by Deborah Wolfe
Palm trees and sandy beaches might not be the first things that come to mind when you think of the Lake of the Ozarks, but visitors to Franky and Louie’s Beachfront Bar and Grill at the 10-mile marker will find a tropical paradise lush with beachside amenities and indulgent food offerings.
Known as the “Key West of the Midwest,” the sprawling Franky and Louie’s complex includes a white sand beach, sand volleyball court, live entertainment and family-friendly games like cornhole and Jenga. There is even an old-time ice cream shop serving up heaping scoops of deliciousness. But the main attraction in this sea of amenities is Franky and Louie’s Beachfront Bar and Grill.
Outdoor dining in swimsuits and flip-flops may be a casual affair, but the food served up by Franky and Louie’s award-winning kitchen is anything but. This is the kind of place where chefs create one-of-a-kind dishes using fresh veggies and exotic fruits, and bartenders craft signature cocktails using house-made syrups and inventive mixology.
“We don’t want to serve typical bar food,” manager Scott Foppe said. “We want to be known for the quality of our food and our original recipes.”
Staying true to the Key West vibe, Chef Chris Messinio creates recipes inspired by the color and flavors of the islands. Fruits like mango, mandarins and pineapple along with house-made spices, sauces and dressing impart to his dishes a tropical zest.
“When I started here everything was fried and really heavy,” Messinio said. “I wanted to introduce lighter fare that reflects a tropical feel while still keeping longtime customer favorites.”