Espirito do Sul

traditional Brazilian Steakhouse fare

Newest Johnson County

in southern Overland Park

Brazilian Steakhouse

lunch or dinner starts at the Harvest Table

Churrascaria experience

meats by roving gauchos

Monday, May 16, 2016

You Sweet Thing, You (V)

The other night we hopped off the street car (fast, clean, easy) and walked the two very short blocks (fast, easy) to Le Fou Frog. We got there early; they were just opening the doors for Happy Hour Friday and we were welcomed warmly. We had an extremely nice charcuterie plate, perfect pomme frites (doesn’t that sound better than French fries?) and probably the best, fattest, tenderest mussels I’ve had in K.C. which came with a large, toasty roll for dunking. I’d ordered the mussels because usually there’s not much food there, and if you don’t overindulge in the bread, it’s a light meal. And I wanted that light meal because I wanted to try the profiteroles, one of the Frog’s best desserts. 

The trick of the profiterole is the choux pastry which makes up the famous cream puff. And that it be both somehow crisp on the outside, not too chewy, and absolutely airy. And although many are filled with a sweetened whipped cream or some other like filling, they can also be filled with ice cream, retopped, and some chocolate sauce added for still more richness. This is the technique of Le Fou Frog’s – and the ice cream was at least golf ball size and very rich and good. There were two on the plate and certainly meant to be shared, given the size of the concoction. This is definitely not the reason the French stay skinny compared to us obese Americans. And it’s definitely a reason to go to the restaurant – along with their happy hour, their mussels, their patio, their entrées, and their atmosphere. Did I miss anything? Oh yes, great service from pleasant people, too.

Le Fou Frog
400 East 5th Street 
Kansas City, MO 64105 
Ph. 816- 474-6060 

Le Fou Frog Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, May 13, 2016

Cruisin’ Down (Up?) the Danube

The last time I was at Grunauer’s, for other than a happy hour, was, sadly at their annual Ocktoberfest.  I say sadly because that kind of fun only comes round once a year, even if you go all three days.

But now there’s something going on that looks just as or even more enjoyable.  “Melodies of the Danube” is a seven night Ama Waterways cruise from Budapest to Vilshofen (plus three nights in Prague or Munich). These special tours feature “wine hosts” on the river cruises.  On October 28th, you can travel with Peter Grunauer of his eponymous restaurant in the Freight Yard as well as Jennifer and Don Stanton of Wines by Jennifer in Parkville.  These talented hosts will provide insight and expertise to wines of the region, European wine heritage and traditions as well as lead excursions to vineyards and wineries.  Sheer, sheer fun!

There are other dates available for these romantic (dancing in Vienna anyone?) wine cruises as well, but not with Kansas City flair.  You can find out more if you call Global Culinary Escapades at 913.766.8067 – and be sure to ask them about the wine cruise special they are offering.  And if you need someone to go with, call me.  J  

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Read this now, Don’t Delay – It’s May, it’s May, the Lusty Month of May

May 6th is a Friday

And you know that means the on-going celebration party in the Crossroads called First Fridays. Adding to the hullabaloo is the grand opening of the KC Streetcar that day. Several fine restaurants in the area are adding to your enjoyment:
Pierpont's has extended its happy hour this Friday – it starts at 11 a.m., woohoo, in their bar and extends to their indoor patio at 4 p.m. with piano music starting around 5 p.m. And they’re shucking up $2 oysters from 4 p.m. to close!
Nara celebrates with live music by Matthew Shoaf and their Happy Hour with its extensive menu and cheap drinks starts at 3 p.m. and lasts until 6. Stay until 9 p.m. and see their unique sushi live display. We won’t describe it further.
Tom's Town Distillery and Ruins Pub are neighboring up to celebrate the opening of the KC Streetcar by hosting a concert and outdoor party with live and DJ music, a draft tent sponsored by Ruins and mixed libations by Tom’s Town, and plenty of delicious food. There’s a breakdancing Boy Battle and live mural paintings, too. The fun begins at 6 p.m. on 17th and Main.

