Guide to Appetizers

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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At Twilight Grille, sharp and tangy goat cheese is paired with roasted garlic, olive tapenade and toasted baguette.

Fried, melted or set aflame, these super-cheesy, extra-gooey and perfectly delicious cheese-centric appetizers are among the most delicious starters on local menus.

Goat Cheese
Twilight Grille, 1717 E. Cherokee St., Springfield, 417-886-7116
Warm goat cheese is paired with roasted garlic, olive tapenade and crispy toasted baguette. 

Saganaki 
Papouli’s, 725 State Hwy. 248, Reeds Spring, 417-272-8243
A hard Greek cheese is battered and grilled then drowned in brandy before being set on fire at your table.

Bleu Cheese Chips
The Grotto, 301 E. Battlefield, Springfield, 417-886-9600, grotto.com
Crispy potato chips are doused with tangy bleu cheese dressing and bleu cheese crumbles before being toasted in the oven. 

Queso de Cabra
Maria’s Mexican Restaurant, 406 South Ave., Springfield, 417-831-9339, mariasdowntown.com 
Melted goat cheese fondue is topped with house-made chorizo and served with flour tortillas and pico de gallo. 

Artisan Pretzels 
Springfield Brewing Company, 305 S. Market Ave., Springfield, 417-832-8277, springfieldbrewingco.com
Piping-hot white queso and Paul’s Cheddar Ale sauce come with two freshly baked Bavarian-style pretzels to create a dippable delight.


When brie is coated in cracker crumbs and fried, something magical happens. This appetizer is served with spicy honey and an apple and celery salad at Devil’s Pool Restaurant.

Fried Brie
Devil’s Pool Restaurant, 612 Devil’s Pool Rd., Ridgedale, 417-335-5141,bigcedar.com 
A wedge of soft brie is breaded in cracker crumbs, fried to gooey perfection and served with spicy honey and an apple and celery salad. 

Baked Brie en Croute
Fire & Ice Restaurant & Bar, 2546 N. Glenstone Ave., Springfield, 417-522-7711, oasisfireandice.com 
Brie is wrapped in puff pastry and baked and served with lavash and jam.

 

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Duck confit is paired with arugula, capers and cornichons in the tasty Duck Confit Rillette at Aviary Café and Creperie.

Duck Confit Rillette
Aviary Café and Creperie, 400 E. Walnut St., Springfield, 417-866-6378, aviarycafe.com 

Rich in flavor and texture, this Duck Confit Rillette is similar to pâté, but the big difference is the texture. Unlike pâté where the meat is pulverized to reach a velvety smooth texture, this confit is packed with rich chunks of leg meat to create the perfect mouthwatering bite served over homemade sourdough and topped with arugula, capers, cornichons and a light dressing of olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper. 

Escargot
French Mediterranean Café, 701 McCroskey St., Nixa, 417-724-8216

Each tiny morsel of these buttery, garlicky snails packs plenty of rich flavor. The escargot at French Mediterranean Café in Nixa are drowned in sweet, creamy butter and dusted with fresh herbs and garlic. This herbaceous sauce is so tasty, you’ll want to use that extra bread that’s served to dab up the last droplet of deliciousness. 

Lobster Ravioli
Touch, 1620 E. Republic Rd., Springfield, 417-823-8383, touch-restaurant.com 

If you’re in the mood for something filling and scrumptious without the price tag of an expensive meal, swing by Touch and order the Lobster Ravioli appetizer. This might be a smaller version of the entrée, but you definitely aren’t shortcutting any of the rich flavor. Floating in a pool of savory lobster bisque, plump homemade ravioli are stuffed with shrimp, lobster and a seafood medley. To indulge in this decadence, be sure to order your ravioli from the tapas menu during happy hour on weekdays.

Oven-Roasted Bone Marrow 
Eagle Drive-In, 4224 Hearnes Blvd., Joplin, 417-623-2228

It’s not often you find bone marrow on a drive-in’s appetizer menu, but the culinary masterminds at Eagle Drive-In are known for adding tasty twists to traditional drive-in fare. For this dish, a cow’s femur bone is split in half and roasted for 45 minutes. To give the sought-after flavor, three cups of Mother’s Three Blind Mice beer is added to the pan. When the bones are done, they’re seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic and served with toast points and house-made chimichurri. 

Crispy Seared Circle B Ranch Pork Belly
Chateau Grille, 415 N. State Highway 265, Branson, 417-243-1777, chateauonthelake.com

Just looking at this stunning appetizer is a treat, but sink your teeth into this candy apple–sweet dish, and you’ll know why the crispy pork belly appetizer at Chateau Grille is a crowd favorite. First, chefs braise Berkshire pork belly in a juniper berry braise for 3 to 4 hours to tenderize the flavorful meat before it’s dredged in flour, seared to seal in the flavor and served on top of a fresh apple and mint salad. The whole delicious dish is drizzled with a caramel brandy reduction and topped with a sweet appletini foam. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

 

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