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Fingers Crossed for Colby!

Once again, Kansas City’s favorite homegrown chef and restauranteur is up for the Best Chef Midwest award from the James Beard Foundation. If you’ve read much of this blog, you know I’m big fan of Chef Colby Garrelts and bluestem.

In the dining room you can get one of the best meals in the city, the lounge is perfect for incredible cocktails and small plates, and recipes from the bluestem cookbook are go-to’s for a great dinner party or just a phenomenal meal at home.

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Chefs Talk-JBF Best New Restaurants

The James Beard Foundation interviewed the chefs behind all five of their Best New Restaurant nominees. Check out what they have to say here.

I”m hoping to check out a few of the nominees myself in 2012. Two of the five are on my list to hit while traveling later this year. Fiola in Washington, DC and Next in Chicago sound like they will be quite an experience….that is, if I can get in!!

Killer Kale Salad

My new-found healthy food love affair is with Kale! I’ve long known the hearty green was good for me, even termed a “super food”. But it was just this spring that I found a fantastic and easy way to enjoy it.

I had tried a few bouts with kale many years back and it wasn’t too tasty. So when I recently found a bag of the freshly cut green at Trader Joe’s, I tossed it into the cart hoping I would be able to find a better preparation than I last tried.

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Piropos Lounge

Living just around the corner from one of the best restaurants in town can create a lot of guilt.

There’s a slight temptation to use it as your own personal gourmet cafeteria, ordering “to-go” even though the plastic container it comes in should never come near a culinary creation of that quality. While the food still tastes phenomenal, it’s missing the ambience, service and luxury fine food deserves.

But more often, it seems that jewel tucked into your familiar neighborhood streetscape goes overlooked. Kinda like staring into a fridge full of food and finding nothing that sounds good. It’s right there, you can have it anytime, so you go for something that takes a little more work.

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Titanic Inspirations

This weekend marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. The details of the grandeur of the ship and its passengers’ experiences are so intriguing.

With the Titanic exhibit currently at KC’s Union Station, Pierpont’s is offering a Titanic menu based off the last dinner served to first class passengers. It features dishes like Oysters a la Russe and pigeon and asparagus salad.

To honor the weekend, I might make this enticing cocktail inspired by the last dinner’s sixth course. It looks looks and sounds bright and refreshing!

Punch Romaine

Ingredients

1 egg white
1 oz. white rum
1 oz. white wine
½ oz. simple syrup
½ oz. lemon juice

1 oz. fresh orange juice
2 oz. Champagne or sparkling wine
Twist of orange peel, for garnish

Instructions

In an ice-filled cocktail shaker, combine egg white, rum, wine, simple syrup, lemon and orange juice; shake vigorously until well mixed and frothy. Mound crushed ice in a large coupe glass, and pour drink around it. Top with champagne, and garnish with orange peel.

 

Bacon-n-Eggs (on my salad)!!

It’s not unusual for me to skip right past the salad section of a menu when out for a savory supper or an indulgent treat. I rarely think to consider a pile of greens for my main course unless it’s a mid-week, stick-to-the-diet, extra healthy option (or should I say necessity).

But a recent feature in Food & Wine called “Main Course Salads” – and its delectable cover photo – got my mouth watering. It reminded me of a couple of extraordinary salads at two of my favorite Kansas City spots.

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Jack Stack Barbecue

I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on Kansas City barbecue. Writing about such sacred fare is a little uncomfortable just for the fact that smoke and sauce are very individualized tastes. What appeals to one person might turn off another.

But I do know good food, and from that angle I can tell you my opinion of any meal. And Fiorella’s  Jack Stack Barbecue is what I consider one of the big boys in BBQ here in KC.

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Babka Bread for Easter (Unforgettable French Toast)

We all have our favorite foods. Some are specifically related to time and place like a brat at the ballpark or homemade family dessert. Others are just so simply good, they can play a role in almost any meal or event.

One of those versatile favorite foods of mine is Babka Bread from Dean & Deluca. I am notorious for finding any excuse to buy a loaf, whether for myself, house guests or as a gift.

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Wine & Beer Dinners @ Story

For all you Boulevard fans out there, or anyone that just enjoys an outstanding food and drink experience, don’t miss the upcoming Boulevard Brewing Company beer dinner at Story next week.

Last month, I indulged in the Story’s wine dinner built around Brewer-Clifton wines and featuring winemaker Greg Brewer. It was a deliciously grand gathering showcasing both Chef Carl Thorne-Thomsen’s phonomenal food and some wonderful wines. I wanted to share some of the enticing plates and pics with you so you know what kind of lavish yet relaxed adventure you can experience right here in KC.

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Blanc Burgers + Bottles

American Kobe burger

From my very first meal at Blanc Burgers, it’s been one of my favorite KC indulgences and a place I love to take visitors. It’s near the top of my list for “cheat meals” when dieting but still offers some sensible fare – if you have the willpower to withstand all the delectable delights around you.

With my parents recently in town, we were wanting a really fantastic meal but didn’t have a lot of time to spare. I knew Blanc Burgers would serve up some phenomenal food without much wait and they could experience one of the highlights of Kansas City dining.

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