LaBinnah Bistro

**** (4 stars)

This is clearly the best (and only) fine dining restaurant in Hannibal. It’s located in a quaint old house, and decorated in a pleasant amalgam of Victorian and eclectic.

The menu is extremely diverse, and it’s hard to define the cuisine. A few things about the restaurant are unusual. First, nearly every thing comes on bread. We had an artichoke and spinach appetizer served with bread, a sort of pesto appetizer served on bread, a lamb chop (weirdly served on top of bread) and one of four different salmon preparations (weirdly served on bread). I admit the bread does sop up the juices, so it can be tasty, if a bit soggy. But I’ve not seen entrees served this way before. Perhaps it’s a Turkish twist, since there is a Turkish element to some of the dishes.

And speaking of Turkish, the homemade baklava was a superb dessert, lighter than most baklava, and not overly sweet, but perfectly flakey.

Another somewhat odd thing about the restaurant is that you pay at a register counter in the back, which is completely at odds with the elegant atmosphere of the dining area.

Anyway, service was very friendly, and we enjoyed the meal in what is definitely Hannibal’s best restaurant.

LaBinnah Bistro
207 N 5th St
Hannibal, MO 63401
(573) 221-8207
http://www.yelp.com/biz/labinnah-bistro-hannibal

Mark Twain Cave

***** (5 stars)

This cave may not be filled with spectacular stalactites and other formations, but it is rich in history, since it is the cave from the Tom Sawyer novel (and four other Mark Twain books). Walking through its labyrinthian passageways really brings the book into focus, and the guides do a great job of identify various locations mentioned in the book.

It’s a very easy cave to traverse, with flat floors, no steps, and no climbing. It’s also a cool 52 degree respite on a hot summer day, so bring a jacket!

Mark Twain Cave
300 Cave Hollow Rd
Hannibal, MO 63401
(573) 221-1656
http://www.yelp.com/biz/mark-twain-cave-hannibal

Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum

***** (5 stars)

We began our exploration at the museum itself. The ground floor of the museum provides a fairly elaborate interpretation of some of Twain’s books, including Tom Sawyer, The Innocents Abroad, and his time in the gold rush territory of California. While these displays looked nice, they didn’t do a great job of conveying their message, especially to their intended audience, which seemed to be children.

The upper two floors of the museum did a much better job, displaying artifacts and artwork from Twain’s life and books. For those with the patience to read the detailed signage, there was a lot of interesting information here.

The museum ticket is available as a package that also grants access to other buildings down the street, and that’s definitely worthwhile. You can tour the homes that provided the inspiration for Tom, Huck and Becky, and all were interesting.

Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum
120 N Main St
Hannibal, MO 63401
(573) 221-9010
http://www.yelp.com/biz/mark-twain-boyhood-home-and-museum-hannibal

Dubach Inn

***** (5 stars)

This was one of our first experiences with a Bed and Breakfast, and it was wonderful. Kristine and Steve were charming hosts, and our room (in the back with a private entrance) was a spacious and comfortable suite.

Breakfast was a three course extravaganza of pastry, warm peaches and delicious eggs, all homemade.

The location is perfect, as it’s just a couple of blocks to the historic downtown. Free Wi-Fi works well.

Kristine and Steve obviously enjoy what they do, and it really shows in how enjoyable they make everyone’s stay. Highly recommended.

Dubach Inn
221 N 5th St
Hannibal, MO 63401
(573) 355-1167
http://www.yelp.com/biz/dubach-inn-hannibal