One of our recent trips involved flying out to Kansas City to visit my father-in-law (and dog-in-law, Bruni). As with our last visit, we never made it into the city proper, but contented ourselves with the food and drink options in the Leawood area. Despite the rather drab, upper-class-strip-mall look of most of the restaurants, there’s really some good stuff there.
For our first night we went with my FIL to North, a nice Italian place that was recommended by Jon’s uncle. The day was so humid, with a hot wind blowing, that the patio was deserted, but inside it was hopping.
We tried a couple of cocktails. I had this pink gin thing with cucumber, which was far sweeter than I expected but not at all bad.
For our starter we ordered the artichokes with truffle oil and aioli. Damn this was good. The older couple who sat next to us ordered this with authority, and I would do the same thing if I were a regular here. Frequently.
Jon got a big plate full of sliced pork loin, mashed potatoes and greens. His father got spaghetti and meatballs, and I had the strozzapreti with chicken, spinach and pine nuts. The pasta (which they claim is house-made) was pretty good, although not earth shaking, but I liked the flavors a lot. The cream sauce on mine was tasty without being ridiculously rich. We had lots of leftovers to take home.
I didn’t need dessert after all the pasta and artichokes, but Jon got a butterscotch pudding that he said was good. I thought it was clever how they put the dessert drinks menu on the plate under the pudding – very sneaky.
The next day we decided to go back to Rye, the place where I got the best shrimp and grits back in April. This time I had to try the fried chicken. It was unbelievably good, and despite the hot day I ate all of the mashed potatoes and gravy that came with it.
Jon got a slice of sugar pie. We thought it would be like the chess pie we make at home, or the custard pie we had in Blackwater many years ago, but it was almost more like cheesecake, very dense.
That night we went back to Rye after eating our Italian leftovers for dinner. The heat had subsided for the evening and we sat on their enormous patio near one of the fire pits, drinking cocktails and watching the “supermoon” rise over the lake. They make very fine cocktails here, and I love how they bring it in a decanter and let you pour it over the ice as it melts, rather like getting a milkshake at an old fashioned place where you get the tin along with the glass.
For Sunday lunch, there were only enough sandwich fixings in the house for one person, so Jon and I took ourselves out to the Pig & Finch. Nice place, although we were a little taken aback by how aggressively the manager thanked us for not getting upset at their brunch/lunch switchover. Um, should we have gotten upset? In any case, we got some really good beers, fresh potato chips, and a very excellent burger and BLAT, made with extraordinary bacon.
There was a day trip out to Columbia to bury my mother-in-law’s ashes, which went as well as we really could have asked. It’s a long drive from KC, though, so we stopped at Flat Branch Brewing for a pint before we headed back. We ordered a plate of sweet potato chips with roasted garlic sour cream, which sounded like a great idea until we realized they were covered with cinnamon sugar. That was just weird.
That night we got takeout from Yia Yia’s, a place just up the road. I had baba ganoush and roasted duck and an adorable little tart with arugula and mushrooms, which all turned out to be completely indigestible. I’m still not sure how food that tasted so good could have made me so sick, but I was pretty well out of commission for the flight home the next morning. Oh, well.
We made it back to Seattle without further incident, and stopped (as is often our wont) at the Burgundian for lunch before driving home. I ventured out of my usual zone by ordered the pork belly Cuban, and I really don’t know what they’re thinking with this, except maybe that people are not getting enough pork fat in their diets? Once I pulled the enormous layers of fat off the sandwich it was very good, but will probably not order again. It was, however, lovely to be back in the Northwest and be able to sit outside without sweating a river.