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.
Piropos is that kind of place for me. The Argentinian steakhouse has a great reputation not only in the Northland, but across the metro. We hear from people all the time about their outstanding anniversary dinners and memorable meals there. Patrons love the atmosphere, the outstanding service and the great view of downtown Kansas City. We know they’re right, we love it! And should partake more often!!
That we did on a Saturday evening a few months back. Slightly weary from a big afternoon sporting event, we made it home and collapsed in front of the tv. I was more than ready for pizza delivery when my husband suggested we go down the street to watch the game in Piropos bar. I eagerly agreed!
Most people wouldn’t think of watching sports at Piropos. It’s white table clothes, beautiful art and romantic ambiance lend a much more formal feel. But that’s the beauty of the place, it suits just about any occasion.
We settled into a bar table with a good view of the three televisions and picked a couple appetizers off the bar menu. In the last couple years, the bar offerings (separate from the regular menu) have continued to grow and improve. That night we found a menu with various choices of appetizers and meals priced at $6, $12 and $20.
The Atun Marinado and Camarones en Pequeno didn’t take long to reach our table. As usual, the shrimp cocktail were well-sized and beautifully placed around the glass of cocktail sauce. The citrus marinated tuna showed nice color and was accented by chopped tri-colored bell peppers. My only disappointment was the tuna appeared to be mixed with one of the three tapenades that accompany the bread service. Now, don’t miss out on sampling these traditional Argentine sauces. Atop the crusty herb bread, they’re one highlight of your dining experience. But I didn’t think the spices and generous amount of olive oil in the bell pepper sauce was the right choice for the tuna. The dish was still good, but could have been better simply topped with sea salt.
Luckily, the appetizer I would rate a “6.5” was the worst part of meal that consistently hit 9’s and 10’s from there on out. We continued with bread service and the wonderfully fresh and flavorful sauces I’ve already mentioned. We opted to split a caesar salad – a tough decision considering Piropos offers great variety for sides salads and they are consistently good. We were surprised to find the restaurant had taken its already delicious caesar with chopped romaine and improved it! We were each presented with a beautiful plate of crisp, long romaine hearts, topped with just enough dressing and a sprinkle of parmesan. The croutons were the star of the show. They were perfectly sized, perfectly seasoned, and perfectly done….just crisp enough to add that texture you want, but still melting away like butter with the other flavors. I found MANY perfect bites in that salad!
If there’s one phrase you should know at Piropos, it’s this:
Lomo ala Pimienta con Papas a la Crema.
It’s the dish that everyone leaves talking about and keeps coming back for, the peppercorn encrusted filet in brandy cream sauce. It comes alongside a dense, rich triangle of potatoes au gratin and the most amazingly sautéed mushrooms with just a hint of rosemary.
This is my favorite dish at Piropos and one of my top choices for steak in all of Kansas City. And that night, after a long day outdoors, sitting at the bar with a glass of malbec, it was more perfect than any time I’ve had the dish in the past. I love rich food! And if you have a taste for the decadent, like me, you will struggle to find another entrée so indulgent yet balanced. The meat was perfectly prepared and full of flavor. The peppercorns and touch of cream provided an added layer that made it feel whole. Top that with a delicately firm mushroom and the aroma of rosemary and you have “the perfect bite“.
It’s so good, it can be hard to stop. After devouring far more than I intended, I decided to keep on truckin’ and go for Piropos signature dessert, banana cake. Paired with coffee, it’s just the right note on which to end. I once tried to recreate their banana cake at home and failed miserably. It’s full of flavor but so even, with a lightly creamed airy frosting layered between a moist, natural cake. Just right!
So now, after writing this and reliving that amazing meal. I’m ready to make reservations at Piropos for four, and in the dining room this time. How can we not share this kind of luxury with friends?! And yes, food this good is wonderful enjoyed with a game. But let’s be honest, it really does deserve the white table clothe and the beautiful view of downtown.