Posts tagged ‘Steak’
After two pleasant visits to Tavern in the Village, the new hot spot in Prairie Village, it would seem that owner Kelly Manning has a winning formula. He’s worked in the PB& J restaurants, at Houston’s and Morton’s, so he has a solid pedigree. The Tavern is a comfortable place, with well-spaced tables, spacious booths and nice lighting. It’s family friendly, and on both occasions the service was competent. The menu, which is the same at both lunch and dinner, has a broad range of options, including chicken tacos, creole pasta,fresh fish, grilled pork chops and steaks, as well as a dozen salads and sandwiches. And, in keeping with Manning’s plan to attract repeat business, prices are reasonable.
I enjoyed both the Santa Fe chicken salad and the Asian tuna salad. However, each of them, as well as the soup and salad combo, come with a very average roll on the edge of the bowl. There’s something about the rationing and presentation that rubs me the wrong way. A bread basket is much more gracious.
The chicken nachos were an interesting appetizer, displayed as individual nacho pizzas with black beans, charred corn, pico de gallo and a goat cheese sauce on saucer-sized tortillas. Pretty as well as tasty, and certainly not an appetite-killer as some nacho platters tend to be. The upscale chicken tacos are also a bundle of flavor, served with a bowl of black beans to make it a complete meal.
I have yet to try the entrees, but I did get a look at their presentation during a recent tasting event. All of the dishes looked quite substantial and are accompanied by whipped potatoes and green beans or asparagus.
And head bartender David Smuckler knows what he’s doing–he was the Greater Kansas City Bartending Competition Champion of 2007. The cocktails are creative, employ many ingredients I’ve never heard of, and have some fun names, like Thai Tavern Julep, Rosemary Monk, and Peach New Fashion. Being more of a wine snob than a cocktail maven, I was delighted to see Orin Swift’s The Prisoner on the wine list. Did I order it at $78 a bottle? No, but it’s an indication that wine is not an afterthought.
Judging from the crowds, it would appear that the Tavern achieves its goal of being a neighborhood restaurant with broad appeal. The concept is safe which, in this economy, is probably smart. And it’s been packed since day one, with families and couples young and old, most of whom are probably from the surrounding area, delighted that Prairie Village finally has an upscale restaurant that still manages to fall in the “something for everyone” category.
I’ve always loved Room 39. The servers are consistently friendly and knowledgeable, the space has a lovely coziness to it and the restaurant’s personality shifts as the clock does. In the morning it’s an upscale coffee shop, with exceptional coffee and egg dishes, including a quiche that is probably four inches high. At lunchtime, it’s a soup and sandwich spot frequented by lawyers and artists alike. The veggie burger is one of the best around, but it’s hard to go wrong with any of the offerings.
Come sundown, tablecloths and votives grace the tables, transforming the restaurant into a serious, upscale dining experience. The menu changes daily and is posted online so you can get a peek of the chef’s selections before making a reservation. (The breakfast and lunch menus are set seasonally, but an extensive list of daily specials is also available.)
Owner Ted Habiger and his chefs are all about fresh and seasonal ingredients, which is why the menu has to change each day based on availability. We were lucky to be there on a night when beets were so prominently featured. The beet risotto was a stunning magenta, and the beet vinaigrette that accompanied the succulent scallops was bubble gum pink. The color could have been off-putting, but knowing that it was redolent of beet and far from artificial made it a good thing.
The rib eye was huge, prepared as ordered and very tender. (Unlike the leg of lamb which was without even a touch of pink though the server explained that the chef likes to serve it medium).
While I think of Room 39 as being quaint, and it is, that doesn’t mean it’s quiet. We were there the Thursday before Christmas, and as more diners squeezed in at the bar to wait for a table, the louder it became. We could still carry on a conversation at our table of six, but it wasn’t as relaxing as when we first sat down to a half-full room.
Room 39 also has another restaurant by the same name in Mission Farms at 105th and Mission Road. The fare is similar, though the chef at that location puts his own spin on the menu. I prefer the more charming ambiance at the location on 39th St, but the food is excellent at both.
The Majestic Restaurant is back in business with the same name, same decor, but different owners. Housed in the historic Fitzpatrick Saloon building, it still has that 1920’s look, complete with the original blue and white tile floors. A highlight is the jazz pianist who holds court in the front room, adding a bit of liveliness to an otherwise subdued setting.
The emphasis is still on steak, though chicken and fish dishes round out the menu. The food on a recent visit was good, though certainly not extraordinary or particularly creative. However, unlike most steak houses, a house salad, daily vegetable and choice of potato are included, making the meal more affordable than one might expect.
As an alternative, you might want to check out Happy Hour. Substantial bar food is featured for $5, including a 1/2 pound steak burger, sliders, and crab cakes. All would be good accompaniments to a $5 martini and some smooth jazz.
Trying to select a restaurant in Las Vegas is a little like trying to buy a dress in New York City. There are so many to choose from that it can be more than a little overwhelming.
Well-known chefs like Batali, Emeril, Charlie Trotter, Michael Mina, and Wolfgang Puck have hit the strip in a big way. Charlie Palmer, owner of restaurants in Las Vegas as well as New York City, Sonoma, Costa Mesa, Washington, DC and Reno may not be as famous as some of these guys, but he’s every bit as talented.
On a recent trip to Las Vegas, I was treated to a wonderful dinner at Charlie Palmer Steak, located in the Four Seasons Hotel, one of three such restaurants in the country. I had been to Palmer’s flagship Auerole, in NYC, a decade ago, and still have vivid memories of that outstanding evening, so I was really looking forward to trying his newer concept.
I was not disappointed. The service, the meat, the sides, the wine, were all what one expects of a restaurant of this caliber. But unfortunately, not all such restaurants deliver what they promise, so this was a very pleasant discovery.
All of the steaks, from the strip to the rib-eye were perfectly prepared, tender and flavorful. The side dishes were all tasty, and different than the typical steak house offerings. We shared broccolini, wild mushrooms with caramelized onions, sauteed spinach (the only predictable dish), roasted carrots, Yukon gold potato puree and brussel sprouts with pancetta.
Non-beef eaters can find plenty on the menu to satisfy. The various fish options are artfully prepared. There’s also a gorgeous Kurobuta pork chop and Sonoma chicken on the menu. This is one of those places where it’s hard to go wrong, no matter what you order.
This kind of evening doesn’t come cheaply. But if you’re in Las Vegas, it’s the kind of gamble that pays off handsomely.