Best Winter Dishes

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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Seafood and Grits

$48 at Worman House Restaurant, 612 Devil’s Pool Road, Ridgedale, 417-335-2777,

In the South, grits are basically the definition of comfort food. This dish at Worman House Restaurant combines the creamy Southern favorite with fresh pan-seared scallops, sautéed shrimp and a broiled half lobster (wow!) for the ultimate indulgence. The dish is finished with a rich onion broth and a sweet spicy cayenne butter, which make it over-the-top delicious. 


Famous Soups

Starting at $4.25 at Nearly Famous, 2708 S. Glenstone Ave., Springfield, 417-883-3403,

The soups offered at Nearly Famous Deli & Pasta House are a favorite to many. Monday is creamed soup day (choices rotate), and Tuesday is the day when you can snag a bowl of the Sopa de Elote, a spicy, creamy Mexican corn chowder. Wednesday is the day to order pot roast soup, and Thursday is the day for baked potato soup. On Fridays you can order crab bisque, and chicken noodle is up for grabs on Saturday. The restaurant’s well-known deli tomato soup is offered every day, and there’s a hearty chili loaded with onions, green peppers, ground beef and red kidney beans and  topped with shredded cheddar available during the winter months.


Smoked Trout Chowder

$6.29 per pound at MaMa Jean’s Natural Market, multiple locations, Springfield, 417-429-1800,

While many of the soups at MaMa Jean’s Natural Market make us drool, we find the smoked trout chowder extra-hard to resist. The star of the chowder is smoked local rainbow trout from Rockbridge Trout and Game Ranch. While this provides a great depth of flavor, it’s combined with bacon, potato, celery, carrot, onion, corn, half and half, dill, parsley, sea salt and a few other key ingredients to help take it over the top. While it is offered at all of the MaMa Jean’s locations in Springfield, it’s only up for grabs at any one of them every couple weeks or so. Be sure to check the signs!


Autumn Squash Bisque

from Gilardi’s, 820 E. Walnut St., Springfield, 417-862-6400,

You can find this luscious soup on the menu at Gilardi’s, and it’s tasty enough to be the super-star of any meal. The house-made soup is thick and rich—the ideal combination of local butternut and acorn squashes, roasted red bell pepper, red onion, ginger and a hefty dose of whipping cream. Diced celery and carrots create a nice base to start everything off, and a bit of local honey finishes off the tasty creation. 


Cottage Pie

$9–13 at Farmers Gastropub, 2620 S. Glenstone Ave., Springfield, 417-864-6994, 

A couple of layers of comfort food are lovingly spooned together to create the cottage pie at Farmers Gastropub. It all starts with a hefty helping of Black Gate Farms ground beef, which gets mixed with savory house-made beef stock, sautéed onions, softened diced carrots, green beans and seasonings to create the base. Once the warm, fill-your-belly meat and veggie combo is loaded into the dish, it’s covered with a thick blanket of house-made mashed potatoes mixed with cheddar cheese. Filled with meat, potatoes and veggies, the classic British creation is a complete meal. If you’re not up for tackling an entire pie, you can order a mini version with a side salad. 



Spaghetti Red

$9 at Eagle Drive-In, 4224 Hearnes Blvd., Joplin, 417-623-2228

After Joplin’s famed Fred and Red’s restaurant shut its doors, a few sulking diners asked the foodie experts at Eagle Drive-In if they could take a stab at the old greasy spoon’s Spaghetti Red dish. Always up for trying something new, the kitchen crew at Eagle Drive-In accepted the challenge. To create the dish, they make their own version of chili with prime rib, Mother’s Brewing Company’s Three Blind Mice beer and bloody Mary mix, then serve it atop a pile of spaghetti noodles and top it all with diced red onions, pickles, Parmesan cheese and, wait for it, garlic aioli. 


The Mac & Cheese

$710 at Springfield Brewing Company, 305 S. Market Ave., Springfield, 417-832-8277,

There’s not much that’s more comforting than a big ol’ plate piled with mac and cheese. At Springfield Brew Co, the dish is made with shell pasta and a four-cheese Mornay sauce, then topped with garlic bread crumbs and shaved Parmesan. Insider tip: Be on the lookout for another variety of macaroni and cheese here. At press time, Brew Co. was close to announcing a new menu that includes Paul’s Cheddar Mac, a macaroni and cheese made with Paul’s cheddar ale.  


