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Kansas City: Brand New -or- Coming Soon

  • k

I thought it might be fun to have a thread to announce brand new restaurants (opened less than a month) or restaurants that we see are preparing to open very soon in the Kansas City metro area.

Some of these places may eventually end up with threads of their very own but by posting them here and telling what we know about them, our Chowhound groupies can get a jump on things and check them out before they start getting media coverage elsewhere.

Want to play? :)

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  1. Today for the first time I noticed Mama Habiba Moroccan Tea Room & Coffee Shop on the northeast corner of 39th & Mercier (five blocks east of State Line).

    Couldn't tell if they are open yet but there are tables and chairs set about on the porch of the old house they occupy. It looked like they were unloading their mobile unit and taking things into the house, so perhaps they are preparing to open real soon now.

    Because they have the mobile unit, I assume they've been serving streetside and perhaps at events. Anyone familiar with them?

    The sign indicates their website www.mamahabiba.com but the site is only one page right now with their logo and a notation of "Coming Soon..."

    What do you know?

    1. I don't really know much lately! ;-) I am looking forward to 1924 Main's "Souperman" though... not sure when it will open, but last time I was there they thought construction would start at the end of October.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Katie Nell

        I'm going to 1924 for lunch on Thursday - I'll try to remember to ask them about "Souperman".

        Just this morning someone told me about "You Say Tomato" at 2801 Holmes. Sandwiches, Soups and Salads. And quiches - which are suppose to be divine. I plan to try it next week.

        1. re: Mushroom

          Are you just trying to make me jealous?!? Meanie! ;-)

          1. re: Mushroom

            I think Charles Ferruzza from the Pitch is single-handedly putting "You Say Tomato" on the KC foodie map this week. He just wrote a nice piece about them in the Pitch and he mentioned them again on the Walt Bodine show last Friday. Sounds like a terrific place for soups and sandwiches. I mean really, who goes to Holmes? I know I will be . . . to visit this place.

        2. Any news or reviews on the Green Acres grocery opening at Briarcliff Village?

          And is Pastry Goddess as good as everyone says it is? I noticed they have a spot at Briarcliff Village, too.

          2 Replies
          1. re: SundanceKC

            Pastry Goddess is pretty good. She used to provide the desserts for PF Changs in Midtown when I worked there and they were very consistent. Give her a shot. She is local and homemade. Why not try it?

            1. re: SundanceKC

              Sampled her fare at the Briarcliff Grand Opening...PG REALLY IS as good as everyone says. I rarely make it to that area of town, but will have to make a special trip now that I've been reminded of the Goddess! My mouth is watering...

            2. The Goddess is just about the only true pastry shop left in Kansas City! They make everything from ground zero and fresh daily. Kathy the chef/owner was the pastry chef for the american and EBT a few years back. Last time I had a danish at wally's it was a frozen brought one. A'la mode uses pre-made batters and doughs so does the shop on independence ave(they shouldn't even be in the same class)andre's buys pre made puff dough and so does Napol in westport. I have witness first hand how much butter kathy puts into her puff. She has a true pastry shop!

              1. Souperman is indeed set to begin construction in about a week and they are going to have delivery (eventually). I do love working downtown!

                Drove by the Briarcliff shops the other day and was interested in the Pasty Goddess and Green Acres, as well. Nice to have the (good)info on The Pastry Goddess. Have to agree that Wally's has gone way downhill - the last cake we ordered from there was like eating sawdust.

                1. I know it seems a little redundant, but there is a new Mexican restaurant on SW Blvd. El Patron, at the former Gia's Italian Cucina spot at 2905 Southwest Blvd. They are going for a little more elegant vibe, with a full bar (with a cute bartender!) and salsa dancing. The food was excellent, if a little ordinary. Based on the decor, I was hoping for something a little out of the ordinary. I got a sampler plate with excellent carne asada and a very good chicken enchilada. Boring, I know, but I like to get a calibration meal on a first visit. Good smoky hot salsa, one of the best I've had in town.

                  While there, the folks at the next table got what looked like Cuban pressed sandwiches (which I didn't remember seeing on the menu). Bartender was muddling mint. So, with the salsa dancing, they might be thinking about something a little more Carib, a little less SW Blvd.

