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Goin' to Kansas City

KC Hounds,

Headed to KC next weekend. Staying at the Marriott Downtown (12th St).

Have been a few times before: Majestic Steakhouse, Arthur Bryants, Gates, Jax Stack, Garazzo's.

The crew I'm rolling with will want to keep it fairly mainstream: Italian, Hunks o' Beef, Cal-Ital, Mediterranean, Tapas, BBQ, "American", etc... but I could probably talk them into something exotic if it was really notable.

Pricewise- I'd want to try The American Restaraunt if we could afford it but we need to stay a tier lower than that.

Would like to keep it w/in 10 miles or so of the hotel so the cab fare isn't a zillion dollars.

Snappy Cocktails a must!


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  1. You'll be 2 blocks from the Mango Room, 12th and Main. It should have something for all your crew.


    1. If snappy cocktails you seek, snappy cocktails you shall have! Try Seven at 7th and Walnut-ish. They feature a martini menu based on the seven deadly sins. I quite enjoyed Wrath, a mostly vodka bloody mary interpretation. Gluttony looked amazing, but it will have to wait until next time. The restaurant morphs into a night club as the evening progresses. In my opinion the drinks are superb, the people watching is great, and the food is very good.


      1. Here's my run-down of suggestions for that area (Downtown and Crossroads) and price range-
        Tapas- La Bodega http://www.kansascitymenus.com/labodega/. They have awesome sangria happy hour specials as well.
        Notable and New "American"- Michael Smith's- http://www.michaelsmithkc.com/ Local chef's new restaurant. Highly reccomended to me.
        Not sure about Cal-Ital, but there's Pizza Bella http://www.kansascitymenus.com/pizzab..., certified Italian wood-oven pizzas (more of a lunch kind of place though) and Seven, http://www.seven-kc.com/ more northern Italian, the actual food is a lot better than it sounds on the menu and it's a cool atmosphere even just to grab drinks.
        And my all-time favorite place for drinks: JP Wine Bar http://www.jpwinebar.com/. Wine and scotch flights, tons of other drinks. Enjoy!

        1 Reply
        1. re: lwoerther

          JP also has an excellent small plate menu and fantastic cheese flights (with lots of accessories).

        2. Great info one and all. Keep 'em coming and I'll give a dining report ex post visito.

          1. La Bodega, La Bodega, La Bodega. It has the best Happy Hour and Tapas in the city.
            I'm also a fan of Shiraz (320 SW Blvd) check out the pomegranate hummus. And sneak into Chris Elbow's new place in the a.m. for a cup of coffee and a fine chocolate. The bathroom there is also the spiffiest in town.

            1 Reply
            1. re: goroe

              Is Shiraz even open? We tried going a year ago and it was closed up. Edit: Didn't realize this was an old post until after I hit submit.

            2. check out lidia's next to jack stack in the freight house. Its the lidia on TV from NY and very authentic italian, not spaghetti. Great wine and apps.

              10 Replies
              1. re: hgreenbbq

                I had no idea she had a place in KC. I consider her a personal hero. Way too cool for the cursed Food Network. Thanks for the insight.

                1. re: e_bone

                  Well crud- I didn't followup to my last KC post w/ a dining review so I have probably diminished my opportunity to ask for more help... For what it's worth- we went to Lidia's and we were a little underwhelmed. The authenticity of the menu was great.. but the execution was lacking and the "corporate" feel of the place was both predictable and lamentable. "Hi! I'm Trixie your server! Please pay attention to my transparent and phony methods to upsell you and make your check HUGE!!!"

                  Is La Bodega still good? That place looks great...

                  Also- can I assume Pizza Bella doesn't have cocktails- just beer and wine?

                  Any other ideas not-as-pricy-as-the-Drum-Room downtown (we are at same hotel at 12th/Broadway)?

                  1. re: e_bone

                    La Bodega is still good. Room 39 is rumored to be excellent. I believe Pizza Bella is just beer and wine. Julia(n) in Brookside is new but the chef is well known and she's getting some good reviews. There was a good write up in last week's Star, also.

                    1. re: jdl98

                      Room39 and Julian both look fantastic! Brookside is obviously un-walkable and perhaps too pricey cab-wise but will ponder. I'm thinking Room39 might be one notch too high price-wise but would be doable if we didn't drink so damn much wine :-)

                      thanks for the notes!

                      1. re: e_bone

                        LaBodega is still very good. Extra Virgin (19th and Main) has really nice tapas - a little more adventurous than LaBodega, good drinks and great happy hour specials M-F. 1924 Main (located just where you would think from the name) has a really resonably priced 3 course dinner (3 course for $25), great food and also has well-made cocktails - if you go there, be sure to start off with their fried green beans - so yummy! The Power and Light District (very easy walk from your location) is new (or mostly new) since 2007 and has plenty of places for decent cocktails, but the food is mostly chain-restaurant and not outstanding. One exception is the Bristol - very good seafood, also has some good happy hour specials.

                        1. re: e_bone

                          the max bus will take you right there! i hear you on the wine - if by any chance you're here on a Tues/Weds La Cucina di Mamma in Brookside has great authentic pizzas, pastas and half price bottles of wine.

                      2. re: e_bone

                        This response is a little late but for what it's worth: Room 39 is hands down worth checking out. For what it's worth, La Bodega has great Sangria (red and white) and some good tapas but not over-the-top fantastic. Extra Virgin has a great Happy Hour and their tapas are just as good as La Bodega.
                        Favorites closer to downtown:
                        1. Le Fou Frog in the River Market - more pricey, usually has nice seafood options
                        2. Vietnam Cafe on 5th St near River Market in Columbus Park- for the slightly more adventurous. Delicious Food! My gold standard for spring rolls.
                        3. Happy Gills: great for lunch, started out as a soup delivery service - very tasty soup, great owners
                        4. Stay away from Power and Light District unless it is for Chef Burger - locally owned by the same people as 1924 Main and Pizza Bella
                        5. Blue Bird Cafe - delicious breakfast/brunch but not as great for lunch/dinner
                        6. Southwest Blvd for GREAT (inexpensive) Mexican food - Taqueria Mexico, Sol Azteca

                        1. re: r_dazey

                          Le Fou Frog is my favorite happy hour in KC... Thursdays and Fridays only, with many appetizers half priced, great wine deals, and several small plate entree options that are fantastic!

                          1. re: KCatty

                            What is the atmosphere at Le Fou Frog? Casual or upscale? Is there a diff between the dining area and the bar? Jeans friendly? I've heard they have a great happy hour, so I'd like to make sure I don't stick out like a sore thumb when I do.

                            1. re: jhojati

                              There is a small divider between the bar and the restaurant, but the place is so small that it really is nominal. It's a bistro, and fairly casual, especially at happy hour. I don't think I would wear a t-shirt and shorts there, but I've been in everything from jeans to dressy-dressy.