side of the sauce with your fries.
Hot News: If you’re wondering where Chef Smith’s award-winning roasted poblano chicken corn chowder is, have no fear: It’ll return on the restaurant’s fall and winter menu.
32| 3 Corners Dishes Out Mediterranean Favorites
3 Corner Bar & Grill
400 South Avenue, Springfield,
The Menu Must Try: baba ganoush
If you’re a 417-land foodie, you probably know Riad Matar from his former Riad restaurants. Lucky for us, he’s back in business with 3 Corner Bar & Grill, a place where he serves up a bit of his Mediterranean–style food plus a variety of fare that boasts a bit of Americana. New food favorites include a selection of burgers, including the Roadhouse burger with aged cheddar, onion straws, bacon and barbecue sauce on a pretzel bun. Don’t worry, though. You can still order Mediterranean and Greek dishes, too, including Matar’s popular baba ghanoush. “I would say close to 25 percent of our menu was carried over from our other restaurant,” Matar says. But something that wasn’t carried over were the price points. “Most of the dishes are between $7 and $10, and our old restaurant’s average was $14 and above,” Matar says.
Extra Secret Tip: At 3 Corner, you can have a beer for a cause—the restaurant serves canned beer, then recycles the cans, cashes them in and donates the funds to local charities.
Creative dishes at Dobyns Dining Room at the Keeter Center start with fresh ingredients that are grown or raised on campus at College of the Ozarks.
Perhaps the most literal farm-to-table menu in 417-land is at Dobyns Dining Room at The Keeter Center, where most of the ingredients come from the College of the Ozarks campus. “The campus itself is very much an agriculture school, so it seemed like common sense to incorporate all the different entities of the campus into the menu and the dining room,” says Robert Stricklin, executive chef at Dobyns Dining Room at the Keeter Center and assistant professor of culinary arts at College of the Ozarks. They raise and butcher their own hogs and process them into ham, bacon and sausage. Milk from cows in the on-campus dairy is used in the pastry shop and ice cream parlor. The grist mill on campus produces cornmeal, flour and whole wheat flour, and the vegetable garden produced 8,000 pounds of vegetables last year, all used in the dining room. Recently, the campus started growing lettuces hydroponically in their greenhouses, and they plan to expand into tomatoes and other staples.
Hot News: New to the restaurant is a pasta machine that can help create hundreds of varieties of pasta. “Changing up the flour combinations and herbs, we can create an endless variety,” Stricklin says. “We’re currently doing a Carbonara with an angel hair pasta, using cream from the dairy. And instead of prosciutto, we’re using our bacon and ham.”