Restaurant Guide of KC™ - Kansas City Food + Travel Blog

  • Porto do Sul

    Brazilian Steakhouse

  • Harvest Table

    with an array of hot and cold items

  • Traditional Brazilian Steakhouse fare

    full Churrascaria experience

  • Offers a menu in the bar area

    for those in the mood for a lighter meal

  • Newly renovated second private dining room

    for your groups of up to 140 guests

Showing posts with label Chris Becicka. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chris Becicka. Show all posts

Fast Breaking Deliciousness

Fast Breaking Deliciousness

In the last couple weeks, I’ve broke my fasting relatively early to try two different places on the Plaza for a real breakfast.  Not just coffee but a true breakfast with eggs and bacon and carbs and all my favorites which I never do at home.  There are really only two choices right in the heart of the Plaza for that and of course, that’s the iconic Classic Cup Café and then the new – to the area – Rye Restaurant, which maybe isn’t necessarily thought of as a breakfast place.

The Classic Cup is frequently touted for its long-term status, its people watching, its patios, its wine events, and its famous buttermilk pancakes.  Though I have long wanted to try their bread pudding and just call it a day, I typically opt for one of three benedicts or one of five omelets – though three eggs do make for a hefty breakfast.  Their French omelet is especially tasty – smoked bacon, spinach, apple and brie. I’m going to either get the nine hour pork and eggs or the migas next time.   They have a pretty large menu and you can take pancake mix with you.  I’ve made them just once; if someone would just cook and serve me, I’d certainly have these cakes more often.

Even more decadent, at Rye I started with one of Megan Garrelts’ amazing cinnamon rolls.  They aren’t those huge doughy ones;  each is about the size of an apple;  light, airy, and its creamy drizzled frosting is not an afterthought.  Splitting it with my friend was just about perfect since I knew I had a full meal coming.  Said friend ordered the eggs benedict whose eggs were perfectly done and he loved the hollandaise.  I opted for the Rye breakfast with extra crispy hash browns – loved that flat ½ cell phone size and ate every smidgeon, determined to think those potatoes done that way are healthy.  The number one item there is biscuits and gravy, and given the large and very fluffy biscuit that came with my meal, that has to be great, too.  The B&G expert I know needs to come here.  Fast. 

One other very cool thing about Rye I’ve not taken advantage of yet is that they have a small case of to- go items – from those rolls to muffins to a ham and cheese handpie.  Even small and delicious looking cakes.  Oh, and pies.  Pies.

Though both places are open at seven during the week, it did occur to me that by going later, I could shop after eating.  A full morning of indulging.  Nothing better.  

Classic Cup Plaza
301 West 47th Street 
Kansas City, MO 64112 
Ph. 816-753-1840 

Rye Plaza
4646 JC Nichols Parkway 
Kansas City, MO 64112 
Ph. 816-541-3382  


Rye on the Plaza

You Sweet Thing, You

It’s appropriate that I’m writing this on International Women’s Day (even though I decry the need for this “holiday” which has been around since the 1900’s) because I’m writing about Rye’s desserts, all crafted by Chef Megan Garrelts. You probably know she is again a James Beard Semifinalist for Outstanding Pastry Chef. Her previous nomination was for the pastry (a very broad category really covering everything from bread to doughnuts to cakes and elegant concoctions) at Bluestem, the other restaurant she co-owns with her husband. Her pastry expertise and creativity is the foundation of all the desserts at all three restaurants – to say she’s busy is an understatement.

But on to the goodies . . . The Rye dessert menu has a little something for everyone. There is the famous lemon meringue pie of course, sprightly tart and sweet and in my opinion, even as a confirmed chocoholic, the perfect ending to any meal. Her MOKAN pie is another favorite – hers of course has Missouri pecans and Kansas black walnuts – and this recipe was even published in Food and Wine. Making your own pie crust immediately told me I should continue to order it at the restaurants. The dark hazelnut brownie, especially topped with house-made ice cream, almost made me cry. So good. But so all are the other pies, the Kentucky bourbon cake, and the house-made sorbets. Maybe I should just say everything, already.

 Although I have to say I laugh when I see the cheeses on this menu because who could possibly want cheese for dessert (unless you’ve had dessert for your first course and even then . . .), I do like the fact that after dinner wines and cocktails are listed there. Not everyone does that yet, and it makes it so much easier to royally finish off an evening. The Garrelts have two cookbooks out and that lemon pie recipe is in their newest book, published in 2015, Made in America: A Modern Collection of Classic Recipes. Again, I think I’ll just keep ordering it.

 In terms of International Women who should be recognized, Megan Garrelts is right up there. And not just on one day a year. You should definitely leave room for dessert at Rye.

Rye Plaza
4646 JC Nichols Parkway 
Kansas City, MO 64112 
Ph. 816-541-3382 
Rye Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

KC Great Chefs Secret

The (Not-So-Secret) Secrets of 11 Great Chefs

“I’ve Got a Secret” was an old TV series, even before my time almost (1952-67) but then it was revived a couple of times in various formats which I never saw.  The schtick was that a panel tried to guess a contestant’s “secret.” The definition of secret was pretty broad but it was supposed to be amazing, unusual, humorous, or embarrassing.  The contestant could be a famous person or someone more like you or me.  I remember there was a lot of back and forth banter and that my parents liked the show a whole more than I did.

Maybe that’s because the secrets never seemed all that fascinating to me, or that’s how I remember it anyway.  A secret should be really that – deep, mysterious, intriguing.  The whole problem with that concept today is that there seem to be few secrets – everybody knows everything about everybody.  Thank you, internet.

Well, that’s not really totally true.  What if, I thought, what if I could ask some folks with a great talent anything I wanted.  Would they answer me?  And truthfully? 

The answer to that burning question is yes.  It’s yes if you’re a great Kansas City chef.  I found that everyone I approached was willing to give me some answers to some scorching questions that I think all of us would like to know.  And though I can’t tell everything about every chef I talked to, I can tell you that in this very hard business, some of the men and women drawn to it who’ve persevered and succeeded in it, have some similarities and some differences. Quelle surprise as the French say.
So if you want to know what I’ve discovered, read on.  It may change how you view your next meal in any one of their fine restaurants and at the least, I bet there’s something in here you didn’t know.

Adverse or Modest?

