Avenues Bistro Brookside opened a new lounge area before the holidays but it has already introduced a revised menu.
The eight-year-old restaurant, at 338 W. 63rd St., spent weeks remodeling the former Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream & Topsy’s Popcorn space for L’Cove Lounge at Avenues (L’Cove is pronounced ‘alcove’).
L’Cove is described as a cozy, contemporary space offering small plates and signature cocktails, as well as a wide selection of wines and craft beers. It also can serve as a private event space seating up to 50 people.
After several weeks of operations it has tweaked the menu, taking off some selections that weren’t in season, adding some items that were popular on the prix fixe New Year’s Eve menu (butternut squash risotto, as well as quinoa, shrimp and house-sausage filled pepper).
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▪ Bistro Tasting Plates include its Ricotta Gnudi (ricotta gnocchi, butternut squash velouté, pear and walnut relish and sage brown butter), German beer brats, sweet Thai chili chicken and honey thyme goat cheese.
▪ Choice Tasting Plates include chicken Osso Bucco and shrimp Provencale.
▪ Prime Plates include Chilean sea bass, filet burger, Wiener Schnitzel, and braised short rib.
It also has a variety of flatbreads, salads, and sides like mushroom fricassee and Huancaina potatoes.
Owner Joe Birch said Avenues has always been more about fine dining. But the lounge will be much more casual, a place where customers can meet up for a drink or share a couple of small plates.
The front windows will open during nicer weather so it will operate like a patio.
L’Cove also has a “Burger Night” on Mondays with a choice of 15 specialty burgers and fries for $7.99 and drink specials, and brunch on Saturday and Sunday.
L’Cove’s Happy Hour specials run from 4 to 6 p.m. with Reverse Happy Hour after 8:30 p.m. daily. It also is open a little later than Avenues Bistro’s dining room.
In other Brookside updates: Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream & Topsy’s Popcorn relocated in the neighborhood.
Owner Bob Ramm purchased the Party Warehouse business and building at 101 W. 63rd St., and after a major remodeling, Ramm moved his Baskin-Robbins/Topsy’s into the east side of the space while Party Warehouse downsized to the space on the west side 103 W. 63rd St.
“I think the two businesses — ice cream and party supplies — have a good synergy,” Ramm said.
Asado Urban Grill opens in Hilton KC Airport hotel
Los Angeles-based Laurus Corp. is re-branding some of its hotel restaurants using Asado as part of their name.
The first opened in December in the Hilton Kansas City Airport under Asado Urban Grill.
Another, in the Hilton San Antonio Airport in San Antonio, Texas, opened Jan. 19 under Asado Seafood & Grill. Other locations also will be rolled out with the menus tweaked to the area demographics of each hotel. Asado can mean roasted, grilled, or broiled.
Hilton Kansas City Airport, at 8801 N.W. 112th St., just east of Interstate 29, has been renovating the former Cafe Weatherby space for eight months. The plaid seats are gone, replaced by a contemporary decor with dark grays and blacks, stainless steel light fixtures, and leather seats.
Food and beverage director and executive chef Zachary Alft revamped the menu, keeping former barbecue favorites like smoked ribs, brisket and chicken.
New items include the smoked chicken soup, Caprese salad, truffle meatballs, crab cake sandwiches, southwestern steak salad, and dinner entrees like braised duck tacos, lamb shank Osso Bucco, and red snapper Mariniere.
Desserts include seasonal fruit cobbler with vanilla bean ice cream and chocolate profiteroles. It also has a new wine list, along with craft, bottle and draft beers, and specialty cocktails.
Alft uses such local vendors as Farm to Market Bread Co., Scavuzzo’s Inc. and Local Pig.
“We want to be more like a freestanding restaurant, not just an amenity in a hotel,” Alft said. “I think a lot of our customers will be from the Northland but we are starting to draw from the River Market as well.”
Asado is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. It will continue to serve Hilton’s breakfast buffet from 6 to 11 a.m. daily, or customers can order off the menu. It also has new happy hour specials from 4 to 7 p.m. daily, including bone-in chicken wings glazed with honey chipotle sauce, draft beers and specialty cocktails.
Laurus Corp., a private real estate investment and development firm, purchased the Hilton Kansas City Airport in December 2012. The hotel, which has 347 rooms and 21,000 square feet of meeting space, is in the final stages of renovation put at more than $10 million.