Birthday dinner (KC or Lawrence)
I'm looking for a good restaurant to celebrate a birthday the second Sunday in October. I'd like the meal to be special, and one in our party doesn't eat red meat. No other food preferences that I know of at this point. The atmosphere of the reataurant is less important than the food, but if white linen and china is the way to go, I think we'd be comfortable with that, too.
Oh, and obviously they should serve on a Sunday, because that's the birthday. I can go either to Lawrence or into KC, since we live in western Johnson County, and either is convenient. ETA: I should add I've been considering Krause Dining, but am unsure we could get res there this late. Also, the American, but I don't like their dining room, because of the ceilings. (Picky, I know, when the food is so good.) Also, 40 Sardines, but have had a bad lunch there, which I think may have been a fluke. I'd appreciate any input on these, and welcome other suggestions.
I'm not sure how I missed this post! Anyway, I've never been to Krause but have heard only good things about the food. I also have not been to the American. I've been to 40 Sardines once and didn't care for it, but I think from hearing other people's experiences that that may have been a fluke as well. I am intrigued by the wild boar on the menu.
My favorite places thus far are Pachamama's (in Lawrence) and 1924 Main (in KC, MO). I've never had a bad meal at either and I am always intrigued to see what is on the menu at either place. I haven't been to Pachamama's since they moved and I was not happy about the move, because I really liked their old location... I don't deal with change very well! Anyway, I always, always love the Fall menus at Pachamama's so I think this time of year would be a great time to go. Depending on how big your party is going to be, 1924 Main may not work, but I think it would definitely be a special meal as well.
I had a late dinner at 40 Sardines this past saturday evening. I started with the lobster stuffed tomato with blackeyed peas and arugula, then the grilled asparagus and artichoke salad followed with the Red Grouper served with grits two ways. I have enjoyed everything. Nothing was overcooked, the flavors were very nice and over all it was a pleasant dining experience. I didn't do a dessert because I was too full and I had had an excellent dessert the night before at Bluestem.
I've always had great experiences at 40 Sardines and it's one of my favorites. Also, I would try the American Restaurant (haven't been there myself - it's on my list of places to go because I hear great things about it). The other places we go on birthdays include: Bristol Cafe (119th & Nall), McCormick & Schmick (Plaza, KC MO) and Lidia's (near Union Station - can be touch & go). Le Fou Frog (KC Market downtown) for a great French treat. Last post mentioned Pachamama's. I haven't been there but I've heard it's great.
I thought I should report back. We chose Lidia's for brunch, and had a wonderful food experience. Service was good too, but the kitchen was extraordinarily slow. We waited an hour for our food, and noticed several parties seated after us had already eaten entrees and were headed to the dessert buffet before our entrees arrived. Since we ordered fish, chicken, and a couple pastas, I couldn't figure that one out. We still tipped well, as it's never the server's fault, but isn't that strange? Made me wonder if someone had to drive to the grocery for salmon! We were glad to have nowhere to be, and just decided to go with the flow. Afterwards, we walked the new train trestle bridge from the freight houses over to Union Station--such a nice new addition to the area! Seeing children enjoy the overhead view of the passing trains was fun. We had beautiful weather, and thoroughly enjoyed the location.
We went to 40 Sardines for dinner, and the meal was lovely. My only complaint is that the scallops I chose hadn't been cleaned very well, and I got some grit or sand. Those details matter, but otherwise, they were perfectly cooked, crispy exterior, tender interior. Nice wine choices, super fresh salads not overdressed, good coffee, great service. Would go again, might not get scallops though!