I started out with the negative, or at least the humble, bit.  I asked, what aren’t you good at?  Yes, a sentence ending with a preposition.  Chef and owner Carl Thorne-Thomsen of Story answered simply, “Patience.”  Chef Leonice Ludwig of Porto do Sul was really upfront when she said she wasn’t good at dealing with unreasonable customers, because sometimes “they are not right.”  Chef Alejandro Diaz of the President’s (Hilton) Providence Restaurant said without hesitation he’s not great in public relations.  He definitely thinks it’s not about him, it’s about the food, which he’s happier to talk about. 

Some turned to food to answer this.  Chef/owner Colby Garrelts of Rye and Bluestem says he’s “terrible at pasta.  It’s a very simple food style which I overthink.” Chef Tony Gordon of Westside Local responded with the rather surprising answer of “Veggies.”  He admitted to being a picky eater as a kid and vegetables were not his favorite.  But he’s recovered – working with so many local farmers has made him appreciate the taste and quality of good vegetables and now he’s much more comfortable with pairing them with his entrees.  His mother would be proud.

But the big winner here for these experienced chefs was dessert.  Maybe not a surprise. Taylor Fluevog, Executive Chef at Sullivan’s Steakhouse, said that she’s lucky to have a talented sous-chef who has great finesse in constructing wonderful desserts.  Chef Brandon Winn at Webster House somewhat echoed that – his pastry chef does much that he’d rather not. Mano Rafael, co-owner and chef of Le Fou Frog, agrees with this, “. . . because you have to be a scientist and measure everything.  I also hate to work with sugar – it’s sticky and messy.”  Richard Ng of Bo Lings isn’t crazy about desserts either, saying he is not able to spend enough time on them.  And Bobby Stearns of Ophelia’s and Café Verona laughed as he remarked he still could use more practice on desserts, even though he makes them all the time.

Some (Possibly Not Secret) Big Dislikes

Armed with this info, I kept to my negative trend and asked them what is the most irritating thing about their customers – or kitchen . . . giving them an out because hardly anyone will tell about that most hated thing about their customers – at least sober they won’t.  A couple had no complaints, so I’ll skip them.  But there were a couple of instructive answers from the other side of the wall.  Story’s chef bemoaned his small kitchen.  Alejandro Diaz said he’d rather be in an open kitchen because, “There’s great motivation and gratification when you see people enjoying your food.”

Two chefs are annoyed by people changing their food – putting their own restrictions on the chef’s dish.  Mano Rafael says, “I understand dietary and allergy restrictions but when it’s just that they prefer potatoes to couscous, it irritates me because I put a lot of thought into all the components of my dish.  Get a side of mashed potatoes but try the dish the way it was intended!”  Tony Gordon says the same thing, “When customers completely customize their own dish.”  Brandon Winn points out the necessity of, if you have a true food allergy, telling your staff person immediately, but he’s irritated by “100% dietary restrictions that are really preferences.  It’s when preferences are put in front of you as allergies . . Cross contamination in kitchens is inevitable.” 

Only a slight step away from that is when, according to Chef Leonice Ludwig, customers come in and tell her, “How I should be cooking Brazilian food that we have been cooking for years with recipes handed down for generations.”  People, people, let the chef create and cook the food!

Still on that other side, Colby Garrelts notes, “I love our customers but I hate when they complain about noise at both of our Rye restaurants. I want high energy in those restaurants! I want noise and I want people to have fun!”  So noted.  Bobby Stearns mentions Yelp, stupid reviews, so called “foodies,” and ordering breakfast items at dinner.  Richard Ng hates to waste good food and ingredients, but didn’t indicate if that’s on his customers or in his kitchen.  Probably both I’d guess – waste is waste.

At What We’re Great

What do they think their restaurant does an extra-special good job in?  Predictably, Taylor Fluevog at Sullivan’s says bone-in steaks.  Yep.  Despite his fish reputation, Carl Thorne Thomsen says Story excellently does craft cocktail creation.  Jeff Dietzler says Jax is especially good at sustainability, totally important for seafood.  Brandon Winn is proud of how well Webster House does with special events and being adaptable as they have become more contemporary using more fresh ingredients.  Tony Gordon believes Westside Local does an especially good job in using local ingredients and working with local farmers.  He specifies he likes to help support local businesses in the city himself.

Alejandro Diaz is really happy with the way Providence represents new American food.  On the other side of the ocean, Mano Rafael points to the fact Le Fou Frog has been demystifying French food for so many years.  Leonice Ludwig claims an outstanding specialty in something the others wouldn’t: picanha, the most prized of Brazilian meats we call a sirloin cap (but Brazilians keep the fat on until the steak has been cooked). 

Home Sweet Home

Are chefs just like you and me, only better cooks?  I’d guess there’s much more to it – like years of education and training, arduous experiences, comprehensive knowledge in a bunch of different areas.  But they do (sometimes) cook at home, just like me.  It’s a question of time.  Chefs’ go-tos home on the range sound a whole lot better than mine, though.

Jeff Dietzler doesn’t have a chance to cook at home very often but he likes to cook for family and friends and loved ones about twice a month.  His fav?  Lasagna. Alejandro Diaz cooks for “my wife and me a couple times a week, we usually do pork tacos or quesadillas. When we have more time, I make gluten free sweet potato gnocchi Parisienne with creamy Bolognese sauce.”  So much for simple.  “When I am at home I cook for my parents, daughter, and my sister.  I try to make sure that I cook on average four times a week when my mother doesn't beat me to the punch,” reveals Taylor Fluevog.
Brandon Winn says he cooks for himself and it all depends on how much he’s worked.  During Restaurant Week, he said he went home, had a beer or two, and went to bed.  Otherwise, though, he uses his “smoker a lot. . . I can walk away from it for an hour or two.  I like simple.  I tend to nibble on menu items a lot.  Home is plant-based hashes and I don’t eat a lot a protein at home.  It’s eggs or lentils if I do. Or curries.”  Colby Garrelts says, “I cook at home every chance I get. My kids love brick chicken and risotto. That gets served a lot at our house.”  Leonice Ludwig cooks risotto at home, too – “it’s so easy and good.”

“Honestly, before I became the chef at the Local, I used to cook a lot at home,” says Chef Gordon. “Nowadays I rarely do. But if I do decide to, I'll make southern dishes like fried fish, jambalaya, or maybe fire up the smoker and barbecue.”  Both Richard Ng and Bobby Stearns say they just don’t cook at home much.  Mano Rafael says, “At home I take turns cooking for my family of four.  Sometimes it’s every night; sometimes my wife does it.  They like what I cook but don't like how many dishes I use and they say I make too much.  Our most common go-to meal is some sort of pasta.”

