Table Hopping - August 2008
“Best Places to Wine and Dine in Kansas City.”
910 West 48th Street
Kansas City, MO 64112
Only a restaurant with the history, legendary wine list and a recently rehabbed menu like JJ’s could survive the construction woes they have had for the last year and still not miss a beat. Locally owned by restaurateur Jimmy Frantze for over 20 years, JJ’s has a wine list with over 2,000 selections of mostly French and California wines. But it’s the combination of that list coupled with dishes like Wild Boar Ragu for $24 and Elk Rib Chop for $39 created by former Frondizi's executive chef, Linda Duerr, should put JJ’s on your short list. PARK: anywhere you can find a parking spot, or use their valet service and make your car someone else’s problem.
201 West 47th Street
Kansas City, MO 64112
The warm and intimate dining room at Starker’s Restaurant has one of the best views of the Country Club Plaza, and a wonderful wine list that continues to evolve with the owner/chef John McClure at the helm. The buzz is that this may be the next culinary dream team – John McClure, Dave Crumb as Sous Chef who was formally of Blue Stem and Jim Cooley, as the Sommelier. The hearty menu full of dressed up comfort food highlights their local food focus. Taste the 21 Day Dry Aged Strip Steak with Thane's turnips for $36 and pair that with the local beet salad with endive, walnuts and blue cheese dressing for $10. STEAL: a deal with Starker’s new three courses for $33, and save enough to get a great bottle of wine to go with it. Offer good Monday-Thursday through August 28.
1719 West 39th Street
Kansas City, MO 64111
10561 Mission Road
Leawood, KS 66206
As co-owners and Chefs for Room 39, Ted Habiger and Andy Sloan have cultivated an excellent reputation for simple, seasonal and local American food in Kansas City. The wine list is also considered a perfectly cherry-picked selection offered at a very reasonable price. Dinners are an undiscovered treasure at Room 39, with service, food and wine all performing at a fine dining level in KC, without the fine dining prices or formality. Try the Pancetta Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with peach and rhubarb chutney for $23 or the Swiss Chard and Gruyere Tart for $18. TRUST: the wine pairings done by Kathi Rohlfing the GM/Sommelier for Room 39, they are perfectly in tune with the food.
338 West 63rd Street
Kansas City, MO 64113
Brookside’s best kept food and wine secret is Avenues Bistro. Located on the corner in what used to be a dry cleaners, you will find this sparkling little gem of a restaurant owned by Joe Birch. With a food menu that skips all over Europe and back, you will be tantalized by the Braised Short Ribs Stroganoff for $19 and the Black Forest Jaeger Schnitzel for $17. Make a point to meet crazy passionate Wine Director Tim O’Neal who will do everything in his power to dazzle you with his creative wine list that keeps tempo with the menu. COME: in on Sunday nights and get 25% off all bottles. Talk to the Wine Director and off-list bottles are 50% off.
Osteria Il Centro
5101 Main Street
Kansas City, MO 64111
Neighborhood folks and wine lovers alike mingle together in harmony at the quaint Osteria Il Centro. The vision and management of their impressive value priced wine list is the work of General Manager, Justin Rufus. The excellent Italian food is a fine partner to good grape juice offered. Get the Seafood Ravioli $18 or the Veal Piccata $20 to get a true sense of the kitchen skills. Get yourself to Osteria Il Centro and learn what the rest of the juice heads in KC already love and appreciate about this place . . knowledge and selection at a steal. VISIT: on Monday night where all wines by the glass are on special $7 a glass. With the quality of selection they offer, this is a steal.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or keep up with her Foodie adventures at http://www.makingafoodie.com.