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The list runs the gamut from expensive to cheap, and from fine dining to flip-flop casual. German cuisine most likely provokes thoughts of size-of-your-head Bavarian pretzels, steins of Hefeweizen and stacked sausages on plates. Instead of white tablecloths and candles, the restaurant has a long bar, pale wood accents and as much natural lighting as possible.
Do you really need that wonton soup before the platters of meat and dumplings show up? Each dish is baptized by fire—but not quite in the ways you might expect.
When French-born chefs and restaurateurs Kevin Mouhot and Romain Monnoyeur took over Westport Cafe and Bar inthey were taking over an institution. Earlier this year, he shuttered his long-running namesake restaurant in the Crossro and opened Farina next door, a modern Italian fine dining concept with a sleek and polished interior — compliments of local firm Helix Architecture and De — set in handsome slate and gray tones. Tear up some cilantro and basil, squirt in a little Sriracha, and spoon into world-class pho.
We judge each restaurant on its own merits. Those pies are medium-thick and plenty cheesy, while also delivering some sourness and char in the crust. In Aprilchef-owner Ryan Brazeal and pastry chef-owner Jessica Armstrong moved their lauded five-year-old Novel restaurant from a historic shirtwaist house on the Westside to a sparkling new build in the Crossro. Do you really need that hulking platter of chow fun noodles? There are other items on the menu, too, and you should explore them — as sides to your pho. The menu here is classic French with some modern flair.
For a large portion ofGoellner drew inspiration from Japanese cuisine. We spent a year eating our way across the city to rank the best restaurants in Kansas City.
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On the other side of the wall is the seventy-seat Supper Club, where guests order a la carte and live local music goes late. Very expensive. Rye is the rare place that can manage both elegant pork rinds and cold-smoked salmon. Vaughn Good has been composing a meaty love letter to the lower Midwest for some time. But Leach will also do things like roast carrots over the fire for an entire day, then cook them down with sherry vinegar and Moroccan spices and turn the root vegetable into a gorgeous and earthy dip. Do you want to grab a seat next to strangers at the large communal table or wait in a long line to get a private table?
There are plenty of house-cured meats and generously portioned entrees to choose from, and the small raw bar highlights delicate Mediterranean flavors. Waldo Thai opened in mid and quickly amassed an enthusiastic cult following. Around these parts, you go to this tiny, no-frills Overland Park restaurant.
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WCB had been serving tried-and-true French classics like mussels, frites and escargot since As far as anyone was concerned, the formula worked well in the romantic bistro, with its charming antique tin ceiling and black-and-white checkered tile floor. Instead of retiring into cookbook-writing, Smith has embarked on a new enterprise. The Hill in question is Strawberry, and this laid-back KCK pizzeria pub stands out as probably the best little neighborhood t in the city.
The barbecue sandwiches and over-the-top Southern desserts like banana cream pie earn special notice as dishes you want to make sure out-of-town guests remember the city by.
Plenty of successful restaurants are bastions of consistency and tradition. Great pho is all about the broth, and the best broth in town takes a full day to make. Just as great movies come in many genres, so do restaurants. ABC is a place of tough choices. The centerpiece of this stylish restaurant is the wood-fired hearth in the dining room from which heavy plates of smoked goat chorizo, whole grilled trout and braised short rib flow like Shakespearean sonnets.
So much has changed since then.
All of it, every dish, every time. Relocating had long been a dream for the couple, and their new space is spacious and bold. There are just eighteen seats in the slender Tasting Room, and with the charcoal walls, black tables and dramatic spotlighting, dining here feels like an event.
Service and atmosphere are important, but food is king. The usually humble cacio e pepe is elevated with a rich combination of pecorino, Parmesan and crescenza cheeses, and I swooned over the candy wrapper-shaped caramelle pasta.
We seek to recognize unique cuisines over very good steakhouses. Kansas City is the place where the Midwest meets the south and west, and Rye is pretty much the perfect manifestation of our foodways. I marveled at a slightly sweet ricotta soft-serve with peeled heirloom tomatoes and purple basil buds, a dish of buckwheat dumplings with imperial gold caviar, an intoxicating paw-paw puree over luscious goat milk sherbet and wine pairings that play to the palate thanks to sommelier, front-of-house manager and co-owner Christina Corvino.
The final boss of dessert?
