With a variety of rooms offering different ways for the over-21 crowd to enjoy a multitude of libations, Just a Taste felt like an adult amusement park, and I was overwhelmed by the number of choices I had to drink, eat, and have fun.
Oh, the places you’ll go…
These words from Dr. Seuss’ popular book popped into my mind on a recent trip to Just a Taste, just north of Joplin in Webb City.
How Just a Taste Came to Be
Just a Taste’s first location opened in St. James, Missouri, in the heart of our state’s wine country. In 2019, owners Eric Taylor, a certified sommelier, and Casey Stuck, an expert mixologist, opened a second location on Main Street in Webb City.
A wine bar and courtyard area were the only spaces open to the public while extensive renovations of the historic buildings housing the remainder of the complex were being completed. One year later, most of the remaining spaces – including a farm-to-table restaurant – are finally ready to greet visitors.
I recently got a sneak peek of the expanded Just a Taste from Event Coordinator and General Manager Stefanie Thomasma, and I’m so excited to share my experience with you.
Choose Your Own Adventure
This sign, which hangs in the center of Just a Taste’s complex, made me think of Dr. Suess’ book, and inspired me to adapt his words to describe my visit there:
You have drinks on the brain, Maybe wine? Maybe brews? You can steer yourself In any direction you choose.
You’re here with friends, And you know what you know. And you’re the ones Who’ll decide where to go.
Will you stop by for a tasting? Stay for a meal? Here’s a guide to the different areas of Just a Taste to help you plan your adventure.
Located just to the left of Just a Taste’s entrance, the courtyard pairs the feeling of being outdoors with the comforts of being inside with its expansive, faux-sky ceiling and shutters that can be opened in warm weather to allow the space to be directly open to Webb City’s historic Main Street.
When there’s a chill in the air, the heaters are fired up to provide both heat and ambiance. The Courtyard is a great space to enjoy a glass (or flight) of wine.
Zinc City Bar
Passing through the center of the complex, you’ll come to the Zinc City Bar. At the bar, which is literally made from zinc, you can order a flight of wine or have a tasting (or both!).
You can also order a coffee from local Bearded Lady Roasters. If you don’t have time to stay, you can simply pop in to get some grab-and-go items from the refrigerated case to pair with a bottle of wine.
Let’s talk about wine for a moment. Just a Taste’s signature label is Eagles’ Landing, and it’s produced in Rosati, Missouri, where owner Eric’s family has been making wine for over a century.
During our wine tasting, my husband Travis and I sampled both red and white wines. The reds included the Chambourcin, which offered notes of raspberry and blackberry, with a peppery finish; and Peno’s Blend, a semi-sweet red made from a blend of Stark’s Star and Concord grapes. Peno’s blend is named after Eric’s grandfather, the son of an Italian immigrant, who planted the grapes that are still used in making this wine.
The white wines that we tasted included the Vignoles, which offered tropical notes like pineapple; the Chardonel, a lightly-oaked wine with notes of pear and honeysuckle; and the sweet Lake Trip White (the most popular wine here), with notes of peach, pear, and rose. I don’t normally gravitate toward sweet wines, but the Lake Trip White was subtly sweet, and its rose floral notes intrigued my taste buds.
Stefanie said that it’s a great summer wine to sip on the porch, so Travis and I brought a bottle home and did just that.
There are more Eagles’ Landing wines to discover at Just a Taste, and you can read about them here.
Cackler’s Café and The Cardinal Room
Just off of Zinc City Bar is the dining area, which is comprised of Cackler’s Café, where you’ll find doors hung on the walls that were salvaged from the renovation of this historic building, and The Cardinal Room, which is decorated with Webb City’s Cardinal memorabilia.
Come for lunch (Wednesday through Friday), dinner (Wednesday through Saturday), or brunch (Saturday and Sunday).
When Travis and I visited Just a Taste a few weeks before the restaurant’s grand opening, its menu was in the final stages of development. We got to taste-test some dishes that made it on the menu, which I’m glad to see because they were nothing short of amazing.
We started off with the Cavatappi + Mornay, a pasta dish with a lovely Gruyere cream sauce.
This rich, sophisticated version of mac ‘n’ cheese paired well with the Eagles’ Landing Chardonel, a refreshing white wine.
For our entrée, we had a tender pork loin topped with a light, citrusy lemongrass chimichurri, and served with a potato croquette topped with grilled pineapple. You can find this dish on the menu as Bone-In Pork Chop (we were served the pork loin during our tasting due to availability).
The exotic flavors in this dish were complemented by the tropical notes of the Eagles’ Landing Vignoles white wine.
The menu offers other entrée items featuring quality cuts of meat prepared in inventive ways, as well as pasta dishes, salads, and starters. To view the menus for lunch, dinner, and brunch, click here.
Just a Taste
The impressive bar and sleek furniture give this cocktail lounge a sophisticated, urban feel. Order wine or beer, or one of Just A Taste’s inventive cocktails, like the Los Jimedores, which is made with El Buho Mescal, Bitter Truth EXR, Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao, and lime-and-smoked salt. It sounds incredible, and looks that way, too.
People who don’t drink alcohol don’t have to feel left out in this space. Just a Taste offers inventive mocktails, too, like the Frizzy Lemon, made with fresh lemon, simple syrup, and soda, and the Pinckney Bend Soda, made with Pinckney Bend Tonic and grapefruit soda.
Paddy O’Rourke Pub
For a traditional, Old-World feel, venture upstairs to the Paddy O’Rourke Pub.
With its mahogany bar, exposed brick walls, and cozy fireplace, this is a comfortable space in which to spend your time catching up with friends.
The basement level of Just a Taste features a room for wine tasting events, as well as lockers where club members can store their bottles. Just a Taste offers several types of club memberships featuring different drinks: wine, mead, craft beer, as well as whisky/whiskey (I just learned that there is a difference, and at Just a Taste there is a club for each type). Each month, members receive a bottle/bottles (depending on the club) to try.
King Jack Event Center
This impressive two-story venue is available for special events, and can accommodate up to 350 people. There’s a bar, dance floor, and stage, and you can rent just one floor or both.
Drinks, food, and fun – there are so many options at Just a Taste. What kind experience will you choose?
You’re off to great tastings! Today is your day. Just a Taste is waiting, So…get on your way!
Just a Taste is located at 105 South Main Street in Webb City, MO. Click here to visit its website, or follow Just a Taste Webb City on Facebook or Instagram.
Christine is a Chicago native and has lived in Joplin for almost two decades. Growing up in the Windy City, she loved to explore the wide variety of museums, restaurants, sports venues, theaters and parks. When she moved to Joplin her goal was to learn about the unique culture and attractions in the area. Now Christine discovers new things each week, whether it be a little-known park, a new restaurant or a community event. Joplin can be just as exciting as a major city if you dive in to all the community has to offer.