**Due to COVID-19, restaurant hours and offerings may change. Please check with the restaurant ahead of time before visiting.
With so many laudable local restaurants, it’s easy to stay within the confines of Columbia for cuisine. But there are some spots a little farther afield that are well worth a trip. Here are six area eateries that put a little more “out” in dining out.
Emmett’s Kitchen & Tap
111 N. Main St., Fayette
Emmett’s Kitchen & Tap specializes in Cajun and creole dishes, including po’ boys, jambalaya, catfish and more. Try the crispy green beans, fried in a seasoned toasted onion batter or the New Orlean’s Grilled Shrimp & Andouille pasta, with a lemon creole mustard horseradish sauce and toasted orzo. Specialty cocktails include the Muddy Water Martini with peach vodka, Southern Comfort, amaretto and Coke and the Diesel Fuel, Emmett’s twist on a long island iced tea.
5650 E. Claysville Rd., Hartsburg
If you go to Claysville Store, you have to order the fried chicken. Many think it’s the best in the area. Other recommended dishes include the baby back ribs. Co-owner Laura Hooibrink bakes fresh pies, too — as if there’s any need to sweeten the deal! The restaurant, which is only open during limited hours, is located right on the Katy Trail, making the Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons this place is open well worth it. Reservations recommended.
510 High St., Arrow Rock
Catalpa in Arrow Rock will be open for its 10th season this summer and owner Liz Huff is changing a few things up. Menu offerings include an Ahi tuna steak sandwich, Impossible burger, turkey burger and regular burger. All sandwiches and burgers can be prepared in various “Catalpa ways” including ginger teriyaki, caprese, Santa Fe, German and more styles. The Desert Breeze Catalpa Way includes prickly pear sauce with fresh cucumbers and pickled red onions. Pair your burger or sandwich with a frozen watermelon cocktail or boozy mudslide milkshake.
206 Central St., Rocheport
Abigail’s, opened and owned by husband and wife team Susan and Todd Schapira and named for their daughter, is a can’t-miss stop in Rocheport. Enamored patrons call the cozy, quaint eatery “a gem” and “a diamond in the rough.” Try the homemade ravioli, in particular, the lobster, shrimp and scallop version with brown butter, garlic and lemon — it’s a standout. For dessert, Susan’s homemade pies are always amazing, the chocolate raspberry can’t be beat.
112 W. Carpenter St., Moberly
Lula’s may be a classic neighborhood bar and grill, but it draws diners from well outside the immediate area, too — some from as far as 60 miles away! It’s best known for its prime rib and steamed shrimp, but there’s plenty more on the menu to choose from, including burgers, chops and smoked chicken. The portions are ample, the atmosphere’s warm and of course, the beer’s cold. If you’re looking for a comfortable, casual place with good food and good service, discover why
Lula’s has a loyal following.
1407 N. Missouri St., Macon
The onion rings alone make Pear Tree worth the drive to Macon. The original restaurant, The Pear Tree of Bevier Missouri, was opened by Albert James Abbadessa in 1986 but fell to a fire in 2012. Today, it exists as Pear Tree Kitchen & Bar. The menu offers an array of delicious choices, everything from seafood — including Pear’s Tree famed battered fried lobster — to the aged-in-house Creekstone Farms steaks. If you have a hearty appetite, check out the items marked with a “W.” They’re in memory of Wade Abbadessa, who once worked there as house manager and was a third generation relative of the founder.