Looks like we're in for a wintry weekend Kansas City. Snow, sleet, cold. Yuck. You can't make the weather go away but you can make the best of it by eating well. Hearty soups are my go to favorite way to stare down old man winter and my newest discovery - Italian Sausage Soup at Cucina della Ragazza in Westport - it the perfect prescription for the bone chilling cold. Big chunks of very Italian sausage swimming in clear broth with tomato, artichoke, and spices. Nice.
This week Chef Howard Hanna of The Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange was named a semifinalist for a James Beard Award - Best Chef: Midwest Category. Here in Kansas City he is joined by the very talented Ted Habiger of Room 39 (also Best Chef: Midwest) and Nick Wesemann of The American Restaurant (Outstanding Pastry Chef Category). Hearty congratulations to all three.
Chef Howard Hanna
Seeing Howard Hanna on the James Beard semifinalist list reminded me that I've never properly and publicly appreciated his terrific Crossroads restaurant. I'm not sure why I've never written about Howard or The Rieger but this occasion seems like all the reason in the world to share my 8 reasons that this chef and his restaurant are among my very favorites.
If you've never been, let me start by telling you that there's no hotel. There was a hotel but that was nearly a century ago. However, much of the original architecture, details, and fixtures remain in this shotgun-style space lending the restaurant a great deal of it's charm.