In our rankings, we admit a preference for chef-driven restaurants that showcase personal touches. Take, for example, the lobster pop tart, one of the few menu items that has stayed on since opened in April Chef Linda Duerr receives live lobsters, steams them and breaks them down before portioning them into buttery short pastry, a perfect envelope for the clean lobster and braised leek, all of which is offset by bright tomatoes, fresh dill and a cloud-like VSOP whipped cream. The fried sweet potato is a favorite, and the rich curries are great on chilly days.
The Risotto vom Tintenfisch, a fresh and creamy smoked octopus risotto with bites of scallops and shrimp and topped with a squid ink net, made me forget for a moment that I was landlocked in Missouri.
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Our editors visited more than two hundred and fifty Kansas City restaurants over the past year to pick the top forty. When we were working on our best restaurants list at the end ofMesob was on a break. But we have now removed six spots that, sadly, have closed. We focus on food. Trafficway, KCMO. Yes again! Toasted coriander is folded into meringue and piped into crispy kisses around a tropical whipped panna cotta. We seek to recognize the best spots from the toniest areas of town and working class neighborhoods. Grunnels, who started his studies of Turkish cuisine via Zoom meetings to Ankara, serves a glorious mezze spread with silky guajillo hummus, warm butter-poached radishes, charred fingerlings and a rip-ready sand-colored flatbread.
You go to The Restaurant at because the food is good. We released our ranked list of the 40 best restaurants in Kansas City in Decemberafter exhaustive research that saw our editors visiting hundreds of spots to pick 40 excellent restaurants that represented the best dining KC has to offer.
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The pandemic complicated that plan, as well as the plans of chef Brent Gunnels, who had been hosting backyard pizza parties a few blocks away while working to open another spot. Take, for example, the Lanna Thai larb laab mu akua lanna.
And Johnny is only half the team. Chef Pam Liberda is from Lampang, in the northern part of Thailand, and much of the Lanna cuisine she grew up with shows up on her menu at Waldo Thai. The menu here is small. We ate the plates. The restaurant bustles with warm family energy, and you can catch snippets of their exchanges in perfect French. Desserts are courtesy of pastry chef Amy Beeman, whose refined creations confidently walk the line between classic and modern — like a show-stopping cranberry curd and white chocolate tart.
Colby and Megan Garrelts have won a pile of Beard nods and written two cookbooks based on their upscale take on regional cuisine. Her desserts also have footprints back to the hearth, including a visceral semifreddo arranged with petite cubes of carrot cake, which uses the same charred carrots her husband claims for his bread dip.
Is the beef shank pancake wrap the server suggests better than the sticky rice? Although the restaurant is set in a mixed-use building that was once H. Lee Jeans headquarters today, there are offices and corporate meeting spaces the dining room is sumptuous and comfortable. Noodles here are elegant.
We aim to recognize extraordinary food, whatever the format of the restaurant. Clay and Fire is sort of a mash-up, and it works wonderfully. Keep an eye on the seafood options, too.
You can sorta gauge the spirit of the place by its dessert menu, which has nine options, each more decadent than the last. Goellner is tall and bespectacled, carrying himself with the air of a bookish grad student. His approach is an innovative twist on French cuisine accented by international influences, and it distinguishes WCB as a true dining destination.
We do not announce our presence and always pay for our food. The kebabs are also great—chicken thigh, sirloin and an exquisite adana ground lamb and beef. For a new-school tasting menu, the ten-plus course experience in the Tasting Room unfolds with joy and pops with creativity. His menu shifts with moods as much as seasons. The cauliflower with miso and sunflower seed hummus only lasted three days before chef Nick Goellner took it off. For me, though, it lost some of its luster after being acquired by Cheesecake Factory in mid Which is very much the mood of the times.
We also consider the value of the meal: After you pay the bill, do you walk away feeling pleased, maybe even grateful? There are nine cuts to choose from: two thirty-day dry-aged and five forty-five-day wet-aged, all from Woodbury Farms in Quenemo, Kansas, plus two Wagyu options — a KC strip and a ribeye from Durham Ranch in Pittsburg, Texas. It started with Hank Charcuterie in Lawrence, the butcher shop-turned-restaurant that kept bringing Kansas Citians across the border for a taste of his foie gras pork sausage.
Excellent and mostly Italian-American, with pizzas, sal and pies making up most of it.