Chef Fluevog admits, “When I am at home we like to cook rustic-style, good old home cooking.  We make Italian lasagna as well as BBQ meatballs and cheesy potatoes.”   Carl Thorne-Thomsen is most comprehensive as he thinks about this fiery question.  “I cook breakfast every morning for my wife, Susan, and our three children. I cook family dinner on Monday nights. I also cook lunch for my wife on Mondays and Tuesdays. Family dinner is always steak, chicken, Caesar salad, a vegetable, rice and pasta. Something for everyone.”  Whew.  Opening a can of soup, it’s not.

Try This Once at Least

If you’ve not had the following dishes, you should, according to our experts.  Check them out (and off your list).

“I love foie gras. At Providence we pan sear it and baste it with herbs and grill some Boston brown bread and garnish it with local fig jam. It’s indulgently buttery, sweet, salty and nutty,” opines Alejandro Diaz.  Our kale and artichoke crab dip. (Jeff Dietzler at Jax).  “Menudo.  Tripe.  Sweetbreads.  They are delicious by any standard.  Such flavor” . . . (Brandon Winn). Octopus (Carl Thorne-Thomsen).  Steak tartare (Taylor Fluevog).

Chef Rafael says, “Steak au poivre for people who think French food is too fancy. Escargot and foie gras.” Whole flounder, pork belly (Richard Ng). Chef Garrelts takes it up, or down, a notch: “Any kind of offal, liver, sweetbreads, etc. I love the texture and the unique flavors.”  Chef Gordon said he’d “have to go with ceviche. I was always skeptical about raw seafood being cooked in fresh squeezed lime juice. But this stuff is amazing.”  Brandon Winn summed it up: “We should all try new things, whatever is new to us.”  Bobby Stearns adds, “Something you have been scared to try.  Try it.” 

Your Last Meal, Ever

It’s only appropriate to end this article with the last meal on earth question.  I didn’t even put them in prison awaiting execution, just that last meal, assuming you still have your teeth and taste buds. There were some simple, but perfect, sounding choices.  Chef Ludwig says she’d want picanha, cooked by her husband. Chef Tony Gordon exclaims, “It'll have to be pizza.  I love classic New York style pizza from Johnny Jo's Pizzeria. I love that place.”  Chef Ng says he wants egg fried rice cooked by his wife.

Chef Thorne-Thomsen would have a cheeseburger his wife cooked along with at least one glass of 2014 Realm Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Cabernet (which, by the way, garnered a 99 in the Wine Advocate). Jeff Dietzler envisions a large last plate: “Full of bone marrow, pâtés, and charcuterie.  It would be prepared by all of the chefs who have mentored me and showed me their ways.” Nice.   

Chef Rafael is explicit.  “My last meal would be a ribeye encrusted in garlic and fresh herbs cooked by my Chef Fatmir with a side of pasta cooked by my wife. Brandon could add a little surf to my turf and sauté some perfect scallops and then if pastry chef Carter threw in a goat cheese cheesecake, I'd be fat and happy.”
Chef Diaz is clear.  “It would start with some cheese, wine and baguette, follow by braised short ribs and mashed potatoes, tacos al pastor (yes,TACOS), and I would finish with a vanilla bean crème brûlée.  It would be cooked by my cooks and sous-chef.” 

Chef Winn told me a short story before his final choice.  “For my 30th birthday, we went to Eleven Madison Park – for 25 courses. It was life changing.  Last year I went to Rieger and ordered ten meals I wanted and then Howard Hanna carefully and thoughtfully re-engineered them all into one dinner.  In other words, I would like Howard Hanna to just go for it. That’s the meal I want.” 

 A Few Last Words

While I’m pretty sure that these 11 chefs may have secrets that are deep, mysterious, and spine-tingling intriguing, I think I’ll have to dig deeper to get those.  I’m happy to settle for the idea that these people are nicely unusual, amazing in their craft, and willing to reveal at least a little bit about their lives.  Frankly, I came away impressed.  You can easily sample their skills and ultimate creations in their restaurants and should have a better understanding of the man or woman beneath that chef’s coat.  Whether or not you get a chance to talk to them too, I bet you’ll also be impressed.

Ladies Who Lunched, Largely

Esteemed publisher Kathy Denis and I had lunch last week at Webster House, one of my favorite haunts.  Not that that old school is haunted in any sense of the word. 

They’ve freshened up their menu again which Chef Brandon Winn does seasonally at least, so we felt compelled to eat heartily.  The mushroom soup managed to be light but hearty with the mushroom flavor unmistakable – and the slices and chunks of mushrooms helped that of course.  Determined to be healthy, I ordered the house salad then said we’d split.  Kathy got the pan-seared scallops with butternut squash puree and an apple cider reduction and they were perfect.  Since I’d been so healthy so far, I then proceeded to wolf down most of the short rib tartine whose eponymous rib just dissolved in my mouth along with the caramelized onion and smoked pepper jam.  We shared both dishes (somewhat) and finally, sated, sat back and sighed happily.

And then our cute and very obliging staff person talked us into dessert, despite our bulging bellies (well, mine was, I won’t speak for Ms. Denis).  “It’s light,” he said, winningly.  “t’s delicious.  It’s the perfect finish.”  And the Blood Orange Bar, which tasted like a holy version of a dreamsicle, was all those adjectives.  But I’m compelled to add I think they should rename it even if it is made with blood oranges.  Something like “Citrus Tower” or “Orange Delight Bar” or even just “Dream Bar.”  But “A rose by any other name . . .” and you should
still finish up with this for lunch or dinner, no matter your belly.

And speaking of finishing off a terrific lunch, I next went downstairs and promptly bought a great scarf for myself.  What a treat-ful day. 

Webster House
1644 Wyandotte 
Kansas City, MO 64108 
Ph. 816-221-4713 
Located just south of the Kaufmann Center for Performing Arts

Webster House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Happy Hour IX: The Drum Room at Providence

Kansas City, to my mind, has never been a particularly great place for hotel dining and drinking. (Oh, sure, there was the Peppercorn Duck Club and Skies, I still miss them both.) You are welcome to disagree but among my friends and me, we never think about getting happy in a hotel in this town. Traveling, sure. But now I’m starting to think we should put hotels on our list.

