HOME > Chowhound > Great Plains >

Discussion

Help for Solo Dining in Kansas City

  • 19
  • Share

I will be in KC for a long weekend around Labor Day, staying downtown at Crown Center (Westin). Friends will be visiting, but not available for dinners. So I am looking for good adventorous food within walking or short cab ride from the area.

Right now, unless someone can suggest otherwise, I am leaning towards American Restaurant Friday night, Michael Smiths Saturday and Lidias on Sunday. My food preference are continental or new american cuisine. I like farm fresh seasonal foods and menus. A meal I had this time last year featured some wonderful corn among other fresh vegetables so that is why I am puting that on my choice. I haven't eaten at Smith's so want to give it a try. Lidia's is a choice I could do with or without. Each of these restaurants have bars/lounges where I can comfortably eat solo, but still receive good service.

I couldnt come up with anything interesting in either Westport or in the Plaza, but it has been quite sometime since I have spent any time in either neighborhood.

Anyone have other suggestions?

-----
Michael Smith
1900 Main, Kansas City, MO 64108

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
Cancel
  1. i need to think about this some - if you can do w/out lidia's i might suggest another option for you.... room 39, bluestem come to mind at first though i'd let others weigh in on dining at either place alone. i'll think some more and get back with you.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jdl98

      I think Room 39 would be comfortable for breakfast/brunch, as I see a lot of solo diners eating at the bar. I will admit I haven't had dinner at the 39th St. location in a long time. So, have no idea about dinner solo. They use local veggies, eggs, and meats, too.

      -----
      Room 39
      1719 West 39th Street, Kansas City, MO 64111

    2. Your choices are solid, but since you asked, you might also consider:
      Bluestem in Westport, which has a lounge and also serves brunch on Sunday http://www.bluestemkc.com/
      The Farmhouse up on Delaware near the City Market, which also has brunch on Saturday (closed on Sundays) http://www.eatatthefarmhouse.com/
      and possibly, Chez Elle, if you like crepes, but they aren't open for dinner http://chezelle.homestead.com/

      -----
      Bluestem
      900 Westport Road, Kansas City, MO 64111

      Chez Elle
      1713 Summit St, Kansas City, MO 64108

      1. I also support Bluestem as I'd recommend it over all of your current selections.

        -----
        Bluestem
        900 Westport Road, Kansas City, MO 64111

        1. I have really enjoyed Grunauer, next door to Lidia's. http://www.grunauerkc.com/

          5 Replies
          1. re: kctraci

            Thanks for the responses everyone. I really will look at doing Room 39 and Bluestem, definitely displacing Lydias and possibly adding a lunch with friends. I would do breakfast as well at Room 39 but breakfast is part of the package at the hotel.

            I am curious about Grunauer. I know German cuisine, having been to Germany (Munich, Hamburg Berlin) and while I enjoy it immensely, I find it better in cooler months. I was in KC recently for business and had dinner at Jacks Stack next door, and saw Grunauer. Looks like a nice place for drinks in the summer, but not sure that I would want a full meal there. Perhaps others have a different opinion?

            1. re: cwdonald

              @cwdonald: For fine dining, certainly you won't go wrong with The American Restaurant or bluestem.

              If you want some fantastic food at a steal, go to bluestem between 5-7 and eat in the lounge - everything is half off and wonderful to boot. You'll eat like a king for a pittance. (n.b. This happy hour deal is only available Tuesday-Friday).

              A notch below are Michael Smith and Room 39. Given that you're at Westin Crown Center, I don't think Room 39 is worth the extra cab fare when Michael Smith is just a few blocks away from your hotel. Lidia's is also very good, if you want Northern Italian cuisine.

              www.ulteriorepicure.com

              -----
              Room 39
              1719 West 39th Street, Kansas City, MO 64111

              Michael Smith
              1900 Main, Kansas City, MO 64108

              1. re: cwdonald

                @cwdonald: Also, Grünauer is Austrian, not German. A slight difference, not finessed enough at this restaurant for you to notice, really. But they do boast Austrian mascots, such as the Sachertorte, tafelspitz, and - of course - wienerschnitzel. There' s a fairly Austrian-heavy wine list and a more significant beer list.

                www.ulteriorepicure.com

                1. re: ulterior epicure

                  Many thanks for the correction on the origins of the restaurant. And you are right the restaurant has a nice selection of Austrian and German wines especially Grüner Veltliners.

                  I was disappointed that the schnitzel is made with pork not veal, and that they do not have the a la Holstein (fried egg anchovies and capers) version on the menu. But I may still try it for lunch.

                  If they can make a torte like the Hotel Sacher, then it would be worth a visit in and of itself, espcially with a well drawn shot of espresso.

                  1. re: cwdonald

                    @cwdonald: Personally, it doesn't bother me if schnitzel is made from pork or veal as long as it's tender and nicely breaded (although I think in Austria, the law requires anything claiming to be "wienerschnitzel" to be made from veal). The one at Grünauer manages to be both.

