PopFest cocktail festival gets underway this week

This year’s PopFest runs through Sunday, once again putting the focus on local talent and tastes. The event is expected to draw participants and presenters to Kansas City from California to New York. Why? “It’s just the best one in the Midwest,” says Kris Von Dopek, brand ambassador for Hendrick’s Gin.

Novel is both new and original, and off to an impressive start

At Novel, the buzz-bombed new restaurant on the West Side hilltop, the dining rooms feel a little small for cat-swinging, but the ethos of experimentation, digression and creativity operates at full throttle. Ryan Brazeal recently opened the restaurant after a fruitful, decade-long apprenticeship in top-flight New York restaurants.

Slap yo momma? It’s food that will knock you out

Things get a little kooky when we’re talking food, as evidenced by the head-scratching that followed Eddie Kennison’s plan to call his new pizza shop Slap Yo Momma. So I asked a few culinary insiders about the crazy things people say and the dishes that make them join in on the action.

Opera will be the main course at this Affare

A Kansas City operatic duo, Ben Gulley and Nathan Granner, are carrying on the food/opera tradition and giving it a high-tech, theatrical twist. They will present another of their popular Romantic Affare concerts at Affare, a German restaurant in the Crossroads Arts District, on Aug. 19.

Grandpa’s Burger Box serves up goodness from the grill

How can you not stop at a cinder block shack with a mural on the front depicting a woman in Daisy Duke shorts chasing a pig and a chicken down a hill while waving a spatula in the air? The mural might get you in the door of Grandpa’s Burger Box just off the main drag through Tonganoxie, but the made-to-order burgers, sandwiches, rings and fries will keep you coming back.

The Basha Cuisine offers authentic Middle Eastern food

The restaurant is still working out its service kinks but does not skimp on its silky-smooth hummus. The Basha — a Turkish title for a person, association or group of people who have respect, influence, power or authority — is in the strip shopping center at Metcalf Avenue and 105th Street in Overland Park.

Raising a glass to the best patios around Kansas City

Day parties haven’t taken over KC patios just yet, but we have all of the potential. From the Waldo Well and Sol Cantina in midtown to Westside Local and John’s Upper Deck downtown to La Bodega in Leawood, we have all kinds of options. Here are some favorites, old and new, to get the outdoor party started right.

Raising a glass to the best patios around town

Day parties haven’t taken over KC patios just yet, but we have all of the potential. From the Waldo Well and Sol Cantina in midtown to Westside Local and John’s Upper Deck downtown to La Bodega in Leawood, we have all kinds of options. Here are some favorites, old and new, to get the outdoor party started right.

Food offerings at Kauffman Stadium hit a culinary home run

Although the tasty traditions may always ring true, ballparks across the country are incorporating hometown hits, BBQ in our case naturally, for new flavors and sophistication. To get the most out of the game, prepare to arrive with an empty stomach and leave with even emptier pockets.

Leawood Italian restaurant Mio adds a pizzeria

The new business -- named Mio, An Italian Pizzeria -- opened at 4800 W. 135th Street, a few doors down from its sister restaurant Mio, An Italian Trattoria. Both Mios share appetizers, soups and salads. But the new pizzeria has a build-your-own bruschetta bar ($6) and a wide selection of customizable pies with thin, chewy crusts.