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Lake of the Ozarks

I will be going to Lake of the Ozarks next weekend and I'm curious about what chowhounds recommend there. Is there anything unique to the area to look for? Also, are there any place we ought to avoid?

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  1. I can recommend On the Rise Bakery and Bistro, it's only open for Breakfast/lunch. It's been a while since I've been down there but it was really good when i was there, the bakery makes a ham and cheese roll that I can't eat enough of and the bistro-style lunch and breakfast food is very well prepared.

    Other than that, in my limited time at the Lake I haven't had much luck, a lot of chain restaurants and such, but, I am sure there are some gems that I just have missed.

    Here is the link to On the Rise http://www.ontherisebakery.com/

    2 Replies
      1. re: FriendOfTheDevil

        Third for OTR. Very good. Bananas Foster French toast is my wife's favorite.

    1. Barons Bistro is my favorite place at the lake - it's in Camdenton, though, which can be quite a ways from a lot of the main Lake action:

      Barons Bistro
      8 Bridal Cave Rd, Camdenton, MO
      Tel: (573) 346-6369

      The Kenilworth House Sidewalk Café is also great - very folksy/foodie, with cool kitchen gadgets and cookbooks in the entryway, too:

      The Kenilworth House Sidewalk Café, Highway 54, Lake Ozark, MO 65049 (573) 348-5959

      The Duck (Formerly the Lucky Duck) isn't bad, and has the advantage of being one of the area's upscale restaurants right on the lake:


      Avoid, avoid, avoid the Blue Heron and Potted Steer - yucky (a spider in my salad - no joke), crazy (cornish hen with raw green grapes in what seemed to be a cinnamon-flavored water.. gourmet? non) food and mediocre service.

      Also, look for divey looking bbq places by the sides of highways.. they're kind of a Lake tradition and are often quite good.

      Finally, my favorite restaurant at the Lake used to be Toledo's (at Four Seasons resort) - the chef was unbelievably good and finally left for a much better paying job at a really good restaurant in San Francisco. Unfortunately, after he left, the restaurant ceased to exist. There might be something else in there now, but I have no idea how good it is. Anyone tried the Four Seasons restaurants lately (like HKs, or the raquetball place)? (Or the Tan Tara - another golf resort - restaurants, for that matter?)

      1. I hate to tell you this but On the Rise Bakery and The Duck Restaurant (www.theduckrestaurant.com) are both closed for the season and won't reopen until sometime around the end of February or mid-March. Check out both websites.
        Baron's Bistro has been closed for about 3 years but there is a German restaurant there now and it's Der Essen Platz. The Kenilworth house has been closed for about 5 years and there is a Chinese restaurant there now.
        HK's is in the Lodge of Four Season's and has a varied menu, somewhat upscale.
        Andre's on the Lake is an upscale French restaurant on Horseshoe Bend and is very nice. A cozy bar that has it's own menu and the restaurant with a great view.
        Go to www.funlake.com and click on dining and you can read about all of our restaurants.
        We have many local casual restaurants that are far better than the chains.

        3 Replies
        1. re: lovethelake

          Wow, that's sad - interestingly, it seems that both these closures corresponded pretty closely time-wise with the destruction of the historic Arrowhead Lodge. *sighs*

          1. re: seethaki

            I've been going to the lake for 12 years, and the best I've ever had is Andre's. A French trained chef serving amazing French and Mediterranean cuisine! And you can't beat the view.

            1. re: Dr.Tam

              My god, this place is amazing. I thought their walleye was perfect, and the scallops in saffron cream sauce was so good I asked the waiter for the recipe, and he got it for me. What a view, too. If you want romantic, good cocktails, and great food, this is it.

          1. re: WyCo

            The Seven Springs Winery looks awesome! I wish I still lived in MO.

            1. re: seethaki

              Really pretty site and the food and wine were pretty good.
              We haven't been to Der Essen Platz since it moved from Stover, but we always enjoyed their food before.

              1. re: WyCo

                I remember way back when Der Essen Platz was in Cole Camp.. they were excellent for years and then started to slip. (On a different, but related, note, I hope that place down the street from the former Der Essen Platz in Cole Camp is still there.. a guy [Amish, I think?] started up a small place with just 1-2 items offered on the menu per day, plus ever-changing baked goods. It was excellent, but I never saw anyone else eating there...)

          2. Wobbly Boots has very good BBQ. There is a great Nacho dish on the appetizers that is a meal in itself. A bar called "Pickled Petes" has a good blackend fish sandwich. A favorite more upscale restaurant is J.B. Hooks. They have a very good surf & turf. The Horny Toad has a nice atmosphere and marginal food except for the chicken wings...they are great. Is there anything going on this weekend? My review is for their summer season. I do not eat out as much if I go off season.

            1. Depends on what you're looking for. the best steaks are to be had a Michael's near Tantara down towards the souther end. It's otherwise pretty basic, but they do know how to treat s decent piece of beef. The upscale pickings are sort of slim; my thought is that the Windrose at Tantara is probably the best. The Blue Heron is a somewhat timewarpy sort of place that does do some very good things and some very wierd things. an excellent osso bucco, but a number of the dishes and particularly the presentations are fresh from the 1950's. the bottomless cask of cognacs personally blended by the owner is a pleasure. A truly over the top local specialty; the battered and deep fried lobster tail, is available at several restaurants, but is best at JBHook's, and at J Brunner's. I would have to say, though, that for a resort area of high population, there is not a lot to rave about.

              2 Replies
              1. re: chazzerking

                The Old Trail House on highway 5 a few miles north of Camdenton has pretty good food and a killer view of the lake at sunset.

                1. re: tusti

                  Almost forgot - Ruthie D's on Horseshoe Bend is pretty good:


              2. So....just leaving land of the ozarks and want to thank the chowhounders for their recommendations. As it turns out, I tried JG Hooks as the sun was setting and the view was so spectacular, I highly recommend going their for sunset. The grouper tacos I had were really tasty too. I had an AMAZING breakfast at On the Rise Bakery, definitely worth going to. And I had a lousy meal at Bentley's, a way over priced filet mignon covered in some kind of yicky sauce.

                3 Replies
                1. re: lizzieeats

                  Next time you go to On the Rise Bakery, try the Lobster bisque served in a phyllo crust bowl. Yum!

                  1. re: lizzieeats

                    Before I saw that I am too late I was going to suggest JB Hooks. Been awhile, but I always loved that place. Someone above asked about HK's, etc. Also been awhile, but it is overpriced and The Lodge is just not what it used to be. Apparently closed for the season, but The Duck is awesome for probably half the cost of HK's. Just in case yo go back to the Lake or someone else who needs info reads this. ; )

                    1. re: lizzieeats

                      Bentley's was always known for it's prime rib I found out later. I stupidly had chicken when I was there and was a little disappointed. Their escargot was good though. But I am talking almost 10 years ago that I ate there.

                    2. It's a shame that Grady's Hickory Pit in Gravois Mills is long gone and forgotten by most. Best BBQ you've ever had and their sauce was in a class by its self. I'm dating myself. Sigh.