We started with the grilled calamari appetizer which was one of the best any of us could remember having. The calamari had a smokiness that added to its depth, and it was tossed with pancetta, broccolini and polenta croutons. I am not typically a fan of polenta in any form, but these worked beautifully with the other ingredients and completed the dish. The lamb meatballs with feta, lentils and black olives were also unique, and another winning combination.
The entrees were substantial and hearty, but certainly not overwhelming. I ordered the smoked chicken leg, which is something one rarely finds on a menu–I’m a dark meat-eater and if I want to order chicken, I usually have to settle for white meat. This was served with cranberries and Brussel sprouts, and was a bit reminiscent of the Brussel sprout appetizer at Pizza Bella, one of 1924’s sister restaurants. The glaze on the chicken was a tad too sweet, but I still loved it.
Other choices on the small menu include a blue cheeseburger, short ribs, sirloin, a pork shank and a fish of the day. Both the short ribs and pork shank were taken off the bone, which made the dish look more dainty and was much easier to devour.
At 2 courses for $20 or 3 for $25 (all dishes are also offered a la carte), it’s hard to beat the price for an upscale, quality experience. All restaurants are struggling to survive in the sluggish economy, and owner Rob Dalzell has responded by making dinner more affordable without taking away the glamour of dining out. And, he is one of Kansas City’s independent restaurateurs, all of whom should be supported. If we don’t patronize these local treasures, they will not survive and we will be forced to spend our money in chain operations, which typically are less creative, more cookie-cutter, and don’t utilize local farmers. And what fun would that be?