The Ozark Mill is Open
After much anticipation from Finley Farms fans who have been dying to see the restored Ozark Mill up close, The Mill Restaurant is now open and offering delicious fare with ingredients grown on the property.
By Katie Pollock Estes
The build-up to finally getting to dine inside the restored Ozark Mill was a slow burn with a big payoff. Finley Farms has been slowly evolving, one charming attraction at a time, as new elements have been added and opened over time. The Ozark Farmers Market moved into the space, then The Workshop opened—with its tall ceilings, scent of freshly brewed espresso and delicious little bites. It quickly became a gathering spot for friends who wanted to join a crafting or cooking workshop or just enjoy a coffee by the fireplace. But all the while, we’ve been eying that historic mill, waiting patiently to see the results of a meticulous restoration.
Well now it’s open, and we’re happy to report it does not disappoint.
The Ozark Mill Restaurant is a rustic and beautiful space, with tall ceilings and an airy atmosphere that utilizes the old millworks to add a rustic charm. In fact you can see the millworks in the ceiling in certain parts of the space, like in the waiting area outside the bar. Peek up into the hoppers, and you can see all the way to the top. The floors in the space use wood that was original to the mill as well, although all of it was pulled up and restored before being reset.
When you arrive, you can browse the little market, which features handcrafted items and lots of fun foodie finds. But the highlight is the dining room, where a wall of windows look out onto the Finley River and lets sunlight flood into the airy space.
The menu features dozens of ingredients that are grown or produced at Finley Farms, including veggies from the gardens and honey from the apiary. The dishes are modern and creative with a farm-to-table flair you’d expect from a spot that’s so connected to the land it sits on. Take for instance the Signature Green Tomato Cake, which has the spiced warmth of a slice of carrot cake, but a beautiful green hue thanks to tomatoes from the farm. Also on the regular menu, there’s a beautiful short rib pasta featuring wide pappardelle pasta, fresh mushrooms and tender, red wine–braised beef. The Pepper Blossom cocktail is a vegetal and herbaceous addition, with its vodka, jalapeño, basil, grapefruit juice and elderflower liqueur.
You can also order from the restaurant’s additional Market Menu, featuring dish- es that will change with the season. Try the seasonal salad topped with tomatoes, beets, persimmon puree, pistachios and my favorite cheese on the planet: burrata. I’ve been eying the farmer’s board, too with its mix of grilled and pickled veggies, manchego cheese, and crusty sourdough bread.
Next up for The Ozark Mill at Finley Farms is the opening of The Garrison, a speakeasy-style bar with cocktails and tasty eats. It doesn’t yet have an opening date, but will I be back the second it’s ready? Heck yes.
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