March 2008 Table Hopping - from my column in Tastebud Magazine
“Day Tripping for Good Food.”
Les Bourgeois Vineyards Blufftop Bistro
14020 West Highway BB
Rocheport, MO 65279
Perched over-looking the Missouri River sits the gorgeous Blufftop Bistro, a restaurant designed by the son of Curtis and Martha Bourgeois who started the vineyard. Drive in for a late lunch and enjoy the views as you sip a glass of wine and nosh on a local artisan cheese plate for $12. Try the Tuna Nicoise sandwich (around $14) and get chunks of fresh tuna seared on the outside, pink on the inside, a crunchy baguette dressed with hard boiled egg, olive salad, lettuce, red onion and tomato. Enjoy with it a side of soup, mine had cauliflower, sea scallops and bacon. TOUR: The winery, then head east towards Hermann, MO – steeped in wine culture, Hermann has eight wineries within a 20-mile radius.
Marina Grog & Galley
Gate 1 at the Water's Edge
Lake Lotawana, MO 64086
Co-owners, Jack Schwindler and his wife Mary, may enjoy the honor of being the only KC original waterfront restaurant. Located on picturesque Lake Lotawana, this restaurant, which used to be an old marina, serves traditional high-quality steak and seafood with a tropical twist with an impressive wine list backing it all up. It is serious dining, but with waterfront views you simply cannot get in the city. Get the “Taste of Two” and choose from 12 different combinations of steak and seafood on one plate. PICK: A beautiful Spring evening and call for reservations and request a table on the outdoor deck. Nothing compares to that view paired with their food, nothing.
Krause’s Dining Experience
917 Delaware Street
Lawrence, KS 66044
Being named 11th in Food & Wine magazine 100 Best of 2008 – Kansas’s Food Scene, Chef Robert and Molly Krause are not resting on their laurels, you see they have a dinner to plan, prepare and serve out of their home restaurant 5 nights a week to 30 people a night. With a single meal that changes daily depending on the season, what is fresh and the whim of the Chef, they only ask that you sit and enjoy the intimate experience of being served a professionally prepared dinner in their personal yet striking home environment. Six courses are served which is usually $80 per person without liquor. It is worth every penny for the unique experience and talent that we have in this couple in Lawrence. LINGER: After your meal and for an opportunity to meet Chef Robert in person, as he has been known to come out for a glass of wine when his shift is over.
Café de Amis
112 ½ Main Street
Opening his restaurant on the corner of quaint Main Street in Parkville suits Provence native, Didier Combe, as this location brings back memories of home. The vibe in this upstairs space with its lovely tree-lined outdoor deck is intimate, romantic and memorable. Top that off with the charming service and terrific French cuisine, and you will see why this place is a hidden gem. Order the Chef’s special of the day, which in my case was the Bouillabaisse, a French seafood stew made of fish, shellfish, onions, tomatoes and white wine. The duck was also delicious for $24. French wine is what to drink here. GO: To the single uni-sex bathroom during your visit for a hilarious dose of French color and humor.
There is so much good barbeque that can be had in Kansas City that it must be hard for the little guys to ever get noticed. Drive south to Spring Hill, KS (about 199th) and you will find K&M, with a recent upgrade in location, but clearly good solid BBQ. Their huge pork ribs slathered in sauce, sliced beef, pork and house made sausage will bring out the meat-lover in you. Try the Deluxe Dinner and get ribs, 2 meats and 2 sides of your choice for $10. Get ready, portions are Brontosaurus big. Order house made coleslaw and fried cauliflower with cheese as sides. DINE: On Saturdays, for a delicious Burnt Ends feast.
Jenny Vergara is a full time Foodie and a woman on quest to develop her palate and herself through cooking, eating, drinking, traveling and writing. She has spent the last 5 years documenting all the restaurants she found along the way in a series of personal restaurant journals she keeps for her own enjoyment. Email her at email@example.com or keep up with her Foodie adventures at http://www.makingafoodie.com.