Specialty Cuisine Concepts in Leawood is carving out its own little niche in the local restaurant scene with its intimate venues and small menus featuring fresh ingredients.
By JOYCE SMITH
The Kansas City Star
Its first operation, Mio an Italian trattoria, opened at 4800 W. 135th St., Suite 170, Leawood, nearly a year ago.
Now a more casual sister restaurant, Mio an Italian pizzeria, has opened in the same center, in Suite 250.
Sometimes families want to go out to a semi-formal location like the trattoria and sometimes they just want a relaxed atmosphere for salad, pizza and gelato, said Julian Viso, executive chef and co-owner. In Italy, the pizzeria is a place where people can come and socialize, watch a soccer match, eat a pizza and drink a beer.
The menu includes specialty pizzas such as the Siciliana (with tomato-basil sauce, mozzarella cheese, hot Italian sausage, peppers and caramelized onions), and the Calabrese (with mozzarella cheese, bechamel sauce, chicken, caramelized onions and mushrooms). There are also classic cheese and pepperoni pizzas, as well as build-your-own from a variety of ingredients such as cannellini beans, spinach, caramelized walnuts, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, roasted red bell peppers, pine nuts, prosciutto, Genoa salami, smoked pepperoni and grilled chicken.
Mio offers a choice of white, whole wheat or gluten-free crust, as well as a choice of sauces tomato-basil, cream sauce or pesto sauce.
Mio an Italian pizzeria also offers soups, entree salads and baked pasta, along with a build-your-own bruschetta bar for $6 with toppings that change daily Roma tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, parsley, zucchini, mushrooms, mozzarella cheese, and marinated carrots.
It also has nearly 50 different beers, along with an Italian wine list.
Shopping center updates
Leawoods Park Place has signed Orangetheory Fitness for an early fall opening at 11614 Ash St. The workout is broken into intervals of cardiovascular and strength training, using a variety of equipment such as treadmills, rowing machines, TRX suspension training, and free weights.
Bella Bridesmaid, which specializes in bridesmaid dresses, also is in negotiations to open a retail store in Park Place.
Lenexas Kanzs City Pizza and Burgerz is expanding. The owners opened their first restaurant at 12804 Santa Fe Trail Drive, Lenexa, in early 2012. Now they are adding an Olathe location, at 11180 S. Lone Elm Road. It is scheduled to open July 15 in the former Johnny Bruscos New York Style Pizza space.
Kanzs menu items include pizza and burgers along with appetizers such as its Chezzy Balls (meatballs covered in cheese, breaded and fried) and its cheeseburger salad (lettuce topped with seasoned ground beef, bacon bits, mozzarella blend, tomatoes and special sauce).
Owners Kevin Travis and Bill Degar plan to have three to five of the neighborhood restaurants in the next three to five years.
You can get drinks anywhere, but I think people really like our fresh food, Travis said. We make everything on site except for the veggie burger.
Why did Brueggers Bagels close in Overland Park?
Corporate officials said the franchisee made the decision to close the restaurant at 13713 Metcalf Ave., and there are no plans to open additional locations in the metro at this time. The franchisee did not return phone calls.
To reach Joyce Smith, call 816-234-4692 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter at JoyceKC.