Case in point: The Drum Room adjoining Providence New American Kitchen in the Hilton downtown. Their happy hour runs from 4 – 6:30 p.m. – I like that extra half hour. Also there’s parking across the street which is less expensive than most of the lots around and who knows, you might get lucky with street parking. You’re downtown, folks.

But during that time, you can actually have dinner if you have that burger craving all good Midwesterners fall prey to – it’s just six bucks as are their duck fat fries (I ALWAYS ask for extra crispy no matter where I go) that come with a beer and cheese fondue. There are just two other items on the menu – calamari and feta fritters, also inexpensive and also yummy.

Now, on to the equally important part: the drinks. There’s two draught beers on tap for $5 as are their house selections of red and white wine BUT what I like – premium well cocktails are just $6. If you’re determined to go the true high end, splurge on the original Drum Room’s Old Fashioned, which as an old fashioned expert, and a modest one at that, I can tell you is excellent; there’s also the Pendergast, and several memorable more – woo hoo! Head bartender Jeff Ruane summed it all up well for me when he said, “The ambiance here is like no other place – its history, the people who come here from all over or who live down the block, the music, we’ve got it all.” He’s right.

Yep, a great night out with a great burger and drink – in the historic atmosphere of one of Kansas City’s most storied hotels. Be sure to step down a few steps and look at the pictures and class case with artifacts of previous days. It’s definitely a happy two and a half hours.

Providence New American Kitchen
1329 Baltimore 
Kansas City, MO 64105 
Ph. (816) 303-1686 

Drum Room Lounge Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bow Wow

Wow! I know some of you believe every year is the day, week, month and year of the dog, but according to the Chinese New Year Calendar, this year occurs only every 12 years but the earth dog occurs in only 2018 (and years 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, and 2030). But no matter, the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum will celebrate the Chinese holiday new year on January 28 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and this year is especially special. 

Bo Ling's Chinese Restaurant is going to be there (rooms 4 and 5) to help by serving some of their fine cuisine like dan dan noodles with pork, Sichuan dumplings, roasted chicken, vegetable fried rice, and rangoon dip with crispy noodles. Besides trying some unusual dishes, you and your family can enjoy several different dance groups, a traditional Chinese dress show, even a yo-yo demonstration along with special Asian influenced menu items in the Rozzelle Court Restaurant. There’s so much going on – and it will help you learn about a different culture, too. Go here for times and events. 

 The new year celebration is actually February 16 this year but the celebration begins on the new moon between January 21 and February 20. The Lunar New Year is celebrated in other Asian countries and is a major holiday – Chinese families typically gather for an annual reunion dinner – and also it’s traditional to clean house thoroughly to sweep away bad fortune and welcome in good luck. Red decorations, firecrackers, and monetary tokens in red envelopes are also common. So this year, go ahead and celebrate two new years. I’m definitely going to do a bit of that cleaning thing! 

P.S. The symbols say “Spring Festival,” the new year’s other name, in both traditional and simplified the bottom two characters) Chinese. Or so Wikipedia told me.

Braised Red Cabbage Recipe

Braised Red Cabbage

Jeff DietzlerOne Great Dish
A while back, as I’m sure you’ll recall, I spoke with Chef Jeff Dietzler at Jax Fish House and Oyster Bar and wrote in that blog that he does even cook at home when he has time.  One thing that creative chefs do is reach into their memory banks and recreate.  This recipe is an example of that and a perfect wintry pick-me-up as well.

Braised Red Cabbage

1 head red cabbage, finely sliced                             
2 carrots, medium grate on box grater  
2 apples, granny smith, medium grate   
1 red onion, small dice                  
½ t. nutmeg                                                                       
½ t. coriander, ground
1 T. salt, kosher                                                                
2 t. black pepper, ground                                                            

½ C. red wine vinegar                                                    
½ C. apple cider Vinegar                                               
1 C red cooking wine                                     
½ C brown sugar                                              
2 quarts vegetable stock                                              
½ C. oil, rice bran                                                                             

1.)  In a medium sized sauce pot, place rice bran oil over medium- high heat.
2.)  Sweat onion in oil for one minute. Next, add cabbage, carrot, apple, nutmeg and coriander. Sweat for another two minutes. 
3.)  Deglaze with red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and red wine. Add brown sugar, salt, pepper and stock. 
4.)  Bring to a boil and then simmer until almost all of the liquid is gone. 

Jeff said, "I chose this recipe because we have recently added it to our menu and it is perfect for winter weather. My grandmother gave me the recipe – she made it every Christmas Eve for our traditional dinner.  As I’d walk in the door, the smell of this braised cabbage would be the first thing I noticed. I love the smell and flavors of the sweetness, sourness and earthiness. So delicious."

Jax Fish House and Oyster Bar
4814 Roanoke Pkwy 
Kansas City, MO 64112 
Ph. (816) 437-7940 

2017 Memories

Thanks for the Memories, 2017

I’m a lucky girl as I get to eat out often.  A lot.  But when asked to come up with the best meals of 2017, I must pause, ponder, try to remember.  I would say that entire spectacular meals are tough to recall –  , well, not to recall beyond, “That was all wonderful,” which makes for really boring reading.  Instead, I tend to remember one especially wonderful dish which casts its glimmer on everything else to create that total glowing impression. So I’ll mention a few, briefly.

First things first.  That means, before dinner, a drink.  Surprise. I’ve been on an old-fashioned kick recently (well, the last ten years) so I think I’d pick the one made with Scotch at Porto do Sul or one of the newer riffs on the classics at Pierpont’s.  I also really like the aquavit tasting at the Krokstrom Klubb and Market – you drink these and your mouth even feels clean as your brain gets cold.

Since my perfect meal dream is going to include fish, I truly have remarkable choices in Cowtown.   I will start with the shrimp and grits at Webster House. Then I will chomp down on almost any fish Chef/Owner Carl Thorne is featuring at Story.  And I won’t be able to neglect Jax Fish House and Oyster Bar but will probably have to choose, ohmygosh, what?  The grilled ahi tuna on nori sushi rice rocks my boat.  I am compelled to also order a crab cake at McCormick and Schmick’s.

