I love Kansas City Restaurant Week!
It’s a chance to eat at places that may generally be reserved for special occasions. With easy-to-budget price points of either $15 or $33 at more than 140 restaurants, diners receive multi-course lunches and dinners.
Here are five noteworthy options. Restaurant Week runs from Jan 12-21.
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Intercontinental Hotel, 401 Ward Parkway, Country Club Plaza
This beautiful new space, set into the Intercontinental Hotel, is making its first Restaurant Week appearance. The American Slang menu offers a sleek new perspective on American cuisine. The decor is smart and timeless, with tall windows leading to a lovely view of the Plaza skyline.
One specific menu item that deserves attention is the lamb meatballs with tomato ragu and herbs. The delicate ragu that tops the appetizer is dressed modestly with lemon and olive oil, and perfectly spiced for the assertive lamb. This dish goes well with the cucumber press, a nice and refreshing cocktail from the highly capable bar.
1700 Summit St., Crossroads/Westside
Stepping in to Blue Bird Bistro is like being welcomed at a friend’s eclectic house for brunch.
I enjoy the variety of choices at this local and organic cafe. The rustic benedicts are especially satisfying, like the catfish benedict featuring a gently poached egg and tangy hollandaise on top of a perfectly crispy fish. Order a half or a full portion, and enjoy it with a side of roasted potatoes.
4558 Main St., Country Club Plaza
If you’ve never been to Cafe Trio, now is the time! This funky brick building will be turning out sophisticated Midwestern cuisine to Restaurant Week diners.
If the happy hour menu is any indication, we can expect some seriously elevated pub food. Whether it’s a juicy burger or the “Mac Daddy” gourmet mac-n-cheese exploding with bacon and red peppers, expect to be warmed up with comfort food portions. Many of us might need it for venturing out in the cold!
Be sure to look at drink menu, too, especially the martinis.
4141 Pennsylvania Ave., Westport
With achievements in 2017 that include another James Beard nomination, chef Patrick Ryan still stays ahead of the game, bringing in the new year with a fresh Restaurant Week menu at his Westport location.
The plan, Ryan says, is to run some of the regular menu items at a discounted price through the week. I will definitely be poking my head in for dinner, to pick up the ensalada de brussel sprouts. With butternut squash, thick lardons of bacon, and a spicy but sweet habanero-maple vinaigrette, this little dish has massive flavor.
5. Blue Sushi Sake Grill
4705 Rainbow Blvd., Westwood
The all-day happy hour that the restaurant hosts on Sundays has pushed Blue Sushi Sake Grill into my weekly rotation. I don’t want to remember Sundays without it!
That is why I recommend them for Restaurant Week — the value! Find the best deals on sushi all week long, like the Hawaiian roll, which is deep-fried with salmon and served with a silky mango puree, as part of their four-course menu for $33.
Jakob Polaco is a chef, writer and a recipient of Ink Magazine’s 30 Under 30 award. Jakob has received several accolades for his work in food and travel. Follow along at his website https://www.spicevagrant.com.