Table Talk

Table Talk: June 23–30

Plus feeding your whole crew, seven dishes in southwest Missouri that we love and more old favorites and new friends in this week's Table Talk.

by Katie Pollock Estes

Jun 23 2020 at 8 a.m.

Cauliflower steak at Progress
Photo courtesy ProgressCheck out the new summer menu at Progress.

Grad School’s Back in a New Locale

When Grad School closed down for COVID-19, a message from the restaurant said to expect a return in June. And they kept their promise! The downtown favorite opened late last week for their “Summer Internship” (we love that!). New hours are from noon to midnight Wednesdays through Saturdays—but don’t go to their little Jefferson Ave. building because you won’t find your favorite eats there. Instead, they’re opening up inside J.O.B. Public House’s location at 318 E. Walnut St. There’s a spruced up patio area out back to make room for plenty of social distancing while you tuck into your much-missed Full Ride burger.

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Bye Margot, Hello Emilia

Earlier this year, Springfield eatery Margot had to close its doors due to COVID-19. It was news we did not love to hear, but yesterday the restaurant posted some promising news that lifted our spirits. Chef Drake Tillman has plans to open something new at 300 E. Commercial St. called Emilia Bar & Trattoria. The space has been in limbo for a long time, but Emilia is scheduled to open next year with a menu of pastas and other bits of Italian cuisine. We know it’ll be worth the wait and can’t wait to see a menu so we can start planning our first meal.

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Feed the Whole Crew

During COVID-19, several local restaurants started to offer family-style meals for carryout or curbside pick-up while their dining rooms had to remain closed. One super-popular option was the family bundle at Thai Express, which was a stellar value: three full-size entrees (which are already shareable in size) plus two appetizers for $30 to $35 depending on the options you choose. The bundles disappeared when things started to return to semi-normal, but for this week only they’re back while the restaurant decides whether or not to make the popular bundles a permanent part of the menu.

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Summertime at Progress

New seasonal menus are always hotly anticipated at Progress, and summer is one of our favorites thanks to the abundance of great produce. Tonight for dinner, Progress is launching that summer menu, and it’s absolutely packed with killer fresh flavors that we can’t wait to pop in to try. Seasonal ingredients play heavily on the menu, with a tomato toast on Neighbor’s Mill bread, a beet and strawberry salad, pickle-powder dusted fried chicken with watermelon hot sauce, and so much more. But more than anything, we’re eyeing the watermelon salad with cucumber, pickled fennel, Terrell Creek goat cheese and fresh shiso leaf. Oh my. That sounds like summer on a plate.