                    Personally, I hope that Grünauer's sachertorte is better than the one at Hotel Sacher.

            2. Bluestem for certain -- always seasonally inspired and delicious. I've never dined in the bar area but it looks cozy, and I'm sure it's a great deal. Brunch was also great -- the best hash my husband ever ate and he's tried quite a few.

              Michael Smith's -- good but not at the same par as bluestem.

              -----
              Bluestem
              900 Westport Road, Kansas City, MO 64111

              Michael Smith
              1900 Main, Kansas City, MO 64108

              1. You mentioned an interest in farm fresh seasonal ingredients and menus. It doesn't fit the walk or short cab ride, but straight up US-169 about 20 miles there is a great place in Smithville, Justus Drug Store (www.drugstorerestaurant.com). The menu is centered around local seasonal ingredients. My wife and I had dinner there recently and everything was delicious.

                4 Replies
                1. re: wadehamilton42

                  The food is wonderful, but I have to pipe up for someone visiting the area about the service at Justus. Be prepared to spend the evening dining here. It's just that kind of place, very relaxed and laid back, and the kitchen takes its time, as everything is house made. Order a drink and appetizer, and expect to be there a couple hours or more. It bears saying, IMO. If you want faster service, the patio has a more limited menu as another option.

                  1. re: amyzan

                    Yes, a very important and accurate note, amyzan. However, in my experience, the pacing often graduates from leisurely to near-ridiculous. There is no reason why a three-course dinner should take more than three hours.

                    1. re: ulterior epicure

                      I have you beat for ridiculously long meals at Justus. A two course dinner that lasted 3.5 hours. The resulting food was fine, but did not make up for effort to get there and the time spent waiting between courses. I was thoroughly underwhelmed and came to the conclusion that Justus receives the praise it does primarily due to a lack of competition from other restaurants in KC (Bluestem, Michael Smith, American and really who else?). I really wanted to love the place, but I just didn't. I do hope to return to give it another chance.

                      -----
                      Michael Smith
                      1900 Main, Kansas City, MO 64108

                  2. re: wadehamilton42

                    Thank you for reminding me about this place. I might twist some family to go there, if not this trip, on a future trip. Of course it would seem that I would need to budget enough time. ,,

                  3. Another option, and an easy cab ride from Crown Center, is Le Fou Frog, a lovely family-run French restaurant on the northern edge of downtown. I was on a solo trip to Kansas City in June and had a fantastic meal there on a Sunday evening. In fact, I think because I was a solo diner I got some thoughtful extras from my server, including a flight of three Rhone wines (instead of the one glass of Rhone I'd ordered) with my steak frites as well as an after-dinner drink. Along with the regular menu the chef also offers extensive specials bases on the market and season.
                    As for the restaurants you mentioned, I've eaten at Michael Smith and found the room to be rather cramped and loud. The food was good but not particularly memorable. The wine list, however, is very well chosen.
                    You can't go wrong at Bluestem. I would suggest eating at "the pass," a counter in front of the kitchen in the main dining room, not in the more casual lounge next door, for a true Bluestem experience.
                    Enjoy your trip to Kansas City, and bon appetit!

                    -----
                    Bluestem
                    900 Westport Road, Kansas City, MO 64111

                    Le Fou Frog
                    400 East 5th Street, Kansas City, MO 64106

                    Michael Smith
                    1900 Main, Kansas City, MO 64108

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: bocomo

                      Thanks for the recommendation. I am running into the problem that since its Labour Day weekend, that many places are closed Sunday .. (and Monday for that matter.) Right now, my itinerary looks like... Lunch Michael Smith Friday, Dinner American Friday, DInner Bluestem on Sat. Sunday is still open and I may revert back to my Lelia's idea.. or just have a large brunch with family and skip dinner.

                      Many thanks for all your input. Its invaluable and I certainly will report back on my experiences.

                      -----
                      Bluestem
                      900 Westport Road, Kansas City, MO 64111

                      Michael Smith
                      1900 Main, Kansas City, MO 64108

                      1. re: cwdonald

                        I feel like I need to throw my two cents in - I had a miserable dinner at the American this last Friday. We brought out my mother-in-law who had been a big fan of the place and the chef for many years but now M.I.L does not get out much. She was thrilled to see an old waiter there who knew her from years back. Service was top notch but the food was so disappointing. Mother-in-law ordered the duck breast and it arrived tough - it seemed to be heavily over-cooked. My husband got the salmon as his main option (it is a minimum 3 course prixe fixe) and his dish was also very, very overcooked. We sent the duck back but it was my M.I.L's birthday and she did not want to sit around waiting for a new entree. My husband complained about the salmon but decided not to send it back so as to not elongate the night. The servers was very helpful and tried to make some good out of the situation. Luckily, my main dish (the chicken) and starter (tuna) were great. Anyway, overall it was not a happy affair - is this something anyone has gone through recently at the American? If you do go, perhaps avoid the foods I mentioned and let me know your experience.