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Posts from the ‘Reviews’ Category

Tavern in the Village

If you don’t make it to the Prairie Village Shops very often, you’re missing one of Kansas City’s culinary treasure troves. Some of my favorite restaurants and bakeries are tucked inside this little development in the center of the city.

Incredible Salted Caramel Pot de Creme!

Incredible Salted Caramel Pot de Creme!

So I was thrilled when asked to preview Tavern in the Village for KC Restaurant Week. I’ve dined at both Tavern in the Village and its sister restaurant Tavern at Mission Farms a few times and always left smiling. I wish I lived closer because I would eat there much more often if I could.

The Tavern’s KCRW menu gives you some fantastic options and you might just have a hard time deciding which delicious dish you want to enjoy.

Hummus appetizer

Hummus appetizer

For only $33, the quality of a 3-course dinner at Tavern in the Village is really outstanding. I recommend starting with either the Hummus or Tavern Wedge.

The hummus is creamy, hearty and mild enough to please any palate. Served with cucumber, celery and carrots, it’s a fantastic choice for the health conscious. But let’s be real. The most amazing part of the hummus appetizer is the toasted pita. When the warm, soft bread hits your tongue with some of the refreshing hummus, it’s a very satisfying bite!

Tavern Wedge

Tavern Wedge

The wedge salad is crisp and fresh. Topped with bacon, chopped tomatoes, blue cheese and fried onions, it’s everything you want in this classic starter.

The KCRW entrée options are great, offering a grilled mahi mahi, petit filet or the slow-roasted Osso Bucco. There’s something for everyone.

I must say, I was a little hesitant to order the osso bucco, just because it’s one of my favorite dishes and I’ve had some really amazing preparations that often make others pale in comparison. You might say I’m an osso bucco snob. But on a cold January night, the hearty, warm appeal pulled me in.

Pork Osso Bucco

Pork Osso Bucco

It was definitely a good decision. The Tavern’s osso bucco is top-notch!   Covered with a savory tomato demi-glace the generous shank is both hearty and refined. The parmesan risotto is richly creamy and has roasted vegetables tucked inside. It’s an amazing dish and I will go back to Tavern in the Village just to have this entrée again!

If you’re having lunch at the Tavern during Restaurant Week, don’t miss their burger. It won The Pitch’s “Best Burger” award in recent years and for good reason. It tastes better than homemade. The thick patty is well-seasoned, topped with cheddar and tucked inside an awesome brioche bun that is perfectly toasted. It’s the kinda burger you want on a regular basis.photo 3

Be sure to save room for dessert at this eatery. I had heard rave reviews about the cinnamon sugar doughnuts, but didn’t try them until my last visit. Boy have I been missing out! Sitting atop a bed of chocolate sauce and alongside a ramekin of creme anglaise, these warm little nuggets of heaven are just superb. I devoured far more of them than intended, but loved every delectable bite!

Homemade Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts

Homemade Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts

If you’re looking for something a little lighter, go for the chocolate peppermint pot de creme. If it’s half as good as the salted caramel pot de creme on their regular menu, you will love it!

I don’t think you can go wrong at Tavern in the Village. Literally, everything placed on our table was delicious and worth ordering on another visit. The salmon was marvelous and beef stroganoff quite satisfying. I’m confident you will enjoy your meal at the Tavern whether during Restaurant Week or anytime of the year. photo 4

Sullivan’s Steakhouse for Restaurant Week

One my favorite times of the winter is almost here! Kansas City Restaurant Week begins Friday, when we can all put our diets on hold to take advantage of some great deals and outstanding meals.

I was honored this year to be invited to take part in KCRW’s Blogger Dine-around where I got to preview some of the tempting dishes offered at a couple local establishments.

Stone Crab Claws

Stone Crab Claws

If you’ve never experienced KC’s Restaurant Week, you’re missing out. More than 130 restaurants are offering special fixed price menus sampling some of their most popular items. With 3-course dinners priced at $33, this is your chance to go visit that old favorite or try a new spot (lunches are just $15).

