Friday, July 12, 2013

July Amuse Bouche - Recent Dining Highlights

Let me start with apologies to my regular readers (all six of you) for my lack of posts recently. My real job (the one that pays for all these meals) has kept me pretty busy lately.

So, I'm taking the easy way out and doing an Amuse Bouche post - little bite-size treats to keep you busy until the main course is ready.

Here are some of my dining highlights in and around Kansas City recently:


First of all, a hats-off to Story in Prairie Village. Admittedly this was a restaurant that I had some reservation about early on. My first two visits were less than memorable - but that was relatively close to their opening date. I've been there twice in the last several months and am pleased to add them to my list of go-to restaurants.  A couple of standout dishes are pictured below.

Roasted Beets
Smoked walleye, stracciatella cheese, capers,
apples, dill-mustard vinaigrette

Halibut 
English peas, shallots, jasmine rice 


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We've been blessed with some pretty nice weather recently. That means patio dining and we've done our share in the last several weeks. One of the biggest patios in town is Gram & Dun on The Plaza. Food and drinks here are consistently good, though wait times for patio seating can be l-o-n-g on nice days/evenings. We chose the weekend after July 4th for some brunch and practically had the patio to ourselves. Pictured below is their "Green Eggs & Ham". Wonderful. I was beginning to think I was the only one in town that mixed pesto into his scrambled eggs. Enjoy these with a "D Cup" or "Ginger Rogers" cocktail and your afternoon is bliss. 

Green Eggs & Ham
Scrambled eggs , basil pesto, housemade Canadian bacon,
sherry vinaigrette 

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Speaking of Brunch (or just breakfast). Get yourself to Succotash. I can't get enough of this place. Pancakes as big as your neighbor's fat face; savory, meaty, eggy dishes; vegan and vegetarian options; fresh squeezed juices, on and on... Even if the food wasn't so good, I'd show up for the colorful servers. These gals (there are some token males on the payroll too btw) just make this place colorful and fun. Crushin'.

Going to Succotash? Sit at the counter for the best,
most colorful experience.

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Under pressure of waterboarding or other unconventional interrogation techniques I doubt that Bread & Butter Concepts would deny taking a page from Patrick Ryan's playbook with their Taco Republic food truck. They will be opening a bricks and mortar operation across the street from the original Oklahoma Joe's in KCK this fall. In the meantime you can find their food truck parked in and around Kansas City selling some really good street tacos for $3 apiece. Cochonita Pibil (Yucatan-style roasted marinated pork, pickled purple onions, tostones ) is my favorite but you might as well try them all (not at once please) and decide for yourself. Follow them on Facebook or Twitter to stalk their current location.

Yeah I went there in a torrential downpour.

Street Tacos. Simple and tasty.

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And last but not least, my culinary crush, Cafe Provence has a new menu (and a pretty great new website too) and I'm diggin' on it. It's summer... Start with a Lillet blanc to get your Proven├žal  groove going and find your way to the Le Fletan Barigoule​ (Alaskan halibut, artichokes, ham, onion, baby carrot, and tournee potato in white wine artichoke broth - pictured below). No cream, no butter? Mais non! Quelle horreur! Actually no, it's great. Get it.

Le Fletan Barigoule
No cream. No butter. No compromise either.

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What's ahead? Well, this weekend I'm heading to the highly anticipated Novel that opened this week on the West side. Early reviews are positive.  Looking forward to seeing for myself.




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