I really should have started with this paragraph.  “Eat Dessert First” is a motto to live by.  Frankly, it’s hard to decide among several.  But one is at the Hereford House which is known for its steaks, but their carrot cake is different from others I’ve tried – but even more rich and decadent.  Speaking of rich, when I want to calorie-splurge, I’d probably go for one of the creamy, divine cheese cakes at Grimaldi’s  Pizza.  Yes, pizza.  Or I might choose something chocolate at Andre’s (anything works there but I am especially fond of their coconut “Matterhorns” covered with dark chocolate.)  Or, and this one does surprise me, the chocolate peanut butter cookie at Tannin’s Wine Bar and Kitchen.

I could go on.  And on.  Too many choices, too little time.  But with a little more luck, I’ll expand my choices (and my waistband no doubt) in 2018.

What did you eat in 2017? 

One Great Chef: Jeff Dietzler

One Great Chef:  Jeff Dietzler

Back at the end of September, a friend and I went to Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar and were treated royally.  We had about six different things on the menu, and honestly, all were terrific.  Shortly after, I spent some time with Jeff Dietzler, chef de cuisine there and we had a great conversation about him, his views, his challenges; oh, let’s just say his life in general.   

Jeff is a pretty determined and motivated guy I concluded.  He grew up in St. Louis and then went to Johnson and Wales University in their culinary school in Denver.  He worked in Denver for ten years and then for three years at the local Jax, gradually working his way up the ladder.  He transferred to Kansas City to open up the restaurant here and became chef de cuisine in the spring of this year.

Jeff said that this current position puts much of what he learned at school to work – the scheduling, costing, management skills – and the only part he might feel sad about is that he’s not so continually in the kitchen actually cooking.  Imagine, there are people who love to cook, not just eat! He even likes to cook at home where he says there’s no pressure, just relaxation.  His bike riding also helps with that relaxation thing.

The chief challenge for Jeff is one I hear often though not phrased with the word perfection that often.  “I want to create a perfect experience for every single guest who walks through the door. Everyone has to work harmoniously for any order to be perfect.”  He also noted that Kansas City eaters are becoming more adventuresome in their dining choices, which gives him a greater chance to be creative.  What gets him up, happy, each morning, is “the daily challenge I know is coming and the chance to be with the smart, dedicated co-workers.  That’s good because I see them more than friends or family.”

Jeff made some changes back then on a menu that changes seasonally, so I don’t know if the lobster corndogs are still on the menu.  And I hope the steak tartare is.  Their pastas are all made freshly (try the crab carbonara) and their Brussels sprouts are too good.  . You’re probably getting the idea you don’t HAVE to get fish there, even though their fish is uniformly excellent.  Jeff really likes its flexibility, health benefit, and the fact Jax is one of the very few restaurants certified by the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch. 

A restaurant is only as good as its people and its food.  No wonder Jax at the west end of the Plaza doesn’t need to fish for compliments.  It does well, deservedly so. Kudos, Jeff.

Jax Fish House and Oyster Bar
4814 Roanoke Pkwy 
Kansas City, MO 64112 
Ph. (816) 437-7940 
Located in the Polsinelli Building

Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Craft of the Cocktail

The Craft of the Cocktail

So a gal walks into a bar . . .

Or a restaurant.  And says to the bartender, “What’s special?”  He hands her an entire menu of what can only be called specialty drinks.

Take specialty up a notch and you have the trend that’s been going for several years now as the “craft cocktail craze” continues unabated.  Almost every bar worth its hand-filled olives serves at least five or many, many more, riffs on the classic cocktail, usually devised by that bar’s enthusiastic mixologists.  Though the execution in restaurants is different from the best-known crafty bars (for example, Manifesto, Julep, the new Monarch, or P.S. Speakeasy), the intent is the same:  a drink that is very special, very unique, very memorable.

It’s no coincidence that rise of the craft cocktail somewhat parallels the rise of the artisan food movement with its emphasis on fresh, high quality ingredients –  but that cocktail could have more ingredients than a main dish casserole and individually could take six or ten minutes to prepare.

What’s in a Name?

Cocktails have been around for a long time, beginning (probably) as punch when sailors discovered that harsh spirits could be mellowed if they sat in barrels which imparted other flavors.  The East India Trading Company sailors prepared punch by combining their barrel-aged brandy with fruit (helped with that pesky scurvy problem), sugar, spices, and water that needed alcohol’s sterilizing effects. There are assorted derivations given for the word “cocktail” which range from having to do with roosters, horses, the French term for egg cup, coquetel, the Aztec goddess, Xochitl, among others.  George Bishop's The Booze Reader: A Soggy Saga of Man in His Cups, 1965 says, "The word itself stems from the English cock-tail which, in the middle 1800's, referred to a woman of easy virtue who was desirable but impure . . . and applied to the newly acquired American habit of bastardizing good British Gin with foreign matter, including ice."
Pierpont’s fresh mangorita

No matter the name, it was the addition of bitters in the 1800’s that made it a cocktail.  By 1862, there was the first manual how-to, The Bon Vivant’s Companion by “Professor” Jerry Thomas.  Cocktails began to be mentioned in literature and more recipe books were published.

The upward evolution to “craft” cocktail was a natural one, even if it didn’t happen until the 21st century after years of other trends after Prohibition: Tiki drinks after WWII (and now back again), vodka (Bond, James Bond), a return to the classics and then, inevitably, crafty drinks.  Lots of places are now claiming to serve craft cocktails, though that may be a bit of a stretch for some of them. 

A true craft cocktail is one in which, “. . . every element is handmade or tailored specifically to the drink. You will see drinks served in custom glassware, poured over custom ice cubes, mixed with house-made syrups and finished with a dash of small-batch bitters,” according to The Barman’s Journal on-line, as good a source as any.  Often it includes specially prepared or small-batch alcohols, usually barrel aged, and often an unusual garnish is added.  These drinks require experimentation and taste-testing, usually take more time and care than a standard drink certainly and they also usually cost more – in Kansas City, maybe around $10 - $15.  So they better be good.

Why Is a Craft Cocktail Better?

For starters, the ingredients are fresh.  No cartoned orange juice.  Ok, that’s not so unusual.  But the tablespoon of lemon juice must also be fresh.  So, too, for grapefruit juice.  So you’ll probably see a juicer somewhere on the bar.

Syrups are house-made, of course beginning with the simple, simple syrup.  But the sugar proportions can vary, spices or herbs can be added, simmering time altered.  Flavored syrups take more complex recipes which may be more than fruit – jalapeno anyone? – and whose ingredients may be guarded just like original bitters and shrubs. 

