Gather ’round these tables this holiday season! Many of Kansas City’s restaurants feature beautiful, private rooms where you can enjoy some of the nation’s best cuisine in a more intimate setting. Guest blogger Mary Bloch (@aroundblockkc) shares some of the best rooms to book around the city.
With its brick walls and freight house windows, Lidia’s Loft has a unique charm created by the beautifully renovated building. The large upstairs room is perfect for a gathering of 100, or it can be divided into more intimate spaces. The banquet menu has several prix fixe options, but all include Lidia’s tangy Caesar salad and those addictive spreads for the house-made breads.
To defy convention and win points on the party circuit, book the wine room at the Cellar Rat in the Crossroads District. What better plan for the holidays than a wine tasting? Enhance the experience with artisan cheeses and tapas-style treats. Tannin Wine Bar, in the same neighborhood, also has a private wine room. Its kitchen regularly turns out intriguing small plates to please a variety of palates.
Newcomer Novel at 17th and Summit is winning raves for its cuisine, but the rustic nature of the old house is charming as well. Up the stairs is a lovely private room for you and a dozen or so of your closest friends.
Aixois in Crestwood has a private dining room adjacent to the restaurant to enjoy your favorite French dishes for a group of 50 or so. With its big windows, it would be the ideal place to watc a snowfall on a cold winter evening.
The Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange has a private wine room adjacent to the main dining room, and would be a terrific choice for up to 35 people. Order off the menu or let Chef Howard Hanna work his magic in the kitchen with a special menu. Read more
It’s well known that Kansas City has been making headlines for its cocktail scene, and a thirst for the unusual has led to many well-crafted drinks of both the alcoholic and non-alcoholic variety. Here’s a list of a few bold beverages for when you have a taste for something new!
Der Schmutzige – Grunauer
German for “the dirty one”, this cocktail is an easy way to shake things up as it’s nowhere near an ordinary martini. With ingredients like mustard-infused vodka and kraut juice, it may be best both you AND your date enjoy these bold flavors.
Spicy Ginger Fizz - Little Freshie
Fresh and fizzy ginger drink? Yes please! Even better…you can order in snow cone form, too! Pick your preferred style of delivering this tasty treat straight to your tastebuds and enjoy this sweet spot in the Westside neighborhood of KC.
Beautiful Red Bell – Manifesto
This gin-based drink is a happy garden of perfectly paired flavors. Garnished with a slice of red bell pepper, this cocktail has a sweet snap to it.
Go to Kale - Filling Station
Kale + cucumber + jalapeño + celery + granny smith + cilantro = a delicious juice beverage and probably covers the required amounts of fruits and vegetables for the day.
The Smoking Dun – Gram & Dun
Herbalicious with hints of citrus, the piéce de résistance of this fine cocktail is the rosemary simple syrup. Or perhaps it’s the hickory smoked ice. Or perhaps this is a simple, fantastic cocktail and best enjoyed while looking at the Plaza Lights on a chilly December night.
Almond Green Tea Latte - Mud Pie Bakery
Made with soy milk, green tea, almond syrup and finished with nutmeg, this lovely latte is delicious and dairy-free. (Bonus! It’s the November drink of the month. Use the discounted savings to apply toward a cookie or cupcake!)
Carolyn Anderson (@hellocarolynj) is the Social Media Manager for Visit KC. Her favorite way to experience any city is through good food, good drinks and with good company. When she’s not working on all things #KC, she loves to cook, travel, run, and listen to your interesting stories.
It’s that time of year. Time for stuffed bears, candlelight dinners and heart-shaped everythings. But being the bachelor that I am, this year I’ll celebrate my own way … with my own dearest love … food. Introducing a love letter to five local joints that are on my mind lately. These are the ones I crave about, fantasize about … and yes, [heart] the most this lovey-dovey time of year.
Avenues Bistro – Brookside is easily one of Kansas City’s most charming neighborhoods—and I rarely drive by this great local restaurant without swooning. If food is the way to a man’s heart, then this place hit the motherload. The menu here ranges from the delicious and familiar (lobster mac) to the more adventurous and European house specialties, like the Black Forest Jaeger Schnitzel. Those who like speed dating will probably enjoy the tapas. Small plates of ceviche, crab guacamole and bacon-wrapped jalapenos let you enjoy the bistro’s best, without the commitment of a full entrée. Read more
Earlier this year, Budget Travel magazine named Kansas City one of its Top 10 Budget Travel Destinations for 2012, touting the region as a “hotbed for high culture.” And while the year may be drawing to close, it certainly doesn’t mean the buzz for KC is subsiding.
Here are 10 reasons why the excitement for Kansas City will continue well into the New Year.
Ask any barbecue lover, not just here but almost anywhere in the world, and they’ll tell you that Kansas City is the place to find the best barbecued bovine. But the city’s culinary palate is much richer and broader than its finger-licking ’cue, encompassing culinary adventures deeply rooted in its Midwestern food and drink culture. Ranging from simple, homemade comfort food fare at charming neighborhood cafés, to high-end multi-course culinary indulgences, you are sure to find it here.
On more than one occasion the city has taken center stage on your favorite foodie programs like Food Network and Travel Channel. Two of the most well-known are seeker of the savory Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and jet setting restaurateur Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations; when they visited KC they left no samples un-sampled and no plate unclean. But where do such refined palates find adventure? More places than you think!
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives – Grinders: Guy Fieri raved about the Bengal Tiger, a tandoori chicken pizza inspired by the flavors of Northwest India that he called “funklicious.”
Established by the KCCVA in 2007, the Visitors’ Choice Awards lend a voice to Kansas City’s 21 million annual visitors. Finalists in each category were selected by an online panel of visitors. Over the summer, more than 4,000 people cast their ballots in the final round of voting.
And the moment you have been waiting for, here are your 2012 Visitors Choice Award Winners by category. For a full list of runners up for each category, you may download a PDF version here. Congratulations to this year’s winners and thanks to everyone that voted!
Favorite Steakhouse: Hereford House
Favorite Barbecue Restaurant: Oklahoma Joe’s Barbecue
Favorite Family-Friendly Restaurant: Stroud’s Restaurant
Favorite Ethnic Restaurant: Bo Ling’s
Favorite Fine Dining Restaurant: McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood & Steaks
So says the Spanish proverb. But if you’re a bachelor like me, sometimes “the belly” comes second to “the wallet.” Or heck, even “the schedule.” So you gotta leap at those few-and-far-between moments when you can eat both well and cheap.
Duck Tacos ... mmm
Enter Extra Virgin, a cool tapas place tucked in the Crossroads. You may have heard of the executive chef, Michael Smith. He’s a James Beard Award winner and has lent his expertise to several well-known restaurants in the area—The American, SPIN, Michael Smith and 40 Sardines to name a few.
Sure, this place has pedigree. But it’s also a fun, relaxed environment where it feels safe enough to venture outside your dining bubble and try some new eats. Just reading the menu is bound to make you feel adventurous. Crispy pig ear salad, grilled beef tongue, fried duck gizzards, snail ragout. And on and on.