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When Price is No Object

There are those special occassions in life when we want the very best our city has to offer. Sometimes it’s a milestone anniversary or birthday, a retirement or celebration of a baby or a new job. For many people New Year’s Eve is the night to put on the fancy clothes and live it up! With that swanky event just around the corner, I thought it was a good time to give you my rankings of  the the BEST places in KC when price is no object.

Not all of these venues have sky-high menus. I listed many because you get can get the feel of an exclusive, “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”, fine-dining experience wiouthout emptying your wallet. Check out their online menus to find out if will fit the bill for your next big night out.

  • The American Restaurant – A classic that has been the standard-bearer for upscale Kansas City cuisine for decades, continues to impress under the direction of Chef Debbie Gold. Be perpared for a fantastic view of downtown KC, impeccable service and an adventurous, yet dependably delicious menu served in courses. I suggest doing at least 5 courses to get a sense of all this “Crown” jewell has to offer.

    The quaint exterior of bluestem in Westport

  • Bluestem – If you don’t know by now, bluestem is one of my very favorite places to indulge – not only in KC…. bluestem hangs with some of the best places in major cities. When you’re up for a quiet night of amazing food and a relaxing atmosphere, book dinner with Colby and Megan Garrelts and let them them treat you like a king. You will leave feeling like you’ve had a true taste of the good life. Must have: foie gras torchon – amazing!
  • Piropos – Just 5 minutes North of downtown, this Argentine steakhouse offers all you would want for a delightful celeration. The beautiful decor, view of downtown, and great food makes this rock-solid restaurant a triple-threat. Don’t miss their Brandycream Peppercorn filet – it will keep you coming back! 
  • Justus Drugstore Restaurant – With moderately priced entrees, it’s not the  cost that keeps people away from Justus, it’s often the half-hour drive to Smithville. Well believe me it’s worth it (many of you drive that far to work everyday).  Jonathan Justus is a true talent sourcing local ingredients and knocking the socks off his patrons again and again.

    superb calamari from Cap Grille

  • The Capital Grille – You can’t ask for a better location for a big-time outting than the Country Club Plaza. And Cap Grille keeps serving consistently great steaks and seafood in a warm, luxurious setting. When I want a great steak, I always pick the cut I’m in the mood for and get it with the Kona rub. While you’re there, don’t miss the best calamari, sauteed mushrooms and scalloped potatoes in town (seared tuna or the creamed spinach is fanstastic too).
  • Lidia’s Italy – Our gem of the Freighthouse District, the revered Lidia Bastianich has been serving up fine dining delights for a few decades. The history of the building is an experience in itself which is compounded by the beauty that now fills it. While it’s hard to pass up Lidia’s fresh-made pasta tasting (different each day), I love the duck gnocchi and the veal osso bucco.

    Love Story's fried chicken!

  • Story – This is a place you can dine even on your more cost-conscience outtings. But I’ve included Story because you should try a few appetizers, have some of their drink creations and get a taste of everything that entices. Spend a little more and really live it up. The shortribs are phenomenal and I can’t wait to get back and have another serving of that fried chicken! Trying more of all that Story has to offer will provide you sense of decadence in a place so pure and simple, you will want to stay all night.
  • Starker’s Reserve – The sophisticated elegance of this 2nd story dining room is just part of the experience on the Country Club Plaza. Great views, outstanding wines and impeccable food make it perfect place to celebrate.

(Feature photo of The American Restuarant by Bonjwing Lee)

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. I just adore Piropos, their food is exquisite and they have such a nice wine list. I miss dining there, but since moving to Lawrence, I don’t make the trip as often as I would like. Despite being a huge fan of all of these selections, this year we are going to stay in town, dining at the Eldridge Hotel.

    December 30, 2011
  2. Hope it was delicious! I will have to put the Eldridge on my list.

    January 2, 2012
  3. At Lidia’s, get the Braised Wild Boar Ravioli.

    It’s only $18.00 and might be one of the best meals I ever had.

    I really don’t have the culinary vocabulary to describe it, so here is the best I can do.


    January 4, 2012
  4. Love the blog! I wanted to add my suggestions for your list – Le Fou Frog near the City Market or Aixois in Brookside – both fabulous French restaurants with ambiance that can help anyone to forget the cost

    February 10, 2012

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