When Black Oak Grill first opened, it had high hopes of attracting a sophisticated crowd willing to pay higher prices for gourmet meals. The crowds never materialized, so the menu went more pedestrian, but remaining is an urban-chic atmosphere enhanced by tall ceilings, an island bar and an outdoor deck that looks out, unfortunately, mostly on a parking lot.
Trying to use locally sourced breads, meats and vegetables and preparing as much as possible from scratch (like its garlic smashed potatoes), it offers items like the Over-the-Top burger with bacon, tomato, pepper-jack sauce and house-pickled jalapeno on brioche bun, a classic Reuben sandwich, steaks, grilled meatloaf with its signature smashed potatoes and an iron-skillet trout (which arrives at the restaurant fresh, not frozen, and is prepared with a smoked almond crust).
Since most of the other restaurants in Branson Landing are big chains, this is the closest you can come to independent dining (there’s another Black Oak Grill in Omaha). Another incentive: happy hour Monday to Friday from 3 to 6 and Saturday from 11 to 6, with half-price drinks if you sit at the bar. And by the way, although the restaurant looks like it could be in Chicago, you’ll be listening here to country music.