May 7th – Ride, Baby, Ride

Whether you’re a true equestrian or not, watching the Kentucky Derby is always fun. The people, the hats, the mint juleps, and oh, yes, the horses with their entertaining names and colors. Be at any one of these three places by 4 p.m. and you’ll feel you’re at Churchill Downs by the time it’s over at 7:30:
Espirito do Sul, even though it’s Brazilian by way of Overland Park, is celebrating big time – just as much as if it were soccer. Their Facebook page will soon have their special menu. But it’s always a party at Espirito.
Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar in the Plaza is serving their happy hour menu from 3-6 p.m. on this horse loving day, frosty mint juleps for just $6, and ½ price BTG champagne for ladies wearing Derby hats. Their giant screen puts the action close. For your reservation, call 816. 437.7940. And guys, break out that derby and bowtie – it’s your chance to look like the music man without having to sing.
Sullivan's Steakhouse in Leawood adds live music to their celebration. Call them at 913.345.0800 to find out more.
So put May 7th down on your calendar as a day to celebrate, too.

May 8th – Surely We Don’t Have to Tell You!

You better already know that this is the Sunday for all moms to feel extra cherished. Having her cook or you barbeque is NOT the way to celebrate. Especially if you or your children can identify with Mark Twain’s quote, “My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it,” you need to take her out to a fabulous brunch, lunch or dinner. We have some ideas for you right here to call quickly. Your mom doesn’t have to know you did this at the last minute! Check it now!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Hospitality Luncheons

Regnier Family Dining Room 
Presented by the Senior Hospitality Management Students 
Johnson County Community College 

We enjoyed a three course meal created by students in Chef Edward Adel's Food Management course. In this course students learn about and participate in every aspect of restaurant management including menu planning, food preparation, and service.


Caprese Salad
Cherry tomatoes dressed with whit Balsamic vinaigrette, crips artisan lettuce mix of red escarole, baby red chicory and baby romaine, Buffalo mozzarella, fresh basil and Parmesan crouton
Rigatoni pasta tossed in a basil tomato sugo
Ricotta crumbles, chiffonade spinach, Parmesan crip

Lamb Osso Buco
Braised lamb served with artichoke risotto, sautéed asparagus and Portobello mushrooms 

Lemon Tart
Lemon and mixed berry fruit tart with apricot glaze, toasted almonds and Chantilly cream

Sea salt focacia bread with rosemary olive oil


Experience CPK's Next Chapter Menu Now in Leawood

California Pizza Kitchen, the authority in creative dining with a California vibe, announced today that its new “Next Chapter” menu is now available in Leawood at CPK’s Park Place location (11655 Ash Street, Leawood, KS 66211). With a focus on high quality, fresh and seasonal ingredients, inventive main plates, hand-crafted cocktails and locally brewed beers alongside classic CPK favorites, the new and expanded menu is part of CPK’s transformational “Next Chapter” initiative, which is rolling out to CPK locations nationwide.

“With our ‘Next Chapter’ transformation, we’re introducing an incredible menu that showcases the best of our culinary creativity with exciting options in main dishes, like a fire-grilled ribeye and wild-caught Alaskan halibut, hand-tossed pizzas, craft cocktails and more,” said G.J. Hart, CEO of California Pizza Kitchen. “Our diverse menu blends fresh, seasonal ingredients with bold, global inspiration. We can’t wait for our local guests to experience what’s deliciously new at CPK.”

