1. The chicken gratella at Jimm's Steakhouse & Pub (417-886-5466, jimmssteakhouseandpub.com) has an indulgent combination of flavors. The grilled chicken is topped with sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts and melted bleu cheese. The whole thing is served over rich mashed potatoes and streaked with a balsamic glaze.
2. We love the tom kha gai soup at Thai Peppers (417-882-1979). The potent broth is laced with coconut milk for a barely creamy finish. Plus it’s full of perfectly cooked veggies (we like the mushrooms the best) and tender chicken.
3. To fulfill a thin-crust craving, we’ve been eating the Grecian pizza at 417 Pizza (417-887-4417, 417pizza.com). The crispy crust is topped with grilled chicken, feta cheese, spinach, tomatoes, kalamata olives and red onions. The best part? They do not go light on the feta.
4. A change of pace for our chicken wing cravings, the salt and vinegar wings at Dublin’s Pass (417-877-7625, dublinspass.com) are meaty and cooked well, with a crispy outside surrounding juicy meat. The wings have a strong and enticing vinegar smell, but the flavor is very mild.
5. We can’t get enough of the Aviary Suzette crepe at Aviary Café and Creperie (417-866-6378, aviarycafe.com). This dessert is practically perfect thanks to the apricot sauce. It’s so flavorful and bright, but not overly sugary. The whipped cream is a sweet addition.
6. A big and shareable appetizer is the japchae at Jin’s Fine Asian Cuisine (417-886-2082). The sweet-and-savory glass noodle, beef and veggie salad is served warm. It has lots of fun textures: Tender meat, slick noodles, crunchy chives, soft mushrooms.
7. For a quick lunch, we love the steak wrap sandwich at Boca Mocha (417-865-3828, bocamocha.com). Steak, poblano peppers, spinach, cheddar cheese and onions are wrapped up with a tangy “custom sauce.” We don’t know what it is, but we like it!