Kansas City Restaurant Week
KC Restaurant Week starts tomorrow (Friday, Jan 20, 2012) and I was wondering how many of you are planning on taking part. For those who are unfamiliar, KCRW supports Harvesters Food Bank. More than 120 restaurants all over the city offer three- or four-course dinners for a fixed price of $30, and two- or three-course lunches for $15. It lasts 10 days, ending Sunday, Jan 29.
Where are you planning to go? Which meals are you most looking forward to?
I am finally taking the opportunity to eat at Capitol Grille, The American Restaurant, and JULIAN (all are a first time for me). I also have reservations at JJ's, Lidia's, Gram & Dun, 801 Chophouse, Bristol Grill, and Fogo de Chao (not all for dinner). Yeah, it will be a big week.
There are many other great restaurants on the list. In some cases they are offering menus that don't differ from the rest of the year, for about the same price. Extra Virgin, for example (one of my favorite Kansas City restaurants) is presenting dishes from their regular menu at not much of a discount.
What restaurants have you found that are offering particularly unusual or interesting meals?
Day 1 (Friday): Dinner at JULIAN. I was planning on dinner with friends at The Golden Ox, but they had to cancel and I didn't want to eat there solo. I posted on JULIAN's Facebook how excited I was about next Friday's pork belly, and chef Celina Tio posted that I should come out and try it that night. How could I turn down a personal invitation like that? The appetizer was Chinese fried chicken bites with sesame aoili. The pork belly was slow roasted with glazed pearl onions and served on a parsnip puree that was so thick and meaty I thought it was gravy. I finished with a butternut squash cheesecake with pepita brittle that was crunchy and creamy and not overly sweet. Fantastic.
Day 2 (Saturday) was supposed to be Capital Grille, but I ended up having a late lunch at McCoy's with friends instead. The tomato soup was spiced with chorizo and was perfect for the winter afternoon, although I did wish it was served with some bread -- perhaps some cheesy garlic bread? The Mac and Cheese was homey and delish. Was too full to think about dinner and ended up canceling Capital Grille. I am planning to go next weekend instead.
No RW menu tonight. Tomorrow is The American Restaurant, and I am very excited.
Good to know this --we will be finding ourselves in KC this weekend. Now we just need to decide where.
Day 3 (Sunday): No Restaurant Week. We had tickets for the New Theater Restaurant (dinner and a show). Not gourmet, but decent buffet and the show was fun.
Day 4 (Monday): Solo dinner at The American Restaurant. I've wanted to eat here for a long time, but never had the opportunity. In retrospect, I'm thinking Restaurant Week wasn't the best time. The space was beautiful and the service impeccable, however the limitations of a $30 prix fixe menu seemed to cramp the chef's style. The appetizer was an exquisite poached egg with cauliflower cream, crispy fried kale, black garlic, and shaved cauliflower. I'd eat that again any time. However the entree was a rather simple chicken breast with a side of roasted potatoes. It didn't blow me away. Dessert was a deconstructed "peanut butter s'more" made with a large dollop of chocolate ganache, graham cracker crumbles, marshmallow gelato, and a piece of a peanut butter cookie.
Day 5 (Tuesday): This was a night out with friends from my neighborhood bar. None of them are "foodies" and there's no way I was going to drag them to Lidia's or bluestem. But I knew they'd love all-you-can-eat meat, so Fogo de Chau it was! This is one of the better deals for Restaurant Week. They don't change their menu or limit the selection. they simply lower their price from $42.50 to $30. Quite a bargain! It isn't gourmet, but the service is great and the salad bar can't be beat. plus... oh yeah, all-you-can-eat fire-roasted meat.
Reservations for the rest of this week are: 801 Chophouse, Bristol Seafood, Gram & Dun (lunch), JULIAN (again), Lidia's, and Avenues Bistro.