The historic Vandivort Hotel in Springfield is home to The Order which features locally sourced American cuisine. Chef Calvin Davis, a 2019 James Beard award nominee, and his staff create exquisite and delicious dishes. All you foodies out there, make the trip to The Order. You will be glad you did.

The smoked duck breast is a customer favorite.
Photo by Daniel Pliska

By Chef Daniel Pliska


The Order is a restaurant for all four seasons.

The Hotel Vandivort was built in 1906 as a Masonic lodge hall, and it served that purpose for 75 years.
Photo by Daniel Pliska

Contemporary meets historic at The Order, a unique restaurant featuring new American cuisine. The restaurant is located inside Springfield’s Vandivort Hotel, a former Masonic Lodge that is listed on the National Register for Historic Places. The Order, along with its impressive bar, have helped the hotel achieve a four-diamond rating from AAA.

At the helm of the hotel’s culinary operations is Chef Calvin Davis, a native of Stockton.

Chef Calvin Davis, (on right, Chef Daniel Pliska on left) is known for elegant dishes inspired by in-season local ingredients.
Photo by Daniel Pliska

Chef Calvin received his formal culinary education at the Culinary Institute of America, then went on to work in Miami and New Orleans before returning to the Midwest. It was in Kansas City that he became the chef/owner of the farm-to-table-restaurant Freshwater in Midtown. While there, in 2019, he was nominated for a James Beard award as a Rising Star Chef of the Year. Due to the COVID epidemic and the pressures it caused for the restaurant, Calvin decided to move back to his family home in Stockton.

In February 2022, he accepted the head chef position at the Vandivort and put his own spin on the style and food with an ingredient-focused menu that changes with the seasons.

CHEF DANIEL PLISKA is a certified executive chef and author. He teaches culinary arts at Ozarks Technical Community College in Springfield.

When I entered the hotel lobby, I was greeted and seated at a table facing Walnut Street. Chef Calvin arrived with two menu items for me to try. The first was a light capellini pasta topped with a head-on prawn surrounded with mussels. The pasta was tossed with a medium spicy tomato sauce flavored with garlic and dried chili flakes known as Arrabbiata sauce, and topped with garlic-herbed, Provencal-style breadcrumbs, adding a pleasant crunchy note to the lightly sauced pasta.

The main entree was sliced duck breast. The duck was plated with a silky puree of kabocha squash and a rich swirl of highly flavorful duck jus enhanced with a pomegranate gastrique. Chef Calvin told me that the whole duck came from Labell Farm in New York. After the duck was broken down in-house, the breast was treated to a 14-day dry age process before being lightly cold-smoked. At service time, it was pan-seared to create a crispy skin and presented with Chanterelle mushrooms and broccolini—simply delicious.

The coconut entremet is the artful, chocolate-covered creation of pastry chef Kyle Davis.

Chef Calvin returned with dessert: a plated chocolate-glazed coconut mousse sphere set atop a delicate shortbread cookie base. The dessert was a signature creation of pastry chef Kyle Davis (no relation to Calvin). It was served with a smear of banana caramel puree. The mousse was intricately inlayed with a rich filling on a lightly spiced sponge cake before being enrobed in shiny chocolate glaze.

The restaurant also features an impressive bar lined with a seemingly endless array of distilled spirits and cordials. Known in the area for its artisan, handcrafted cocktails, the restaurant features an impressive bourbon list that Calvin pointed out to me. He went on to say that the beverage manager, Caleb Sanders, is proud of the wine list and tequila menu, which has grown in popularity with their guests.

Sustainability is important to The Order, and Calvin speaks with pride about the compost program, local 60-mile rule for procuring much of the restaurant’s food and produce, and how they recently replaced their

plastic straws with biodegradable agave straws.

Foodies are always in search of refined, personalized cuisine served in a relaxing restaurant. Let that search lead you to The Order in the Vandivort Hotel.

Explore the seasonal dinner and brunch menus and creative cocktail offerings at

Read about Daniel’s favorite seafood restaurant in Missouri here. 

Article originally published in the January/February 2024 issue of Missouri Life.