If uber fresh food straight from the farm is what you’re yearning for, Springfield has plenty to offer. From farmers’ markets to farm-to-table dining, the food comes from right here in the Ozarks and it couldn’t be better.
At Gilardi’s Italian Ristorante, owner and chef James Martin not only serves farm-fresh food, he actually grows it right on the grounds of the restaurant and in another location downtown. That’s right, the landscaping you see this morning might be on your plate tonight!
The first two hours of his day begin in the gardens where he tends the herbs and vegetables using skills he learned from his grandmother and assesses what’s going to be ready to use in the restaurant’s seven daily specials along with the rest of the menu.
Martin said the gardens are a critical part of his business and he attributes much of his success as a restaurateur to them. The best sellers, after all, are the menu items based on locally-grown food.
“Any time you can say we grew it or it was grown local, that’s going to sell,” Martin said.
Gilardi’s is one of several restaurants in Springfield offering farm-to-table dining.
At The Order, the restaurant inside Hotel Vandivort, the diverse, upscale cuisine is inspired by food products sourced from several local suppliers, and you’ll wish you could sample everything from the extensive menu.
You could start the day with a cup o’ joe made from a special blend produced at The Coffee Ethic and a hearty omelet with ham from Circle B Ranch, Willow Mountain Mushrooms and goat cheese from Terrell Creek Farm.
When lunchtime rolls around, the Vandivort Club might be just what you need to satisfy your taste buds. The sandwich of turkey, ham, bacon, smoked provolone, greens, tomatoes and onions is served on fresh sourdough made at Artisan’s Oven.
The Vandivort Club at The Order in Springfield, Missouri.
For dinner, try the Braised Circle B Ranch Pork Belly served with celery root puree, fruit and nut compote and carrot gel or the Blackgate Farms Chef’s Cut, premium grass-fed beef cooked to suit your taste. If veggies are your thing, order the Vegetarian, a dish designed by the chef to capture the flavors of the season.
The Order also uses products from Askinosie Chocolate, Urban Roots Farm, Blue Heron Farm, Green Thicket Farm, Edgewood Creamery, Legacy Bagelry, Hurts Donut and Millsap Farms.
As for Millsap Farms, a special occasion each Thursday night from May to October makes it a dining must. During Thursday Night Pizza Club, wood-fired pizzas baked in earthen ovens are served buffet style.
Pizza is served outside at Millsap Farms in Springfield, Missouri.
Three kinds of pizza topped with organically raised seasonal produce harvested from the farm and locally produced meats, cheeses, sauces and vegetables are offered each week.
Thursday Night Pizza Club includes a tour of the farm where the owners, Curtis and Sarah Millsap, pride themselves on practicing organic agriculture.
If you want to give it a try, you need to sign up early because table space is limited at this outdoor event.
That’s just a small sample of farm-to-table dining options in the Springfield area. We suggest you try them all!