Alongside classics like the Original BBQ Chicken Pizza, salads and pastas, highlights of CPK’s new menu include:
·         Fire-Grilled Ribeye cooked with house-made pinot noir sea salt, topped with creamy bleu cheese butter and served with roasted fingerling potatoes and lemon-garlic wild arugula salad
·         Hearth-Roasted Halibut, wild caught from Alaska and roasted on a cedar plank with butternut squash farro, grilled asparagus and baby kale
·         Roasted Garlic Chicken with Seasonal Vegetables, a crispy-skin chicken breast in lemon-garlic sauce, with a medley of the season’s freshest vegetables
·         Rotating, featured seasonal dishes, pizzas and more

Craft cocktails, premium wines and local brews

CPK’s new hand-crafted cocktails feature premium alcohols with fresh fruit purées and herbs, such as California Roots, made with fresh avocado, shaken smooth with Svedka vodka, mint and lime, with a fennel salt rim; Blueberry Ginger Smash, with fresh muddled blueberries, lime and cranberry with Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey and Domaine de Canton Ginger; Coconut Blossom, with Hangar 1 Mandarin Blossom vodka, Casamigos Tequila Blanco, fresh agave sour, coconut purée and fresh pineapple, and more.

Featured fresh-made sangrias include Orchard Sangria, a refreshing blend of white wine, St. Germain Elderflower, Monin Stone Fruit, orange & cranberry juice, Red-Berry Sangria, with a rich blend of red wine, Rémy VSOP, Monin Blackberry, raspberry purée, cranberry juice and lemonade and the seasonal Harvest Sangria, made with a crisp, unique mix of Bacardi Superior Rum, St. Germain Elderflower and Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay with muddled grapes, basil & fresh agave sour. Enjoy your favorite or sample all three with CPK’s new Sangria Flight.

The “Next Chapter” menu also includes an updated wine list featuring premium California wines from Buena Vista, Mark West, Sonoma-Cutrer, Napa Cellars and CPK’s custom blend by KOZ, and for those seeking something bubbly, Le Grand Courtâge Blanc de Blancs Brut.

New, featured beers include Coney Island Hard Root Beer and seasonal, local brews from Boulevard Brewing Co.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Le Fou Frog presents a night for Nigel


Thank you for showing interest in helping our server, Jessica Brookcke and her son Nigel on Monday, May 9 - 6pm

Since Ningel's swimming accident, Jessica has forgone all work and is immersed in learning how to take care of her son. The accident has rendered him paralyzed, but there is hope that he may regain feeling in his lower body. 

We hope this special dinner can ease of their burden and raise their spirits through your generous support. Call for reservations at 816.474.6060


4 TICKETS - Diamond Club Section
(8 rows behind home plate)
with premium parking pass Kauffman Stadium
Sunday, May 29, 2016 1:15 pm

The Roasterie lunch box filled with coffee and accoutrements 

Gift Certificates from: Pierponts, Cafe Lulu, Waldo Pizza, Harry's Country Club, Le Fou Frog
Bottles of wine donated by Major Brands
Teeth Whitening
Ceramics from Amy Meya

5 courses paired with wine
$95 all inclusive

Friday, April 22, 2016

Need to get happy? Have I got an idea for you!

Happy Hour V: New Space Means New Grace

Everyone has probably been to JJ’s now just newish space next to the big law firm on the Plaza.  But you may not be aware of his expanded patio OR his happy hour which didn’t so much occur at the old location.  But if you’ve not been to their Happy Hour, you’re definitely missing out.

The first part that makes me happy is the drink prices.  There’s their “wine of the day” and it’s just $5.  Since this is JJ’s, it’s not schlock and it’s simply red, white or bubbles. This night, ours was a remarkably nice French wine, Omaine FILLENT Sainte Marie. Well drinks are even less and Boulevard drafts are $3.50.  So right away, from 4 -6 p.m. SEVEN days a week, I can be joyful immediately. 

There are normally just four dishes on their list for munchies, but they’re not small and three of the four are just $8.00.  The one that is a whopping dollar more is the steamed (white wine with leeks, curry, shallots, thyme and cream) mussels, savory, very yellow, very curry, and delish – an unusual prep for mussels and unexpectedly delicious.  There’s a thin crust pizza worthy of JJ’s and the excitement is that the toppings change daily – it’s chef’s choice here.  Ours was pepperoni, three cheeses, and small red peppers – sweet and tangy at the same time.  And fun.  There are also tenderloin sliders and crispy calamari companioned by zucchini and peppers with a lemon marinara sauce.  Yum.

