Table Talk

Table Talk: June 20–26

This week: Enjoy dinner with a view at Finley Farms, join a cooking class this summer, Taste of SoMo returns and more in Table Talk.

by Tessa Cooper

Jun 20 2023 at 8 a.m.

Finley Farms bridge in Ozark MO
Photo courtesy Finley FarmsFinley Farms hosts its first-ever Farm to Bridge Dinner this Saturday evening.

Dinner With a View

Finley Farms is hosting its first-ever Farm to Bridge Dinner this Saturday evening and it sounds like it’s going to be an ethereal and downright-delicious experience. Secure a ticket, and you’ll get to imbibe on the historic Riverside Bridge surrounded by the beauty of the Ozarks. The event kicks off with a cocktail hour and hors d’oeuvres before the 5-course family-style meal with wine pairings. A couple of noteworthy items on the menu include gem lettuce with marinated blackberries, quail fried to perfection and buttermilk panna cotta with notes of strawberry and honeysuckle.

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Grown-Up Summer School

Picking up new skills for the kitchen is a great way to keep your mind fresh this summer. Here are some upcoming educational opportunities for you and the gourmand in your life:

Pickwick & Cherry (607 S. Pickwick) is hosting several types of cooking classes this summer. On July 6 from 6:30 to 9 p.m., bring your beau to the Italian Date Night Cooking Experience. You’ll learn how to make ravioli from scratch with a good dousing of marsala cream sauce, shrimp scampi, authentic Caesar salad and a chocolate-hazelnut torte. Or if you’re more of a fan of Southwest flavors, the New Mexico Date Night Cooking Experience taking place this weekend may be more up your alley. 
Private Chef Anna has an innate talent for magnifying the flavors of ordinary ingredients through her techniques like searing, poaching and broiling. You can learn some of her trade secrets at her Intro to Culinary Techniques class at The Workshop at Finley Farms (840 Finley Farms Lane, Ozark) on June 25 from 4-6 p.m.
Blue Heron Farm & Bakery (206 E. Commercial) is also now hosting cooking classes with dates scattered throughout the summer. Learn how to perfect the art of croissant and galette making or discover how to make tortillas so you never have to buy store-bought again.

An Appetizing Outing

Taste of SoMo is this Saturday, June 24 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Park Central Square. We love this annual event because it’s a convenient way to try out those places that have been on your local food bucket list. Sampling tickets cost $10 for 10, and a portion of the proceeds benefit Ozarks Food Harvest. Here’s the lineup of the restaurants and vendors participating this year:

• 3rabiana
• Big Whiskey’s
• El Paraiso Mexican Kitchen
• Greek Belly
• Hawk’s Popcorn 
• Jamaican Patty Co.
• Mimi’s Soulfood
• Nothing Bundt Cakes
• The Riksha
• The Sandwich Scene

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ICYMI: Itty Bitty News Bites

Springfield Brewing Company is at it again! A few weeks ago, they announced that they are opening The Willard Frisco Highline Tap & Tasting Room with their sister business, Ty Iechyd Da Distillery. But just this past week, they also revealed grand plans for a tap and tasting room for the Rogersville and Strafford communities on MO-125. This location will serve woodfired pizza in addition to brews and spirits! Say no more, we’ll be there this fall. 

If you’ve been curious about what’s going to replace the now-closed Taco Habitat at 3325 S. Glenstone Ave., we’ve got an answer for you. Black Sheep Burgers and Shakes will start slinging out burgers there around August, according to owner Mike Jalili. This location will operate similarly to the Black Sheep A.S.A.P. location (2420 E. Sunshine St.).

The construction along Jefferson Avenue in downtown Springfield is still going on, but it doesn’t seem to be putting a damper on a new business venture at the corner of Jefferson and Walnut. A new sign has popped up in the window at 400 E. Walnut St. and it reads, “Lucky Time Chinese, Opening Soon!” We’ll keep you posted. This space was previously home to the original Aviary Café and most recently Chameleon Cuisine.

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Sage Advice

One of our favorite early summer traditions is visiting Red Barn Herb Farm at 9759 W. Farm Road 178 in Republic. It is a treasure trove of fresh culinary herbs, so come prepared with cash or a checkbook. Barb Emge co-owns the farm with her husband Don, and she’s always there to greet you and provide tips on cooking with your purchases and keeping them flourishing. Some of the herbs, like Za’atar or Cuban oregano, will add global flavors to your dishes. Other varieties put a spin on the classics, like the lime basil or mint mojito. Emge also offers recipes for concoctions like rosemary lemonade, herbal vinegar and pesto to make with your haul. You can visit Red Barn Herb Farm this week on Thursday or Friday from 9 a.m.—1 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m.—2 p.m. or by appointment in July.