Hey Charmie, This place is a great choice. Seriously, a reflection of your research and good taste, no doubt. :-) Assuming you are coming in from out of town and don't live here, Michael Smith's new joint downtown is an inspired choice for several reasons in my opinion:
1) Michael Smith is culinary royalty in Kansas City, based on his awards and honors for his culinary talent, anyone should want to make a point to eat a meal from one of the best Chef's KC has to offer.
2) His new restaurant is really very representative of what I think I understand his cooking style to be: locally grown fresh ingredients, prepared simply but cooked to perfection, easy plating. No muss, no fuss, no high voltage flavors fighting on your palate. His style is almost so subtle and perfect you could miss it. Provided your tastebuds aren't working! It is really excellent food, that makes you appreciate the subtle melding of flavors. His prices also seemed very reasonable to me when I ate there as well. Great food at a reasonable price, what's not to love?
3) The location of his new restaurant is in the "trendy, hot" Crossroads district, this is an area of town that is being fueled by the potential of all of the old brick buildings being converted into beautiful lofts, which is driving more commerce, hip boutiques, groovy bars and restaurants and art, art, everywhere.
I am currently in KCM for the American Royal, so took my host to MS last night
I enjoyed it. There are some elements of it that I thought were identikit mid to high range US dining, but the difference is that MS is in the kitchen and can really cook
Well worth a try
re: Simon Majumdar
We ate there the first week of opening and the service was a bit rough, perhaps understandable and the place is pretty loud. As for the food, good, but not spectacular and not as good as Smith's old haunt, 40 Sardines. For the price and for what it should be, nothing really popped.
My husband and I went there for lunch today. It was lovely!
I enjoyed the casual elegance of the place....I never made it to Zin so I can't comment on the changes that have been made.
We had great service - not stuffy at all - yet still professional.
My husband had the bruschetta with mushrooms & spinach with a poached duck egg on top. It was fantastic! I kept stealing bites from him.
Meanwhile, I had the Halibut with roasted vegtables and orzo. It was perfect - nice and light on such a hot day. I wanted to pick up my plate and lick it but thought that might not be so appropriate.
The prices were very reasonable. (Even for my frugal husband.)
I'm anxious to get back and try it again. Maybe for dinner so I can enjoy a nice bottle of wine.
I have the word from several fellow food people (cooks) that Michael Smith is quite good. Several former co workers who now work for Michael Smith think it's wonderful. So far, the big thumbs up have been for any sandwich or fish entree. The entree salads are good, but not as exciting as the entrees, and just about the same cost. I'll be going soon. Keep in mind that lunch is only Tues. - Fri. until 2 pm.