Even the ice may be special.  A few bar/restaurants in K.C. have a special ice making contraption which guarantees perfect clarity and taste, one or just a few at a time.  Some smoke their ice, the glass or the bourbon, like Providence New American Kitchen from its Drum Room bar, catching the tasty flavor of the campfire right in the glass.  Travis Johnson, head bartender at Story has his own process for making ice, and then hand-cuts it.  Making everything fresh (and different) takes time, space, and effort – which is why many restaurants have a tougher time doing it.  Classic cocktails (or wine, certainly) are easier choices.

That said, keep in mind that every drink is just a smaller or larger twist on one or another classic cocktail because the same four ingredients are usually the basis: liquor, bitters, water or some other liquid often, and sugar in some form. 

Where Should I Go?

“Cure” from Nara
Some restaurants take the classic drinks and add a special twist.  Pierpont’s in Union Station has perfected this approach.  The new bar manager, Jimmy Rudnick, who came from NYC to take over the bar program there, points to his 18 specialty drinks as having been inspired by the restaurant itself.  “This is probably the most beautiful bar I’ve ever managed,” he said. “I wanted to come up with a cocktail list that was equal to the décor - classic, elegant and creatively-inspired.”  I personally love their “Manhattan … Kansas” which has home-made fig balsamic syrup in it and its description, “We know figs aren’t grown in Kansas, but do you really want a stalk of wheat in your drink?”

A number of restaurants in town make their own syrups, like Nara (see their “Cure” recipe in the box), Room 39, Ophelia’s, Eighty- Eight at the Elms Hotel, or Ruins.  Others infuse their own liquor for their specialty drinks, like Pinstripes’ limoncello. Fogo du Chao infuses cachaça (a rum-like liquor) with pineapple to drink straight.  Jax Fish House and Oyster Bar has a short infusion section on their menu which includes their Strawberry Lemonade (strawberry infused vodka, strawberry purée, lemonade) or their Bangkok Fizz with chile infused vodka, pineapple syrup, lime, and ginger beer.  Krokstrom Klubb infuses aquavit (a distilled spirit made from wheat or potatoes primarily from Scandinavia) with spices and fruits like coriander, orange, caraway, juniper, dill and others. The Westside Local even infuses a few of their liqueurs and cordials and change out their entertaining drink menu frequently.

Final Cut makes their “El Hefe Martini” with pineapple-jalapeño infused Patron Silver.   Piropos infuses Rieger whiskey with apple and cinnamon; Sullivan’s makes their signature Vieux Carré by infusing their rye with an oak barrel stave, to name just a few.  The Gaslight Grill’s lead bartender, Christian Leake, was just recently involved in mix-off where he used Royal Crown Apple liquor, his own maple smoked bacon syrup and other ingredients which then were strained through cheese cloth.  This restaurant also makes its own fresh sour mix, honey syrup, purees, and infused vodkas.  Their “Pretty in Pink” martini is a vodka they infuse with blue, black, rasp, and straw  berries. 

Often assorted syrups and infusions are used in spins on the classics.    The Hilton’s famous Drum Room, open since 1941, is now serving many craft cocktails, some based on their original offerings and served with special ice.  One tasty sounding one: the Rocket 88 Boogie (a 1949 two-sided instrumental record by Pete Johnson) which calls for vodka infused with red onion, cayenne pepper, cucumber, and olive juice with a couple of hand-blue cheese stuffed olives plunked in it.  Brewery Emperial, with 14 cocktails on its list, makes mint simple syrup for their mojito, honey syrup for another drink, their own sour mix, and on Sundays only, green tomatillo bloody mary mix. Café Trio’s Star Lounge does seasonal craft cocktails, for instance, a fig Manhattan (the bourbon infused with five pounds of figs) or their “Mise en Scene” which is comprised of Tom’s Town McElroy Corruption gin, crème de cassis, their own cinnamon simple syrup, fresh lemon juice and bitters.

Known for their 25 varieties of martinis as well as their home-made pasta Italian dishes, Genovese in Lawrence also makes their own shrubs, the so-called drinking vinegars. These have become popular in the last few years, and are often strongly herbal, since that’s what they’re often made of. Shrubs have their roots in the Middle East — the word comes from the Arabic “sharab,” meaning a drink — and the early Middle Eastern varieties used nuts and spices and rose petals for flavor. But colonial America made shrubs as preservatives or remedies.  They are good added to water or soda and since they’re non-alcoholic, they’re a good option for those who don’t or can’t drink.  They take at least a week to macerate and they’re not so common at most bars. Room 39 features both shrubs and tinctures, at this writing they are doing a special black peppercorn tincture at their Mission Farms location.

You might assume that Story in Prairie Village should be making craft cocktails and indeed they are.  They make ingredients in house because, “There is a palpable, substantial difference in the quality.  A difference you can taste,” according to Travis Johnson, lead bartender.  All of Story’s syrups, purées, bitters and cordials are made at the restaurant.

Kansas City '82
There are also some unexpected places that you might not think of for craft cocktails.  One of these is Porto do Sul, the churrascaria out south.  Adrian Kennedy, lead bartender, is mostly responsible for this and points out it takes a lot of time and trial and error to come up with the perfect mix, even to the point of making his own bitters.  Their number one cocktail is the “Kansas City ’82” which is his play on a “French ’75.”  He was asked to come up with a cocktail years ago for a party and he quickly named it.  It’s made of Hendrick’s gin, fresh lemon juice, basil infused simple syrup and served in a wine glass topped off with champagne. One of his special bitters recipes includes ginger, lemon, hibiscus and 12 other ingredients.  His orange bitters have nine ingredients.

Another surprise choice is Ruins Pub, whose reputation is primarily for craft beers.  But they are stepping up their craft cocktail list which currently has six signature cocktails.  So far, the additions are working really well for them.  Another “strange” choice might be Waldo Pizza which makes their own syrups and juices their own fruit.  They change drinks out seasonally.  Sullivan’s Steak House’s list has gone from sweeter to more liquor-forward and they’re especially appreciated for their purified ice (blocks, spheres as well as crushed) and upgraded glassware that makes you feel just a little richer than you are.

