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One dinner in Kansas City?

stephrad Apr 15, 2008 07:47 AM


My husband and I are travelling to Kansas City for just one night in May. Any recommendations or favorite restaurants that shouldn't be missed? We're looking for something non-touristy and, of course fresh and delicious! A little local flavor would be fun too.

Thanks in advance....

  1. r
    rob64113 Apr 23, 2008 10:21 PM

    Grand St. Cafe, just to the east of the plaza.

    3 Replies
    1. re: rob64113
      stephrad May 14, 2008 06:28 AM

      We ate at Bluestem and LOVED it. Actually ate in the bar because we weren't up for a long production and it was perfect. Wines were fantastic, steak frites incredible...but the truffle fries were by far my favorite part of the meal. Anyway, thanks again for all of the fantastic recommendations. Now I have quite a list of places for our next trip...

      1. re: stephrad
        amy_rc May 14, 2008 06:38 AM

        I'm going to see Wicked with a group of 12 ladies on Thursday evening. Would the bar at Bluestem be appropriate for a group this size? What do their happy hour specials look like on Thursdays?
        I've eaten at Bluestem, but never spent time in the bar so I'm not too sure about it.

        1. re: amy_rc
          Aaron Deacon May 14, 2008 09:48 AM

          12 is a pretty big group for that space, but it's also not usually very full. I'd call and ask to see what they can do for you.

          Their happy hour is ridiculous. The whole lounge menu is half price, meaning the aforementioned steak frites would be like 8 bucks. Cocktails are $7, which is also a great deal for the quality, if a little pricey in absolute terms.

    2. c
      Curley Apr 22, 2008 04:56 PM

      Looking for regional flavor? Nix the white table cloth venues and go gorge at Stroud's! Down home cooking that is still my favorite, must-visit place when I get back to my home town. Fun, rustic, historic plantation house setting too. Yes, I'll also enjoy the high end places when I visit but first I have to get Stroud's, Margarita's and several BBQ joints through my fork before I hit the Michael Smith's, etc.
      And check Lidia's while you are at it. Agree that Joe D's is an ambiance-laden favorite.

      Sorry to respectfully disagree about La Bodega but can't rank them very high after eating for a few years at Emilio's in Chicago...no comparison. Also need to borrow your grandpa's hearing aids if you actually expect to hold a conversation. Don't forget a gas mask too to handle the smoke but I understand that will be going away soon due to new law.

      1. g
        GaryH Apr 22, 2008 08:41 AM

        When I go to KC I have to do BBQ. It is why God created KC. There are plenty of famous/touristy places to go that are great but if its true local flavoure with the best Q in the world here are my suggestions. With out question the best Q in KC is at LC's Bar-B-Q 5800 Blue Parkway KC not to far from the stadium. Its a majore dive hole in the wall with awards from Gourmet Mag, Food and Wine hanging on the wall and well deserved. Warning you will feel like your car will be missing when you leave but the food is worth it. If your looking for more than BBQ try BB'S Lawnside BBQ 1205 E 85th St. its great bbq and great music in a very rustic locals setting. If its a weekend go early it fills up with locals.

        1 Reply
        1. re: GaryH
          Db Cooper Apr 22, 2008 04:21 PM

          You'll get no argument from me on LC's.

          The truth is that BBQ generally comes down to your tastes. Some of us like it sour and tangy and Arthur's fits that bill. Others like it smokey and sweet and that's more LC's. It's really all your preference.

        2. Db Cooper Apr 21, 2008 11:41 AM

          Isn't it a sin to visit Kansas City and not eat at Arthur Bryants?
          I know it could be considered touristy, but I've eaten BBQ all over this land and nothing compares. Where else do you find a blue-collar construction worker sitting next to a mulit-million dollar Wall Street manager enjoying a slab of ribs?

          What about The American Restaurant? I know that the chef there won a Beard award last year did she not?

          3 Replies
          1. re: Db Cooper
            jdl98 Apr 21, 2008 03:48 PM

            In fact, she did! I don't know how much local flavor it has, though. I'll be curious as to what others have to say - I've never been but have wanted to do.

            1. re: Db Cooper
              Jakevol2 Apr 21, 2008 07:52 PM

              Well maybe not enjoying a slab of ribs but definitely a brisket sandwich on an egg roll at D'Bronx.

              1. re: Db Cooper
                hereward Apr 22, 2008 07:59 AM

                I have to say that I didn't find Arthur Bryant's that great. I think Quick's 7th St. BBQ (Cheyenne Avenue, KC, KS) is much better. If you had more time, you should try Jalisco in the Argentine for real Mexican.

              2. s
                stephrad Apr 16, 2008 05:58 AM

                Wow, thank you! I will look into these great recommendations. Price is not so much an issue...just looking for a great meal that will give me a sense of Kansas City culture. Also, we are staying out near the plaza (this means nothing to me yet, as I've never visited the city before). Are all of the restaurants do-able from that area?

                5 Replies
                1. re: stephrad
                  amy_rc Apr 16, 2008 03:01 PM

                  All recs are relatively close to the Plaza. I haven't tried it since the change, but someone mentioned that Starker's on the Plaza recently hired a chef from Bluestem...It was really good before, I bet that it is great now!

                  If you get a chance, La Bodega is a fun and great place for tapas.

                  1. re: amy_rc
                    stephrad Apr 16, 2008 04:17 PM

                    Great, thanks again! Looking forward to checking out Kansas City!

                    1. re: stephrad
                      bbqboy Apr 16, 2008 04:46 PM

                      If you're on the Plaza you've got time for here.

                    2. re: amy_rc
                      clclark2000 Apr 16, 2008 08:18 PM

                      I have heard great things about Starker's recently as well. Another that doesn't get mentioned much, but I think is pretty outstanding is Cafe Trio'. I will agree with the others on Bluestem.... if I had a gun to my head and had to pick one place to eat tomorrow night in Kansas City, that would probably be where I'd go.

                      1. re: clclark2000
                        amy_rc Apr 17, 2008 07:58 AM

                        I like Cafe Trio, but at that price point I really, really like Avenues Bistro.

                  2. g
                    goroe Apr 15, 2008 03:52 PM

                    M. Smith and Bluestem will give you great meals, no doubt. But they are similar to many good, chef owned restaurants in any big city. if I was taking you'd I'd go to PotPie. meals are great and the food and atmosphere/service is nice, simple, midwestern. If you're looking for a good and fun meal, with people watching, noise and boozey fun- try La Bodega. Enjoy your time in KC

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: goroe
                      jdl98 Apr 16, 2008 07:47 PM

                      I'm not that big of a fan of PotPie...it was good not great and the location doesn't help. Bluestem is next door but the food is great which makes up for locale. In the PotPie vibe I'd recommend Carmen's (though it's Italian) or Bluebird Bistro. Actually, my all time favorite is Joe D's in Brookside IF (and a BIG IF) the weather is good for patio dining.

                    2. heatherkay Apr 15, 2008 01:16 PM

                      Lots of recs for Bluestem, which is generally understood to be one of the top two or three best restos in KC. It can be a little spendy for dinner -- do you have a price-point in mind?

                      1. j
                        jdl98 Apr 15, 2008 11:07 AM

                        i second Bluestem. Michael Smith's also - good location downtown.

                        1. bbqboy Apr 15, 2008 11:03 AM

                          for one meal: Bluestem

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: bbqboy
                            amy_rc Apr 15, 2008 12:21 PM


                          2. j
                            Jakevol2 Apr 15, 2008 10:35 AM

                            PotPie in Westport.

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