Part of the appeal at JJ’s to me is the people.  Beyond the lawyers, there’s a nice, eclectic mix of long-time fans and late day partiers – and everyone is quite, quite happy that the new space has new habits. This is a very nice, long bar and I could sit there very happily, well past the Happy Hour.  Oh, wait, I did.  (Huge port selection; great with dessert.)

JJ's Restaurant
900 West 48th Place, Suite 110 
Kansas City, MO 64112 
Ph. 816- 561-7136 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Cacao Restaurante

Today I tried Cacao Restaurante for lunch! 

Cacao Restaurante is a partnership between Marquez and long-time restaurateur Victor Esqueda, owner of Ixtapa Mexican restaurant in the Northland, and his nephew, Alfonso Esqueda. Cacao name comes from the bean that gives us chocolate. It is simply a catchy name that ties the blue decor, with a nice bar area, a private dining room and seating for 200 people.

We're seating on a booth and our service was delightful. I like particularly the option "Two for you" You can have soup or salad with a choice for entrees for $9.

I had the house salad and I asked our waiter his recommendation for the Tortas. I had barbacoa: barbacoa chicken with refried beans, avocado and red onions, served with roasted potatoes. Delicious!

Coconut panna cotta with passion fruit.
I can wait to try their dinner menu!

5200 W. 95th Street 
Prairie Village, KS 66209 
Ph. (913) 296-7485 


Cacao Restaurante Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Cap Your Night with Breakfast

Breakfast Kansas City

Night Dreams

W.C. Fields said, “I must have a drink of breakfast.” I don’t believe he was among those strange, strange people in the world who proudly assert, “Really, breakfast is my favorite meal of the day.” Now I like breakfast quite a bit, if someone else is cooking it for me, but my very favorite meals usually include wine. Or bourbon. Fortunately, I’ve found a place who offers just what I want – depending how you look at it, a quite late or very early breakfast, conceivably with drinks.

Yeah, I am talking about Cleaver & Cork’s late(r) night breakfast menu that they begin serving at 10 p.m. What a dream. A reverse happy hour in the Power and Light District works for me and it has also worked for the year + old restaurant as practice for their first brunch on Mother’s Day, May 8th. And the plan is to stay open for further Sunday brunches.
Sweet Potato Hash with BBQ Pork Shoulder

Whether it’s salted-caramel French toast sticks with bourbon maple syrup or a unique take on a classic poutine or just perfectly done eggs atop a rustic hash, the menu is fairly short, quite distinctive – and is still revolving and evolving. Add Roasterie coffee and other “special” drinks designed to pair and you’ve got a reason to stop and top off your evening.

Why did it take so long for someone to think of this? No more greasy diners at 1 a.m. – I’ll have already have eaten that first meal of the day at Cleaver & Cork, demolishing that perfect nightcap in the truest sense of the word. Breakfast.

Cleaver & Cork
1333 Walnut Street 
Kansas City, MO 64106 
Ph. 816-541-3484 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Ruins Pub

Self serving can be a good thing. Ruins Pub, in the space formerly occupied by the Bulldog, is a fun space which will please (craft) beer drinkers. 

I've been trying lots of beers -- and this is a good place to do that. There are 40 or so beers to sample here. We only tried one thing, a variation of a Reuben, but it was delicious. 

The women next to us raved about their meals. They have some interesting sounding Hungarian dishes. The explanation of how to get a beer was clear. 

The service, good. The décor, eclectic. There is also a bar with regular drinks if you're not into bloating and flatulence. (And did you know dark beers have less carbonation which creates fewer gas bubbles in your stomach?) 

There are large garage windows that open which can be great, even in April. Especially this April.

Ruins Pub
1715 Main Street 
Kansas City, MO 64108 
Ph. 816-599-6667 

Ruins Pub Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato