Extra Virgin–Kansas City
With its brick walls, open kitchen and oh-so-cool bar, Extra Virgin is an extremely genial spot to try dishes not encountered elsewhere in Kansas City. A New York-styled restaurant in the heartland, this lively tapas spot is for the adventurous eater who enjoys trying unusual dishes. Michael Smith is in the kitchen here, and runs a path between it and his eponymous restaurant next door.
Although a special section on the menu targets the “adventurous” eater, mainstream diners will find even the less exotic offerings, from chorizo and fig stuffed chicken to spicy halibut cheeks, a bit unusual. The tapas concept makes it especially fun, and the menu changes often to encourage repeat business. It’s a fun place to go with a group to allow a large sampling, or for a sophisticated date-night with your main squeeze.
Having been several times, we opted for some of the selections I had not tried, including yellow tail ceviche with fried plantains, lobster and chorizo fried rice, scallops with sweet potato puree and a beet salad. All were delightful, and beautifully presented.
This is not inexpensive fare. But there are a number of ways to make the experience quite affordable. Go before 6 p.m. and many offerings are half-price, even at lunch. On Mondays, hand-crafted pizzas are $8 (remember that Michael Smith and Debbie Gold were the culinary gurus behind the Spin concept) and bottles of wine are half-price.