                  I'd definitely recommend it, and for the next little while, they're running "grand opening" prices.

                  1. i have a few openings to share, that opened this summer in brookside...where the tower cleaners used to be, next to baskin robbins, is now a restaurant called avenues bistro. i've heard it described as a "joe d's" type of place...where the "pretty people" go to be seen. i haven't been, but the menu doesn't look too bad, may be described as american bistro food. where the einstein's used to be, across from price chopper, is now a sushi place, not sure of the name. and then right next to bella napoli is mi mama cucina, which has really good pizzas, pasta, and calzones (i believe its related to bella napoli because they are connected on the interior).

                    11 Replies
                    1. re: mpollmann

                      There was always an open interior doorway between Bella Napoli and the bakery next door. Because Bella Napoli didn't have an oven, the bakery would bake off BN's pizzas on Friday -- Pizza Day!

                      But yes, Mi Mama Cucina is affiliated with Bella Napoli -- both owned by that darling Jake Imperiale.

                      1. re: mpollmann

                        Avenues Bistro is now open and KC Magazine said the chef is Joe Birch who worked at the former Ritz-Carlton in KC and a French restaurant in Boca Raton. Spaces magazine said Joe has been touring around Europe studying the various cuisines which he is now bringing to the table in his dishes at Avenues Bistro. I am going to go there to try the Early Bird Special - from 4 -6 pm you get "Dinner for 2". This includes an appetizer or two side salads or soup of the day, two entrees and a dessert all for $39.99. A terrific way to try a new place without breaking the bank.

                        1. re: jvergara

                          We had Sunday Brunch at Avenues Bistro last weekend - it was VERY good and reasonably priced ($12.95 I believe). Each menu selection (I ordered the Eggs Benedict Oscar - perfectly prepared w/lump crab and asparagus) came with unlimited trips to the cold bar, which included pastries, fruit, yogurt, salads and meats.
                          The meats were worth the price of the brunch themselves...prosciutto, mortadella and thin-sliced salami were the ones I recall. The meats went perfectly on hot bread w/real butter - just like I remember from France. Mmm...the salads and pastries were wonderful as well. I'm excited to try another meal there soon

                          1. re: butterfli311

                            Always nice to find a great new brunch recommendation . . .I can't wait to try it . . .I am so there with their selection of meats and breads. Maybe I'll take my family there for brunch when they visit me for the holidays! One less brunch for me to cook during that week. Hooray!

                          2. re: mpollmann

                            Oh, I forgot . . .the Einstein Brother's location in Brookside is now Domo's Sushi & Grill. Serves up sushi and Asian fusion entrees. Must add that one to my list . . .curious mention about this place having lots of plasma screen TV's? Huh!

                            1. re: jvergara

                              Tried Domo a couple weeks ago and we thought it was excellent. Had the sashimi dinner (+/- 30 bucks). It was a bit pricey (comparable to other sushi restaurants in larger cities), but the sushi was fresh and really good. I can't remember how many pieces this included, but my guess would be 12-16? I'll go back, definitely.

                              1. re: clclark2000

                                We've eaten at Domo twice, once for lunch, once for dinner. The food was great both times. We want to try breakfast, too. We didn't get sushi, but had traditional items like hamachi kama, which is grilled yellowtail cheek. It was as good as any we've had in bigger cities, and reasonably priced. We had a great rice bowl with Japanese mountain vegetables like konnyaku and buddock. Everything we had at both meals was very good. We had a chicken teriyaki bento with seaweed salad and tempura like I like quite a bit. We will certainly go back.

                                1. re: zataar

                                  Domo's sounds terrific. It is great to have another choice for some good quality sushi (don't get me started about the stuff they try to pass off as sushi at Kona Grill) this close in town. Thanks to clclark2000 and zataar for the updates. Jun's on 75th is still a favorite, even though I understand that Jun sold the business and is no longer involved, the fresh fish remains.

                                  1. re: jvergara

                                    Thank you for sushi news! Don't worry about Jun's: John worked closely with Jun for years, traveled to Japan with him, etc. and is a top sushi chef. Besides being the main man at Jun's, John also owns Kato in NKC, and the fish there is as good as Jun's, of course. Now I need to try Domo's!