There is a plethora of craft cocktails for you to try in Kansas City.  Talk to your bartender about how it’s made, what goes into it, why it was created. If not busy, they’ll be glad to talk with you about it – it’s basically their (or someone’s) artistic creation that you’re talking about.  If you hate it, tell ’em.  If you love it, tell ’em why and order another.  You’d also be amazed at the number of drinks that can be made by a great bartender.  On the spot.  But the best drinks demand measuring or memorization and forethought.  And home-made ingredients.  And a substantial amount of time. 

A truly great, well-crafted cocktail is worth it.


Hereford House Review

Hereford House’s quite excellent lunch menu!

As a long-time resident of K.C. and its burbs, I thought I knew everything about Hereford House I needed to know.  Hand-cut steaks, four locations (east, west, north, and south) plus Pierpont’s in Union Station, great burgers (hand ground from their steak meat every day), good happy hours, and this year, sixty years old.  What I didn’t know about especially was their great lunch specials every day of week, like a 12 oz. ribeye for just $25 on Mondays or what turns out to be a pretty famous meatloaf on Thursdays. 

On a recent lunch date with publisher Kathy Denis last week, we were treated to their newest steak – the Hereford special strip steak.  What makes this different is the fact that it’s “marinated” overnight – dried porcini mushrooms, salt, black and crushed red pepper, and a couple of other ingredients.  The result is the juiciest and most flavorful strip I’ve ever had – and I’m a ribeye girl.  This steak is the result of extensive testing – which means steaks being eaten day after day.  After day. Before they went on the lunch and dinner menus.  We also tried their oysters Rockefeller (normally on the dinner menu) which were perfectly roasted with enough butter, lemon, spinach and parmesan to make me forget I’m eating oysters.  With the short rib sandwich we ordered extra crispy sweet potato waffle fries which were perfect – and it’s hard to get sweet potatoes crispy.    

I have to admit that one of their eight desserts pretty much did me in, it was that good.  Their carrot cake riff is something I’m going to go order all by itself and call it lunch. As it was, I managed all of the above and said happy anniversary, Hereford House.  No wonder you’ve been around so long! 

Hereford HouseLeawood
5001 Town Center Dr.
Leawood, KS 66211


McCormick and Schmick’s Happy Hour

More Than Happy Hour

The other day I was in McCormick and Schmick’s having a happy hour lemon drop ($7.00) and contemplating what a great happy hour they have – voted #1 nationally in fact by USA Today.  Their scrumptious fish tacos and a full-size burger (each just $5) or their seared ahi tuna or coconut shrimp ($9) are definitely just a few of the reasons I like it there.  Oh, there’s also the fact you can get a martini or Manhattan for $4.50.
Chocolat Bag

But I also had dinner there very recently and it, too, was very fine.  Our party of five was in one of the more secluded booths and we could hear each other speak while using our indoor voices, more and more a rarity these days.  The food was . . . exceptional, every dish. I had the almond crusted Idaho trout, perfectly pan seared with a butternut squash orzo – which I hadn’t planned on finishing since I knew we were having dessert – but I ate it down to perfect plate shininess.  One person had a huge lobster, another the crab plate, and two split the ultimate mixed grill that had stuffed and grilled shrimp, one large and perfect crab cake, salmon and more.  Everyone raved about their dish – and I noticed no one much shared.

We ended with two desserts, one the famous chocolate bag which was created in Kansas City years ago.  A thing of beauty (before we attacked it).  Dark chocolate, white chocolate mousse, fresh berries and whip cream – it may be part of my prisoner’s last meal. 

The Plaza has become less and less about local.  And this restaurant is one of Landry’s many across the country.  But it does everything right in a gorgeous space (with a cool patio) and it’s just a great place to go. . . which is why I consider it one of my favs.

McCormick & Schmick's
448 W. 47th Street 
Kansas City, MO 64112 
Ph. 816-531-6800 


The Age(s) of Dining Out

I want you to know I resist the idea of this article I’m writing.  It’s about stereotyping and generalizations.  And simplifications and categorizing and labeling.  And generations.

Nonetheless, here goes: another article pitting Millennials versus Boomers.  Even if you’re not in one of those categories, I think you should read on – because restaurant life as we know it going to more and more reflect younger people’s tastes.

Backing up and yet justifying my reluctance, The Center for Generational Kinetics says: “Generations exhibit similar characteristics – such as communication, shopping, and motivation preferences – because they experienced similar trends at approximately the same life stage and through similar channels (e.g., online, TV, mobile, etc.). Generation-shaping trends are most influential as people come of age, which means that members of a particular generation will develop and share similar values, beliefs, and expectations. It is important to remember that at an individual level, everyone is different.”

Let’s define our terms, to make sure we’re all clear who is who.  Look at this box first:

Everyone agrees when Baby Boomerhood began; the later generations’ demarcations are a bit more fuzzy.  But why the media keeps stressing the Millennials is just that there’s so many of them:  projected at over 81 million in 2036, compared to the next largest generation (their boomer parents) who peaked at 78.8 million in 1999.  According to the Pew Institute, “Though the oldest Gen Xer is now 50, the Gen X population will still grow for a few more years. In April of 2016, U.S. Census Bureau. Millennials, whom we (Pew Research) define as those ages 18-34 in 2015, numbered 75.4 million, surpassing the 74.9 million Baby Boomers (ages 51-69). And Generation X (ages 35-50 in 2015) is projected to pass the Boomers in population by 2028.”

So Millennials are the largest and fastest-growing group of consumers who bring the greatest life time value.  In the restaurant biz, 20+ somethings spend more than any other group on dining out, bar-hopping, and buying coffee drinks.  An interesting side note, according the Nielsen Global Out-of-Home Dining Survey (which polled more than 30,000 online respondents in 61 countries), reports that In North America, the type of cuisine served ranked as a close third behind reasonable prices and quality, and that exceeds the global average by nine percentage points. That’s for all ages.

Many believe in some key differences between Boomers and Millennials and the statistics seem to bear them out. Now, please remember as we go that we’re talking generalities.  So here goes:

Bring on the Adventure

Twenty-two-year old Kansas Citian Nicole Sifers notes a difference when she says, “I believe my generation is more open to trying new and different foods and restaurants and we are more willing to experiment with different cultures.”  She’s right as the numbers show that Millennials are more likely to choose ethnic and global cuisines and are more exploratory while Boomers enjoy more traditional American fare and classics and are overall, more conservative.
Scott Kalwei, owner and manager of Ruins Pub tends to agree with this assessment and caters to it.  “The younger people are more adventurous, open to new ideas.  I can see it in just the beer selections here which I rotate all the time – my older customers want to stick with a few they’ve always liked, the younger folks want to explore more, try new tastes.”

