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 »  Home  »  Regional Editorials  »  Central Mid West  »  Central Midwest -Summer - JB Hooks
Central Midwest -Summer - JB Hooks
By Tom Landers | Published  08/24/2006 | Central Mid West | Unrated
GET HOOKED AT Fine Dining in a Casual Atmosphere

With an unsurpassed 14-mile view of the beautiful Lake of the Ozarks as its backdrop, and a classy yet relaxed elegant décor with a slight Floridian feel, you are greeted with the comfortable ambiance that is JB Hook’s. A welcoming interior that is clean and cozy while remarkably open and spacious at the same time. The classic design with a slightly contemporary feel immediately puts you at ease, yet the elegance of the establishment promises exceptional culinary delights to please even the most discerning palates.

There is an innate realization of every man that the selections that an establishment offers will be on a direct level of excellence with the interior of the establishment. If the interior is unkempt and sparse, the food and service will follow suit and be unimpressive, or worse. If the interior is clean, well kept, nicely decorated and bright – then the food will be pleasing and the service exceptional. This becomes a subconscious expectation of every diner attributed to their past dining experiences. JB Hook’s meets those subconscious expectations on every level. From the impeccable, attentive service to the inspired delicious menu offerings, you are sure to be pleased with your visit to this fine restaurant, at any time of the day.

Patrons return again and again for their favorite dishes prepared to perfection. From Hook’s signature 14 to 16 ounce Australian cold-water Lobster Tail with a hand-carved Filet Mignon to their Steak Neptune, or the Tournedos Hook’s to their Veal Oscar, the Salmon Du Jour to the Tilapia with a champagne cream sauce, the Chicken Gregory to the Lobster Pasta, the unsurpassed Coconut Shrimp or the Grouper Fingers, or even the nightly Special Selections by the Chef designed to further vary your dining experience. Whatever your taste buds desire, there is sure to be something on the menu to please you.

 JB Hook’s also offers an extensive wine collection to compliment any meal, a Cocktail Lounge with a full selection of both Domestic and Imported beers, a Shrimp and Oyster Bar featuring Peel and Eat Shrimp, New Orleans Barbeque Shrimp and Raw Oysters on the Half Shell, and even Premium Imported Cigars that are available for your pleasure at the bar.

When I spoke with Mr. Lafata regarding his menu selections, he told me of a trip to Florida that had inspired some of the selections – especially the Crunchy Grouper Fingers. He had enjoyed a wonderful Grouper Sandwich at a restaurant in Florida, so when he came back he wanted to do it “our way” and incorporate variations of it on the menu. Taking 3 good sized Grouper Fingers they are battered using a secret house recipe, then rolled in frosted flakes, deep-fried and drizzled with honey for a sweet taste treat. A signature Raspberry Chipotle Sauce then accompanies the dish to complete the experience.

Established in 1993, JB Hook’s has had quite an illustrious history. The business was purchased in February of 1993, burnt down on the morning of May 5th  “a day I’ll never forget” states Mr. Lafata, rebuilt and redesigned over the summer, and re-opened for business on September 15 for that years “super-boat races”. Since that time business continues to increase every year. The popularity of the restaurant is most evident by the number of people who (upon seeing Mr. Lafata’s personalized plates that bear the restaurants name) whenever he is in St. Louis or Kansas City, or even Springfield, compliment him on both the great food and great service received when they patronize the restaurant upon their visits to the Lake of the Ozarks. “That would have to be my favorite part of this business” states Mr. Lafata, “is the customers satisfaction with the service and the food, and they are willing to tell you about it. We pride ourselves on our level of service, and the food that we serve, so it is nice to be recognized for that when you are visiting somewhere else.”

JB Hook’s features two dining rooms, one (aptly named the Sunset Room) that is enclosed by three walls of glass to provide an unparalleled view of the lake and its beautiful sunsets, with the fourth wall occupied by an Abalone shell encrusted fireplace. The second dining room is entitled the Garden Room, also featuring some wonderful lake views for your dining pleasure. Each dining room even has its own kitchen for efficiency and convenience during the different dining times of Lunch and Dinner. A spacious covered deck provides for your outdoor dining pleasure, weather permitting. While a fully stocked bar in the Cocktail Lounge well allows for your after dinner relaxation time with friends.

JB Hook’s is open daily at 11:00AM for Lunch, and 4:30 PM for Dinner. No reservations are accepted, however wait times to be seated are at a minimum from 4:30 to 6:00 PM. If you have a large group function such as a Business Meeting or Wedding Reception that requires a private dining room, a room can be rented in advance for that purpose.

Call 573-365-3255 for arrangements or more information, or you can log onto 

All in all, a trip to the Lake of the Ozarks just would not be complete without at least one visit to this fine dining establishment. A visit that you are sure to never forget, and will look forward to repeating upon your next vacation or week-end getaway.