                          3. Has anyone been to or heard anything about the Farm to Market Cafe in old OP? They were just getting ready to open when I was at the OP farmer's market much earlier this year, but I'm afraid I've neglected the market this year, as well as the rest of my favorite part of town.

                            1. I heard that El Patron closed down last week.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: sallyport

                                really? we were just there on Saturday night.

                              2. The Plaza III is open in Leawood now. Not impressed the one time I've been to the Plaza location, but the menu was pre-selected for a Christmas party... hopefully the regular menu is better than what we had.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: Katie Nell

                                  I've eaten at Plaza III (on the Plaza) a few times and had pretty good meals every time. Nothing really gourmet, but consistently good steaks. We're going to the new one in OP tonight for a business dinner so I'll let you know how it is.

                                  1. re: pmannon

                                    OK, I'm sorry to report that the new Plaza III in OP wasn't so hot. First off, we took a business guest from Germany who is pretty picky. He said his meal was 'OK'. My husband loved his steak. Here's the low down on my meal:

                                    Apertif - I ordered a Kir Royale. It came out dark brown (a little to much Cassis I'm thinkin'?).

                                    Appetizer - got the sampler which consisted of Oyster Rockefeller (OK), crab cakes (very good), shrimp cocktail (a tad overdone), some kind of shrimp in mushroom sauce (OK).

                                    The sourdough bread was good but the waitress took it off the table when she cleared the appetizer (?).

                                    Our guest chose a 2003 bottle of Kendall Jackson Merlot and when the wine steward came out, we asked if he could decant it first before he poured. He said he'd never been asked to do that before. I seriously didn't believe I was the only person who's ever had that request. Afterward he said that the decanters they ordered hadn't come in yet so maybe he was joking? Anyway, when the waitress came back to refill the glasses she spilled wine all over the tablecloth.

                                    For the main course I had the lamb (I guess my mistake trying to get lamb in beef country). The first leg was very good I have to say although the Bernaise was gelatenous muck. I cut into the second leg and it was all fat, cut in again...all fat, cut the entire leg into little pieces and there was not one shred of meat so I gave up.

                                    For sides we had garlic mashed potatoes (which I love but these were REALLY garlicky - overpowering) and white cheddar potatoes (OK except for the 1/4 inch of butter/grease in the bottom of the dish.

                                    For dessert I had to have Crem Brulee (my 2nd favorite next to Tres Leches). I really didn't think you could screw up Crem Brulee, but I was wrong. Let me just say that the top layer of carmelized sugar should be a nice, even thin coating of brown sugar which, when you tap it with the edge of a spoon should crack like an egg. This one had about 1/8" sugar on top and was so thick that I ended up scraping it off and just eating the custard which was OK (nothing to write home about).

                                    The decaf cappacino was good!

                                    As for the ambience, there is none unless you can score the cool-looking table that's inside the wine vault. We were in the big, open main dining area which was loud and boring.

                                    I think they need a few months to work out the kinks then we'll try again.

                                    1. re: pmannon

                                      It sounds dismal. But I can not fault them for serving the new Merlot out of the bottle. It would not make any sense to me to decant a KJ '03 Merlot. Thanks for your in-depth report, and I wish you better dining in the future!

                                      1. re: ms8zz

                                        Some times newer wines can improve with decanting just from the fact they are able to breath more. If they have the decanters why not use them other than to save them for the expensive bottles. My friend that owns the Potted Stear decants everything, and he has 5 wine cellers with plenty old stuff to decant.

