One Sunday last fall, my husband Travis and I found ourselves with some free time (what?) and without kids (thanks, Grandma), so we decided to celebrate by eating out.
“There’s a place I’ve been following on Facebook called Finn’s that looks intriguing,” I said. “Let’s try that.”
Always eager for a new experience (and also really, really hungry), we hopped into the car and followed the directions on the GPS, which led us to what appeared to be a former supermarket. We paused in front of the building, seeing signs for Precision Pilates and The Emerson, but not Finn’s. “The GPS says it’s supposed to be here,” I insisted, seemingly forgetting the multiple times that Google Maps had previously led me astray.
“Let’s check out what’s on the side of the building,” suggested Travis.
We rounded the corner, and there it was: the entrance to Finn’s.
Inside, there was a spacious dining room with crystal chandeliers to our left (which we learned is part of The Emerson Event Center), and a small room which operates as a restaurant and bar to our right (which is Finn’s).
With its stone fireplace, paneled walls, and substantial chairs made from rich wood and leather, the room feels like a library in a traditional English manor, and reminds me of an atmosphere often found in upscale restaurants in big cities.
The crackling fire felt cozy and inviting on that chilly day, and we were glad that there was a table available right next to it so that we could enjoy its warmth. I’d been craving Eggs Benedict, so that’s what I ordered, crossing my fingers that Finn’s would deliver a satisfying version of my favorite brunch dish.
And they did.
Served on a hearty split English muffin, the savory bourbon-glazed ham complimented the delicate poached egg and creamy Hollandaise sauce, and made my mouth so happy. The seasoned home fries that were served with the dish were addicting – and filling. I reached a point where I could eat no more, and took the remainder of my meal home to feast on later.
Since we were eating around one o’clock, Travis was more in the mood for lunch, so he ordered the inventive Hangover Burger, a smash burger topped with pepper jack cheese, chorizo, a fried egg, and avocado. It delivered a mouthful of smoky, spicy flavors.
Other intriguing brunch menu items at Finn’s include Honey Chicken and Biscuits, Raspberry Cream Stuffed French Toast, and Clark’s Cheesecake Omelet. There are also a variety of salads, sandwiches, and tacos to satisfy any palate. And you can sip on a mimosa or a Bloody Mary to make your leisurely brunch experience complete.
Once we discovered Finn’s, we couldn’t get enough of it. Within the next few weeks, we returned to Finn’s for brunch and lunch with friends and family, and then for dinner on our date night when we, once again, sat next to the crackling fire (so romantic!).
We started with drinks and appetizers. Travis ordered The Emerson, which is a Moscow Mule served with basil and cucumber.
I ordered The 32nd Street, which was made with bourbon, simple syrup, fresh blackberries, and mint.
I like how the drinks are named after people and places connected with the restaurant and Joplin. It’s a nice touch.
Travis ordered the shrimp cocktail, which came with a generous number of plump shrimp.
I ordered bruschetta, which is a popular appetizer here, according to our server.
A departure from traditional tomato-topped appetizer served on French or Italian bread, Finn’s version features toasted flatbread triangles drizzled with a balsamic glaze and served with delicious herbed cream cheese.
While we were eating our appetizers, the seats at the bar filled up, and I overheard a man say that Finn’s was his favorite place in town to get drinks. I can understand why. Not only does it offer a relaxing place to enjoy cocktails, you can do so for half price during Happy Hour, which runs Monday through Thursday, 4 pm to 7 pm, and includes beer, house wine, well drinks, and appetizers.
Travis and I each ordered a glass of wine with dinner, and we joked about the circus-sized glasses that the wine was served in.
However, we certainly didn’t mind the substantial amount of liquid those glasses could hold.
For his dinner entrée, Travis ordered the special of the day, which was a version Finn’s hand-cut tenderloin; it was truly fork tender.
I took our server’s advice and ordered Clark’s Chop, an apple-brined French pork chop topped with a sweet and smoky bourbon glaze, and served with mashed potatoes and bacon bourbon green beans.
I can’t remember when I’d last eaten a pork chop, as it isn’t typically a cut of meat that I prefer. But tasting Finn’s flavorful and tender (there’s that word again) chop has quite possibly converted me.
Finn’s also offers a variety of other menu options, including seafood dishes, salads (like caprese avocado – yum!), and soup (like house-made gumbo).
After that hearty meal, I needed to stand up and stretch (dining is such a challenging sport), so I got up and wandered around. I decided to check out the restrooms. You can tell a lot about a restaurant from its restrooms, and the ladies’ restroom at Finn’s is simply stunning.
I returned to the table to discover a piece of chocolate cake waiting for me, and groaned.
“I can’t take another bite,” I said, as I picked up my fork and took yet another bite. I mean, I had to at least try a bite of that scrumptiousness, right?
Just then, the restaurant owner Chef Mickel Clark, came to our table to see how we were enjoying our meal. It was nice to see him engaging with, and getting feedback from, his customers. He told us about some exciting things that he and his partner Chef Red Morris (the barbeque master) had been working on, such as expanding the hours at Finn’s to seven days a week, and introducing Clark’s Cuisine on the Scene, a traveling food truck that features a limited menu.
How do they do all of that plus operate Clark’s Cuisine, the catering business for The Emerson (as well as for off-site events)? These men have found many creative ways to showcase their culinary talent, and the Joplin community is lucky to benefit from their efforts.
A Few Things to Note
Featuring a combination of steakhouse items, comfort food, and Southern flair, Finn’s offers a unique, elevated dining experience in Joplin. Here are some things to know before you go:
Finn’s is located at 2707 E. 32nd Street. It sits back from the street, so you may drive past it the first time, but definitely turn back! It’s so worth the trip.
Finn’s is open daily; dinner only on Saturday, brunch only on Sunday, and both lunch and dinner served the rest of the week. Click here for reservations.
Finn’s offers outdoor dining! Enjoy your food on the patio in nice weather.
Follow Finn’s on Facebook for information on special events and live music (like Saxophone Saturday).
For information on booking The Emerson or for off-site catering, click here.
This is Finn. Look for the photo of him near the bar at the restaurant.
To read more about my adventures in the area, visit JoplinMOLife.com.