Seasonal dishes, creative cocktails, and upscale-casual with a lake view.
by Nathan Bechtold
An evening on the Lake can be anything you want it to be, but when it comes to an elevated waterfront dining experience, there’s only one place: 1932 Reserve.
Formerly a lakefront hotel and tavern built in the 193
0s, now completely restored, 1932 Reserve is the only restaurant of its kind on Lake of the Ozarks. Blending industrial, modern, rustic, and elegant stylings, the restaurant feels like it was plucked out of a chic downtown location and nestled onto the Lake’s shoreline. Vast ceilings inside complement the ample, urban-rustic bar. And if the weather is uncooperative, inside is where you’ll sit. But the waterfront dining experience at the Reserve is best enjoyed on the sprawling, covered patio. Well-spaced tables create a sense of a private dinner, and the fire burning in the midst of the nearby granite bar adds a flair of elegance. The Reserve’s access by land and boat means elegant attire is optional. Some come in shorts and a t-shirt; others arrive dressed to the nines. Managing Partner Mark Spears calls it “upscale casual.” It’s the best of both worlds, with a view of the sunset.
Chef Kimberly Subject distinguishes herself not only by being the only female head-chef at the Lake, but by crafting creative, seasonally inspired, can’t-stop-eating-it cuisine.
Subject has worked in the restaurant industry her entire life, and took the role of Executive Chef at the Reserve in early 2020. Kim graduated from the Virginia College culinary school in Chattanooga, Tennessee. She worked two jobs while going to school so she could get closer to her dream of someday running her own restaurant. Eventually her kids brought her back to the Lake area, even though she worried it might hurt her career. “I thought there’s no way that I could get in the door anywhere down here [at the Lake], then I found the Reserve,” Subject said. “I knew that I was going to have the freedom to create here.”
She has always been intrigued by the science of food, and enjoys crafting new dishes and variations on customer favorites, every season. Spears explains the chef-driven menu keeps its core, popular items year-round, but changes the way those items are prepared, garnished, and presented based on the season. In the summer, the pan-seared salmon filet is served with cucumbers, cilantro, and Mediterranean flavors; then in the fall it is adorned with butternut squash, dried cranberries, pecans, and pomegranates.
Dining takes place on the Lake level, but upstairs at the Reserve, The Lofts offer six rentable lofts. These range from a 6-bedroom penthouse with sunken living room and kitchen area, to a 1-bedroom honeymoon suite with original fireplace. Rent out one loft or all, for an unforgettable stay at the Lake.
Opened in June of 2019, the Reserve draws clients by land and by water, hungry for a unique meal. Brand-new docks welcome boaters to come tie up, step on land, and enjoy an upscale place for dinner. “You can sit here and feel like you’re in a city eating dinner eating chef-driven food,” says Spears, “But you’re sitting lakeside, watching the boats go by.”
Whether you spend your whole weekend or just an evening at the Reserve, there’s plenty on the menu to make every minute special.
For an appetizer, the Kung Pao Carrots bring a kick of flavor. These are sous-vide to leave them firm and perfectly-cooked. The sweetness of the rainbow carrots is complemented by savory cashews, cilantro, and ginger-tahini sauce.