Digital, Digital, Digital

Millennials definitely are more attuned to the digital world and partake fully in its wonders.  According to Kelton, a strategic consultancy and research firm, social media is a game changer – 73% of Millennials say it’s important to read others’ opinions before food purchases.  This is a sentiment P.J. Preusser, a 23 year old Chicago native now in Kansas City as a consulting analyst at Cerner, agrees with.  He says, “Most of my friends and I ask for suggestions about new places not only from our friends, family, and coworkers but we definitely go to the internet as well.”

Yelp, where everyone’s a critic, touts their own statistics from a 2016 survey (2,000 consumers) which establish that 55% of Yelp users searching for restaurants have ordered takeout or delivery from a restaurant they found on Yelp. It is reasonable to assume similar numbers for actually choosing a restaurant.  The largest numbers of Yelp viewers and commentators are, you guessed it, younger – from 18 -34 at 39% while Boomers are less than 24% (in the category 55 years and up).  And gasp, 47% of Millennials report using social media while eating or drinking reports the Hartman Group and if you’re counting Facebook users, there’s 86 million of this age group, the largest segment, whiling away their hours.

Move Faster, Baby

Millennials tend to have more focus on convenience and fast service.  They want their meals to be good and a good value, sure, but they pay attention to speed with which they can get somewhere and once there, how long they (don’t) have to wait.

Abigayle Jobe, Kansas City, summarizes it well when she says, “I think that the younger generations prefer to eat out at establishments that provide fast service.  The most important restaurant aspects to me are the price being affordable, the service being quick, and the location being convenient.” Matthew Sabens, also 22, said his generation has much less “willingness to sit down for an indefinite amount of time for a meal. The boom of “fast-casual” food has been aided by the younger generation’s desire for fast meals.”  The message for restaurants here is clear:  even if you don’t consider yourself a “fast-casual” like Chipotle or Panera or 5 Guys, you better be able to deliver high value food quickly.

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun 

And guys, too, of course.  Mary Davis, with 25 years accumulated, says she wants, “The atmosphere to be laid back, not stuffy and also not super quiet.  If I’m with a group of friends, I want us to be able to openly have fun – which sometimes means a bit of volume.”  Boomers mostly want to be able to hear their companions easily – loud groups are not so much their preference any more.  Andre’s on Main is making some interesting structural changes to accommodate two different trends – more flexible seating so larger and different size groups can be accommodated (Millennials like to hang out longer) but they’ve also raised the ceiling to cut down the noise.  Millennial Nicole Sifers echoes that fun and money component: “I think my generation looks for the most fun eating experience with the best price.”  Makes sense.

Josh Rogers (33), who with Katee McLean (30) owns Krokstrom Klubb and Market, doesn’t really consider himself a Millennial because he says he had an “analog childhood and digital adulthood” – he was in college when he got his first cell phone.  He says they are fortunate that their restaurant, serving Scandinavian food, is so specialized that people of all ages choose it. He points out that their own preferences when they are able to dine out are “relatively simple and not age-related:  good beers, good food, good cocktails.  If it’s nice, is there a patio?”  Lots of Boomers are on that same quest he notes.

Rebecca Ng Clark, a millennial herself (depending on definition), whose family has owned Bo Lings for many years here, says that while they know many of their customers are older, and while Chinese food may be ageless since it can frequently be a new exploratory experience, they do think about the younger generations.  You see this especially when they add new dishes or craft cocktails or bubble teas.  She believes they have become a family restaurant – they see many generations together although their City Market and Plaza locations do seem to see more younger diners.

Nahhh, You’re Just Like Me

Both Millennials and Boomers seem pretty similar when it comes to health and wellness in eating out.  There is a difference, however, in how they define “healthy.”  The “youngsters” care more about “natural” (it just has to say it, however, because they tend not to research), “organic,” and locally grown while Boomers are more concerned about processed foods but both care about their health. Millennials eat more organic foods (30%) compared to Boomers (15%) according to Nielson.  Boomers have become more conscious of weight for health reasons rather than esthetics. Both groups think they eat better than their parents, believing their choices are healthier, less processed and more natural.  (Hartman Group)

Keitha Kaminski, Director at Webster House, however, does believe Millennials are more aware of what they eat, are more health conscious and she sees they like fresh, like real, like local especially.  They are one reason the restaurant’s Farmer Appreciation Dinners are so popular. She remarks that younger people pay attention to food with the same ardor they have for working out every day. Her diners may be what are called millennial food sophisticates who are likely to live on their own, half are urban dwellers, and at least half have a college degree and work full time.  These folks have a heightened awareness of food and culture but eating out may not be as “special” to them; Boomers mostly grew up eating out for special events only and may splurge more because of it while dining.  “YOLO” applies to them more, even though the youngsters came up with the term – plus they’re becoming more aware that you only live once, no matter what James Bond said.

Let’s Get Happy

Another thing both Boomers and Millennials love is happy hours.  And why wouldn’t they?  Both are paying attention to their wallets and appreciate good values, both like to drink, and both like to socialize, though Millennials may like to do it in larger groups.  One example of a restaurant catering to these trends is JJ’s, whose late night appetizer menu on Fridays and Saturdays until 1:30 a.m., is a clear call to the younger crowd. Owner Jimmy Frantze also points out that having happy hour from 4 p.m. to 7 every day of the week – definitely longer hours than most in town – appeals to both sides of the age equation.

Finally, I talked with Caitlin Katz, a Millennial living in Fairway, who summarized her restaurant business experience by saying, “The sheer volume of new restaurants and specialty restaurants opening up shows that eateries are trying to cater to Millennials or at the very least, account for their business. As Millennials are growing older and have more buying capital, it’d be silly if a restaurant didn’t factor them in. Extended happy hours, specialty dining experiences (a meal with a mixologist or learning to prepare the meal while eating it) or pop-up restaurants at unique venues are great ways to attract Millennials.”

I have to add, knowing what I know about K.C. Boomers and being one, I think much the same does apply to us, too.  At least some of us.  And probably everyone who reads The Restaurant Guide!  And I’m sure all of us are excitedly awaiting Gen Z’s effects on the eating scene.


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