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Light dinner in Kansas City area? (non-BBQ, unfortunately)

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Suggestions for an interesting dining experience in the KC metro area. My wife and I are headed to Lenexa from St. Louis, and would like to have a nice dinner there. I have looked at the menus for Julian, Bluestem, and Extra Virgin. They all look pretty interesting. Preference? Am I overlooking something new? (And I have Justus on my "to-do" list, but the logistics make that a non-starter for me.) The wife doesn't dig on the smoked meats . . . or I'd be elbow deep in BBQ. Thanks in advance.

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  1. All three are excellent places, run by top chefs at the top of the their game, each with distinctive characteristics. I think Bluestem has a somewhat more "upscale" feel compared the other two, "Extra Virgin" is more "edgy" and "downtown", fitting its location in the Crossroads Arts District.

    If by "interesting" you mean "adventurous" I would have to specifically recommend "Extra Virgin."

    2 Replies
    1. re: yooperprof

      I love Extra Virgin and I always bring out-of-towners there. Julian is very good, too. I like Bluestem for brunch but am not that big of fan of dinner. Adding another interesting option is La Bodega (either the SW Blvd location or Leawood). Great tapas - Love the tuna, grilled shrimp, and the tenderloin with blue cheese.

      1. re: SFLisa

        Thanks to you both. "Edgy" is more than ok as long as the food backs it up. Our local neighborhood is comparable in some ways to Hyde Park, so "adventurous" is no problem whatsoever.

        Will likely hit Extra Virgin. Thanks!

    2. I say ditch the wife and go for the smoked meats.

      Just sayin'...

      ; )

      1. We had a very nice meal at affaire in the Crossroads. The food was great.