Posts tagged ‘Parkville’
Wanna get away? No need to pack your bags, just drive on up to Parkville for a lovely evening at Piropos Grille.
The original Piropos was in Parkville, but it moved several years ago to Briarcliff where it remains today. The Parkville location was used solely for private events until recently, when it became a Latin American grill. More casual than its Argentinian sibling, Piropos Grille sits on a perch overlooking the quaint town of Parkville and the Missouri River. It sports spectacular views, particularly during the fall foliage.
But it’s not just about the setting. The food and service are excellent, and there’s something for everyone.
We started with Ensalada Tres Colores, which evokes a bit of Europe rather than Latin America. It’s the quintessential French salad–shredded carrots, celery root and beets, presented separately on the plate, and dressed with a citrus vinaigrette a bit heavy on the oil.
Instead of bread or rolls, toasted breads are served, accompanied by chimichurri sauce (an oil with chopped green herbs) and garlic puree in oil. Both are addictive and threatened to spoil our appetites, but we managed to persevere.
We opted for the more Latin American dishes on the menu–pork tamales, arepas (corn masa cake stuffed with chicken and black beans), a fish taco, and chicken mole with beans and rice (which they were kind enough to split for us). Tamales can be dry and heavy, Piropos Grille’s are neither. Same with the arepas. And the fish tacos were grilled not fried, served with a flavorful avocado salsa.. The chicken was moist, but the mole did lack the complexity that the sauce should have, as it does at several Mexican restaurants about town (Poco’s, Frida’s and Guadalajara Cafe come to mind).
There are many more traditional entrees as well, rib eye and shrimp, salmon and chicken, all of which are given a south of the border twist. The rib eye comes with that same superb chimichurri sauce, as do some of the skewers.
During daylight savings season, it’s fun to go early to take a walk along the river. After you’ve worked up an appetite, hustle up to the restaurant, order a glass of wine (on Wednesday nights bottles are half-priced) and watch the sunset. Parkville is less than fifteen minutes from downtown Kansas City, so don’t use lack of proximity as an excuse to keep you from a fun and tasty excursion.
Been to Parkville lately? Located just 15 minutes from downtown, its historic district is quite charming and worth a visit. The drive along the banks of the Missouri River is lovely..in fact it would be a pleasant spot for a picnic in the fall or spring.
A friend and I traveled to Parkville in the summer, one of the few days in July that was actually cool enough for a stroll around town, no need to duck inside to the air conditioning. We were there to try Cafe Des Amis, an extremely quaint second floor restaurant. Had it not rained, wiping out any chance to sit outside and enjoy the moderate temperature, that would have been my preference. While the interior is well-appointed and encompasses several small rooms as well as an adorable bar in the foyer, the small outside deck sits among the trees, like a bird in a nest.
Cafe Des Amis, no surprise, is a French restaurant through and through. French accoutrements were displayed on the walls and tables, including in the bathroom, which I loved….enough to take a picture (unfortunately, I couldn’t quite capture its essence, but you get the idea.)
At dinner, the menu features typical but no less alluring French specialties…escargot (snails), mussels, frogs’ legs, coquilles St. Jacques (scallops), duck and bouillabaisse. But we were there for lunch, and admittedly didn’t go for the full Francophile experience. Some of those same options were available, along with crepes and quiche, but we both opted for salads, each of which were substantial, fresh and satisfying. Served with hot French bread (of course), it was an ideal summer meal. The Salade des Amis consisted of baby greens with a very tasty honey Dijon dressing, topped with red pepper, Portobellos, blue cheese and exceptional candied walnuts. The salad with a goat cheese crostini may not have had as much going on, but it was certainly enjoyable.
After lunch we stopped by Wines by Jennifer, almost worth the trip in itself. It’s in a small house off the main drag, and is part wine shop, part wine bar and part art gallery. There are three floors in all and each room specializes in a different country, so that Spanish wines are grouped together, Italian in another and so on. Art adorns the walls and tables throughout.
The wine selection, though small, is impressive. The owner, who travels extensively, knows her stuff. It’s on the expensive side, but I would guess she has a little monopoly going in this tiny hamlet.
Next time I’ll try to time my visit to coincide with the Wednesday afternoon Farmer’s Market (3-6 p.m.) just south of the railroad tracks at English Landing Park. I also plan to go to Piropos Grille, newly reopened and specializing in casual Latin American fare.