Steakhouse Soup

$8.50 at Level 2 Steakhouse, located in the Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel at 200 E. Main St., Branson, 417-243-3433,

If you imagine all that’s great about eating a steak dinner and then magically morph it into a soup, you’d get the steakhouse soup at Level 2. This dreamy concoction features hunks of certified Hereford beef swimming in a creamy broth that’s thickened with smoked potatoes. You’ll also find chunks of potatoes in there, along with a vibrant punch of flavor from sweet Hawaiian onions and leeks. There’s also cream, of course, and cheese, green onions and sour cream on top. It’s so delicious, you may just lick your bowl when it’s gone. Don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone.


Yesterdays Soup

Approximately $4.75 per cup at Flame Steakhouse, 314 W. Walnut St., Springfield, 417-862-4444,

Many things get better with age. This is the entire idea behind Yesterday’s Soup at Flame Steakhouse. After sitting overnight, the flavors enhance, and the soup becomes a much richer, more indulgent treat. While there’s always an option to order Yesterday’s Soup, the flavors rotate between American onion soup, mushroom beef and sage soup, tomato gin basil soup and more of the chef’s seasonal favorites.


Ossa Buco alla Milanese

$2528 (depending on market price) at Nicola’s Ristorante, 3631 E. Sunshine St., Springfield, 417-886-3700,

Chef Nicola Gilardi prepares and serves this veal dish just as it’s prepared and served in Milan. Basically a veal shank stew, this meaty anchor is served with mushroom and saffron risotto to make a meal that’ll knock your socks off.  

Dr. Pepper Short Ribs

$9.5019.75 at Touch Restaurant, 1620 E. Republic Rd., Springfield, 417-823-8383,

When a piece of meat literally falls apart when you poke it with your fork, you know it’s going to be delicious. This is the case with the Dr. Pepper Short Ribs at Touch Restaurant. These meaty treats are slow cooked for 12 to 14 hours with onion, red wine, tomatoes and Dr. Pepper, then they’re heated until the meat falls off of the bones. They’re served with jalapeño-cheddar polenta and an over-easy organic egg, and all together, it creates a savory delicious meal that’s sure to warm your soul. 


Three Onion Soup

$6 per bowl at Wilder’s Steakhouse, 1216 S. Main St., Joplin, 417-623-7230,

The culinary pros at Wilder’s Steakhouse make their own beef stock, and it’s used as the base of the three onion soup that’s been served here for 20 years. To make the treat, white and red onions are sautéed and then added to the rich broth base along with a handful of herbs and a blend of secret seasonings. Next, the mixture is poured into a traditional onion soup crock and topped with a large house-made crouton and velvety smooth Gruyère cheese. It’s all finished under the broiler, where intense heat melts the Gruyère into a perfectly gooey, slightly browned sheet of deliciousness. 


Slow-Braised Lamb Shank

$30 at Chateau Grille, Located at Chateau on the Lake, 415 N. State Hwy. 265, Branson,

When cooking, low and slow is often the way to go. This is the case at Chateau Grille, where the lamb shank is slow-braised for three hours before it’s served. To make the creation, the delectable meat is first dredged in potato flour, which helps make a nice, thick au jus. Next it’s braised, then plated with a forest mushroom Asiago risotto and a warm haricot vert and bacon salad. While the lamb is delicious enough to bring you to tears on its own, the savory sides take the whole meal to over-the-top amazing.


Green Curry With Shrimp

$1119.95 at Bangkok City, 1129 E. Walnut St., Springfield, 417-799-1221,

Before you order, be warned: This dish packs a pretty intense heat. It’s loaded with green beans, jalapeño, Asian eggplant, onions, shrimp and coconut milk, plus a generous pile of rice to help it all go down smoothly. If you can handle a little heat, you’ll love this creation.


Ham and Beans

Starting at $3.25 at Casper’s Diner, 601 W. Walnut St., Springfield, 417-866-9750

To make this traditional stick-to-your-ribs meal, the pros at Casper’s Diner cook off and dice up ham from whole ham hocks, place it in a pot with Great Northern beans and Casper’s secret blend of seasonings and slow cook it for about four hours. The dish is great served plain, but some people add onions, cheese or seasoned salt for an extra kick. Secret tip: Come in on a Friday to enjoy the dish with a big ol’ hunk of cornbread smothered in butter. 


$8.99 at Enoch’s BBQ & Southern Classics, 307 S. National Ave.,Springfield, 417-865-2888,

Every Monday, Enoch’s BBQ & Southern Classics offers meatloaf as its blue plate special. The traditional meatloaf here is topped with a brown sugar-ketchup sauce and is available with two sides, with the most popular choices being mashed potatoes with brown gravy and green beans and bacon. You’ll also get a side of cornbread, perfect for chomping on between bites. Yummo!

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