                                        1. re: ms8zz

                                          I know - that sounds pretty whiny of me, doesn't it? But after
                                          plopping down $70 bucks for a bottle of so-so wine I wanted it
                                          to taste as good as it possibly good. I think newer wines actually
                                          open up and I find I can taste more of the fruit,
                                          pepper, etc. after it breaths for about 20 min. Just trying to
                                          get every penny out of that bottle. :-)

                                  2. Has anyone been to Cheeseheads located at 1616 Grand Blvd? I am a huge sandwich fan and an even bigger fan of grilled cheese sandwiches . . .would love to know the scoop about this new place that just opened. I am a little perplexed by SPACES description of this place. They mention Classic Grilled Cheese, KC BBQ Beef Grilled Cheese, Grilled Cheese Club with Turkey and a Reuben. These specialty sandwiches are not what I was hoping for from this place. I was hoping for a build your own or perhaps a more gourmet twist to an old comfort food fav.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: jvergara

                                      Another HUGE grilled cheese fan here! I have not heard of Cheeseheads, but I would prefer a nice Havarti grilled cheese with fugi apples, caramelized red onions, and fig marmalade (or whatever) to a "KC BBQ Beef Grilled Cheese"! That would be disappointing if they totally missed the boat on this one!

                                      1. re: jvergara

                                        Some friends from work went to Cheesehead last week. They enjoyed it AND they brought back a menu (which I am looking at right now). While I think the sandwiches look quite yummy (I'm especially interested in the Chicago Dog Grilled Cheese), I would not say they have a gourmet twist.

                                        1. re: Mushroom

                                          Cheesehead is GREAT! The sandwiches are fantastic and yes, there is a build-your-own option. But the best part of my meal was the fantastic tomato basil soup...dare I say it was better than the cafe at Nordy's???

                                          1. re: butterfli311

                                            Tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwich is my favorite comfort food . . .just check my bio. Sigh! You given me another good one to get on my list . . .I guess dieting is out until the New Year.

                                      2. I'm still waiting for the Cuban-style restaurant that was supposed to open at the Legends. Has anyone heard anything about it? Geez, can a girl get some Tres Leches around here, or what? I'm about to give up.

                                        9 Replies
                                        1. re: pmannon

                                          I went to the Legends website and this was the description of your restuarant.

                                          Caliente Cuban Restaurant will offer guests the authentic dining experience of 1950’s Havana. Caliente celebrates Cuban cuisine, culture, art and heritage. With our towering palm trees, and our Havana inspired décor, our ambiance is one that cannot be matched by any other restaurant in the area. Allow Caliente to introduce you to a cuisine that you will quickly fall in love with! This is the first location in Kansas and Kansas City for Caliente Cuban Restaurant.

                                          All it says is Coming SOON! How frustrating . . .I'm sure we can find some Tres Leches for you in this city . . .let me see what I can come up with. More to come!

                                          1. re: jvergara

                                            Have you tried the Tres Leches cake from Rincon Colombiano? See Charles's review of their version of the cake from a review he did a year ago on this KCK restaurant.


                                            1. re: jvergara

                                              No! I haven't been there or heard of it, but I read the write-up and the restaurant sounds great. Some foody-friends of ours are from Mexico & Venezuela. I'll take them with me so they can translate since my Spanish is not so great. Thanks!

                                              1. re: pmannon

                                                I can recommend the Rincon, I had a nice lunch there about a month ago. The food seemed pretty authentic and the prices were good. Tres Leches, hum, I may have to make another trip up that way before Christmas.

                                              1. re: jvergara

                                                Any news on Caliente, yet? Are there any other Cuban restaurants in town now that Cuban Cafe is closed? I am craving some chicken croquettes.

                                                1. re: apastorres

                                                  Not yet and none that I can find. I'll keep checking and let you know.

                                                  1. re: pmannon

                                                    I saw where they are hiring. That seems like a good sign.

                                              2. re: pmannon

                                                Casa Paloma sometimes has Tres Leches too... I'm not sure if it's just a special once a week or not?

                                              3. Has anyone been able to navigate on Nara's website? I can't get anything but their contact info off the site. www.narakc.com I was thinking of taking my mom there for lunch since we'll be downtown week after next. She prefers to eat "healthy" and I thought Japanese grill should have plenty of choices. I just can't pull up their menu to check it out, though?

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: amyzan

                                                  It seems like they left they website about like they left their restaurant for the longest time . . .about half way there. I would call them and ask them to email you or fax you the menu, and if you do decided to go, please give us Chowhounds the skinny.

                                                  1. re: jvergara

                                                    I emailed them Monday, no response as of yet. At this point, I'm considering other options, thinking this is not a good sign.

