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Hotelling a Good Story by Chris

I’m nearly a Kansas City lifer – born in Manhattan (yes, the Kansas one), all my youth in Roeland Park, brief stints in Lawrence, Seattle, and Chicago, and then back “home.”  I tell you this because eating or drinking in Kansas City hotels is not a customary event for me, other than for charity events. 

But last weekend, friends, husband and I went to the downtown Marriott for no reason but to check out their bar, BarCentral, and restaurant, MetropolitanKC.  For a Kansas City lifer, it was a pretty great night, all in all.

First of all, their bar does not look like a hotel bar but a kinda comfy, stylish, relaxing place to meet, greet, drink, and also eat.  There are gathering spots (sofas and chairs surrounding low tables) as well as a long flashy red-backed bar, sleek and inviting.  Despite a conversation with Polly, a most engaging young woman who was sure we’d rather stay with her than walk all the way to the restaurant (a good 50 feet maybe), which wasn’t exactly hopping, we decided to get the full restaurant experience.

And yes, it wasn’t crowded, but it should be.  A delightful waitress was helpful, funny, and cute – but I neglected to get her name.  Our old-fashioneds were quite perfect; the olives were hand-stuffed with blue cheese for the martini – and three more brought happily for the second time (not the martini, just the olives).  We all were quite happy with our meals – the (free range) chicken piccata, tender and juicy, the burnt end salad, the barbeque salmon sitting on a cauliflower mash, and even the ribs.  We ordered those things upon recommendations – always listen to the wait staff is my mantra.  I really like the fact a national chain has localized their menu and bravely includes really good barbeque.  And new items are coming from chef Vince Paredes in February, I’m told, which sound inventive and delicious – more on that, next trip downtown.

Before we left, I did a little market research.  The lobby bar was filling, several groups were enjoying the ambiance and drinks.  So I asked three groups if they were from Kansas City while husband Bill stood at entrance, grimacing.  One person was meeting friends from out of town there.  The rest, travelers all.   A pity thought I, unless you’re looking for a place you can actually get into on a Friday night.  So, selfishly, I hesitate to write this: both BARCENTRAL and MetropolitanKC are definitely places to go when you want a good drink, a good meal, and really nice people helping you.

200 West 12th Street, Kansas City, MO 64105Located just steps inside the Kansas City Marriott Downtown
816-421-6800 x 4640        
Metropolitan KC on Urbanspoon

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