Earlier this week, mom and I headed to Sullivan’s Steakhouse in the One Nineteen shopping center in Leawood. Luckily, we both came hungry because there was so much wonderful food we’re already talking about when to go back.

Cheesesteak eggrolls

Cheesesteak eggrolls

The KCRW menu at Sullivan’s is quite generous. You can begin with a soup or salad, get to choose from steak, salmon or chicken entrees, then finish with one of three indulgent desserts. It’s quite a steal for $33, offering extremely high-quality salmon and an aged filet.

Of course, being the over-orderer that I am, we went ahead and started with some appetizers. And then Chef Wesley Boston decided to send out a few more, just so we could give ‘em a try.

Amazing crab cake!

Amazing crab cake!

My favorite was definitely the Jumbo Lump Crabcake. I’ve enjoyed many great crabcakes and this was among the best. The size, tenderness and flavor of the crab was just phenomenal. If you’re wanting something more creative than you find on most traditional steakhouse menus, give the Cheesesteak Eggrolls a try. They are satisfying and appetizing in every way. The crisp wonton surrounds tender and cheesy filling, topped with a tasty chili sauce.

photo 4Now back to that Restaurant Week menu. I must give my highest recommendation to Sullivan’s  Iceberg Lettuce Wedge – one of the best I’ve had in a while. It’s topped with a house-made blue cheese dressing that’s blended at least 24-hours in advance to allow those pungent flavors to infuse the creamy dressing. Topped with diced tomatoes, its simple yet intense flavors make the perfect steakhouse salad.

Two of the entrees featured on the Restaurant Week menu are truly incredible.

8 oz. Filet Mignon

8 oz. Filet Mignon

While I wasn’t initially inclined to opt for a seafood dish when I had been looking forward to a steak all day, the Bay of Fundy salmon got rave reviews from the chef (who says he’s not really a seafood guy at all). He was right, the dish was a phenomenal. Amazingly fresh salmon is cooked perfectly, topped with a light tomato sherry jus then seals the deal with that “melt-in-your-mouth” finish. Of course, the fish is flown in fresh daily. But I think it’s the quality of the salmon and the unobtrusive sauce that makes this a step above. I wasn’t very excited to think of tomatoes with salmon. But the sauce takes on more of delicate seafood flavor from the lobster bisque that’s blended with the roasted cherry tomatoes and sherry. It’s really fantastic!photo 3

The other shining star for KCRW, is the 8 ounce Filet Mignon. It’s not overly-hyped with special rubs or fancy sauces (though Sullivan’s offers a great selection of specialty butters and sauces for your steak). This filet is a hunk of pure, unadulterated, delicious beef. Its tender and flavor will rival any filet around. I was enjoying it so much I had to make myself stop so I could still try some dessert at the end.

When it comes to sides, having to choose only two can be a real dilemma. I loved everything I tried (horseradish mashed potatoes and creamy spinach), but have to say I was blown away by both the creamed corn and skillet mushrooms. The corn tasted like it had been freshly shucked off the cob minutes before arriving at my table. It was killer fresh and amazingly satisfying!

Skillet mushrooms in an amazing sauce!

Skillet mushrooms in an amazing sauce!

photo 4Well one of the best parts of Restaurant Week ordering is committing to dessert early, so you don’t back out when you’re getting full. Sullivan’s offers a wonderful Bananas Foster Bread Pudding with caramelized bananas and vanilla bean ice cream. My top pick was the New York Style Cheesecake. It’s served at room temperature so you can enjoy every bit of rich creaminess and delight as it melts  around your tongue.

What I haven’t told you about are all the outstanding dishes Sullivan’s offers all the time. Stone crab claws are a very popular item when they are in season. And yes, you can get them now! If you want an adventure in steak, go for the monster “Long Bone” ribeye. It’s 54 days of aging gives it a punch of flavor that’s hard to match!photo 3

Sullivan’s has to be one of the best deals in all of KC Restaurant Week! If you’re up for an amazing dinner at an unbelievable price, you have to hit Sullivan’s in the next few days.

Stroud’s

It’s the closest thing I can find to my grandma’s fried chicken, and that means more than a tasty drumstick. I remember warm summer evenings playing on the backyard swing set with my cousins, then hearing grandma yell from the back porch that it’s “T-iiiiiiiiiii-me for dinner!”. We would hustle inside and place our little bodies in the big wooden chairs of grandma’s dining room table. Steam rolling off the big bowl of mashed potatoes, a hot-pad sitting under the pot of dark green beans fresh out of the garden. Grandpa was always served first, then the big plate of golden-brown chicken was heading my way.Stroudsign

The chairs at Stroud’s are heavy wood and the potatoes – creamy blonde just like grandma’s – come to the table piled high and piping hot. But the reason the crowds have been visiting this landmark log cabin for 30 years is the beautiful, pan-fried chicken that arrives at your table on a big platter crisped to perfection. It’s some of the most pristine chicken I’ve seen, and among the juiciest.

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Billy Vanilly Cupcakes – Lawrence

In a darling little storefront in the heart of Lawrence, you can find some tasty treats for your sweet tooth. I happened upon this bakery one Sunday afternoon on our way back to Kansas City. We were just driving down Massachusetts Street deciding where to have lunch, when I say the sign and thought “what a fantastic bakery name!”BVpkg

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Westside Local

I little place tucked near downtown Kansas City, Westside Local is known by many in the area for its great food. Currently off my beaten path, I hope to make it a regular spot since I’ve loved pretty much everything I’ve ever tasted there.

Ah-mazing biscuits & gravy!

Ah-mazing biscuits & gravy!

This summer I happened to make it for two meals in the same week! As before, I walked away quite happy after each meal.

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Scratch Cupcakery – Des Moines

The diet was in full effect on a recent trip to Des Moines for my godson’s first birthday. Well, that was until we made the trip to pick up cupcakes for the birthday party.scr case

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PepperJax Grill

PJsteak

The Philly Cheesesteak

Maybe it’s just the radio stations I listen to, but I feel like PepperJax Grill advertises like crazy and does it pretty effectively. First person, live-to-tape commercials describing their famous Philly cheese steaks are presented like a testimonial by the radio host…..and they’re pretty convincing.

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d’Bronx Pizza

I pass by the place time and again and it’s often packed. Somedays you can smell the yeasty crust and sweet sausage aroma coming from inside. I’ve heard a lot of folks rave about their pizza and tiny athletic trainer girls boast about eating an entire one on a cheat day. Yet I had never gone to check it out.Bronxbox

So when I found myself needing a quick bite before a noon appointment, I stopped in to try it out for myself.

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Tavern at Mission Farms

I wasn’t intending to dine out for lunch. But as I headed into one of my favorite boutiques, I saw the Tavern logo next door and my mind started talking to my stomach! Soon I found myself inside the warm and welcoming restaurant.TavInt

A booth next to the window was perfect for the chilly Saturday. I eyed the appetizers and was drawn to the sliders. There were a few kinds to choose from, three per order. My server was quite accommodating and gladly fulfilled my request to try three different kinds.

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The Art of Pizza

The saying goes “sometimes you just have to follow your heart”. But if you follow your stomach, you might end up at the same place. That’s what happened to me earlier this week when a time crunch and  hunger pangs landed me inside what has to be one of Kansas City’s best pizza joints.Artext

After a morning meeting and some must-run errands, I circled the few blocks around the 18th and Baltimore area in search of parking for my next appointment. That’s when I realized the few bites I had of a hurried breakfast had long worn off. I needed some lunch, and waiting till the next appointment was over would not be pretty.

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