                                                    1. re: amyzan

                                                      Tried lunch at Nara today, and I must say I was extremely disappointed and not sure if i'll go back. The space is cool and I'd definitely be up for happy hour or stopping in for a drink sometime, but they definitely have some kinks to work out and I wasn't impressed at all with the food. Seems like the menu is kind of a cross b/w a real japanese restaurant and Kona Grill. I had the sushi lunch special for $12, which included 3 pieces of nigiri (salmon, Tuna, and shrimp) and a california roll. The salmon was odd colored and appeared to be fatty(?). I'm not sure what it was about it, but it wasn't great. The tuna was Ok, and the shrimp was incredibly small. I did leave pretty hungry. My friends had some stir fry dishes that looked decent, but I don't think they were overly impressed. Also, the service was poor. Each of us received our food at different times (with a couple waiting several minutes with food in front of us), and it took awhile for the server to get over for our drink order. While I can tolerate this at a new restuarant, the food itself wasn't all that impressive. Like i said, if i didn't like sushi so much i prob wouldn't go back, but there are no other options downtown that I know of. I'll give them one more chance..... reluctantly. Domo in brookside MUCH, MUCH better if you want quality sushi in my opinion after one visit.

                                                  2. Folks, please help us keep this forum narrowly focused on searching out delicious chow that actually exists. Discussions of chow rumors is off topic for our site. Thanks!

                                                    1. I recently visited a new (newer) Sushi place named Kaiyo near 119th and Roe. It was VERY good. I will have to eat there a couple more times to be sure, but it could easily pass Jun's and Sushi House on my list of favorites.

                                                      I had Nara, in downtown, fax me a menu since their website is not navigable. Looks yummy! A few of my friends have been and said the food and atmosphere were excellent and the service was typical of a new place still finding its stride.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: pvcmedia

                                                        I agree that Kaiyo is very good. I have been there 3 times now and it has been great each time. I haven't been back to Sushi House since trying Kaiyo.

                                                      2. I tried out Savor, the new Asian fusion place on 151st in the Stanley Station mall by Hwy 69. It is in the same place as that godawful Bao Shing restaurant and the hubby and I were apprehensive. But we were tired and hungry and it was 9:15pm so we went in.

                                                        It's better than the restaurant that was originally in that location, but I'm not getting the fusion part. It's basically a Chinese restaurant with a few token dishes from other Asian countries like Thailand. I got the Thai Mango chicken and the hubby got the chicken with Chinese eggplant along with the Thai curry soup.

                                                        There was real slices or bits of mango in the Thai mango chicken but the sauce was a sweet, red sauce that was similar to sweet and sour but not quite. Not sure sure how it was a Thai dish, maybe it was the mango, beats me. The Chinese eggplant dish was fine but the Thai curry soup tasted like someone dissolved a cube of Thai curry soup mix and threw in some annoying bits of lemongrass or some kind of tough leaf.

                                                        I will say that unlike most of the Chinese restaurants in KC, they don't put a ton of salt which makes you thirsty for the rest of the night which is a plus in my book. The veggies and sauces were light. They're trying in the presentation of the dishes which is appreciated, but IMO, they have to try a little harder in the creative execution of the food to call it fusion or some semblance of "authenic Asian cuisine" They were really nice about us showing up at 9:15 when they closed at 9:30pm. Finally, another positive for Savor is that it's not expensive. Our bill which included 2 beers came in around $30.

                                                        While not wildly crazy about this place, I would actually go back if it's late and I'm hungry. It's a little bit healthier than most Chinese places in KC area and I think new restaurants tend to fine tune things the first couple of months, so they might improve. Plus it is relatively cheap for a "fusion" place and there's a couple of coupons floating around in the paper which I didn't have on me.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: vsoy

                                                          Have you tried Fortune Wok at 145th & Metcalf? I just went there Friday night and it was great. I had salmon, but my husband tried the sushi and thought it was very good. Appetizers were also tasty and nicely presented. Staff was very pleasant. I think one of the better Chinese places in Johnson Cty (for whatever that's worth).

                                                        2. Cantina #1 Corona opened at The Legends. Menu looked good, decor looked good too. Will probably try it this weekend.