Northland’s Piropos expands with new specialty pizza place in Briarcliff

For a dozen years the owners of Piropos have given Kansas City a taste of their beloved Argentina.

Now they have another Argentine menu item to share, one so special they’ve created a separate restaurant to serve it in.

The new Tango Pizza, which specializes in Argentine-styled pizzas, is now open on the first level of the Piropos restaurant building at 4143 N. Mulberry Drive in the Northland’s Briarcliff Village.

Gary and Cristina Worden opened Piropos in Parkville in 2001, serving the cuisine of Cristina’s native Buenos Aires. The couple relocated the restaurant to Briarcliff in 2006. They added a piano bar on the first floor of the building in early 2012 and leased out part of the space to a local shop owner.

The piano bar is hopping on Fridays and Saturdays with its live music and stunning view of the downtown skyline. But traffic was slow the rest of the week. So when the retail shop closed, the Wordens took out the wall and expanded the piano bar by adding Tango Pizza.

Tango Pizza serves 7-inch pizzas on a choice of tradition or flatbread crust. Selections include the La Boca (with extra virgin olive oil, goat cheese, spinach, mushrooms, onions and mozzarella), the Buenos Aires (with robust tomato sauce, pancetta, prosciutto, caramelized onions and provolone), the Andes (with brie fondue, chicken, spinach, red bell peppers and provolone), and the Mar De Plata (béchamel sauce, shrimp, scallops, crab, red onions and provolone).

“They are all handmade, prepared in the Piropos kitchen, and we import the mild spices from Argentina,” Gary Worden said. “Argentina is almost 50 percent Italian, so the pizzas have this Italian history to them.”

His favorite pizza is the Cristina’s (extra virgin olive oil, onions, mozzarella, oregano and aji molido), which is named after his wife.

Tango’s pizzas are $8.99 and include a drink. Also on the menu are empanadas, soup, salad and one dessert — two scoops of vanilla bean ice cream drizzled with dulce de leche.

Tango Pizza is open for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. The Wordens plan to expand the hours this summer.

The white-tablecloth Piropos upstairs is open for lunch Mondays through Fridays and dinner daily. The Wordens also still operate Piropos Grille in Parkville for dinner Thursdays through Saturdays, and it also is available for private events.

Meanwhile, Gary Worden was headed to Buenos Aires on Thursday to celebrate his wife’s birthday this week and search for a new signature wine for their restaurants.

Quick bites

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• Pickleman’s Gourmet Cafe plans a late May or early June opening for previously announced Waldo location at 7442 Wornall Road. The franchisee plans to open one more area location this year.