Posts tagged ‘tapas’
Many Kansas Citians are familiar with the La Bodega on Southwest Blvd., a longtime Spanish tapas restaurant in midtown. Its owners recently took over the vacated JP Wine Bar space in the 119 Center at 119th and Roe in Leawood, and they have certainly made it their own. The walls are now brightly colored, there’s a fireplace in the trendy bar, tapas plates are piled high on every table and the place is hopping.
On a recent visit for lunch, my group sampled a variety of sandwiches. Not the usual fare for a tapas restaurant, but that concept is better suited for dinnertime conviviality when people are more apt to linger.
The Cubano came highly recommended and was excellent. A long chewy bun was layered with thin slices of pork loin, proscuitto, Manchego cheese, yellow mustard and a pickle. The flavors were wonderful, but I think the sandwich needed more of each ingredient to make it a complete success. The Bocadillo con Entrecote a la Parilla was served on a demi-baguette and was loaded with beef tenderloin, burgundy onions and blue cheese. That combination is on many a menu, but La Bodega does it as well as any restaurant in the city. Smoked salmon lovers will revel in the Bocadillo con Salmon Ahumado, and those who crave Italian muffaletta sandwiches will be very pleased with La Boedga’s Spanish rendition the Serrano, which featured cured serrano ham, Manchego cheese and olive tapenade and tomatoes on a baguette.
Sandwiches are accompanied by a side of French fries (tasty, but they wouldn’t make my top ten), and Judías Verdes a la Vinagreta de Breba, a relatively healthful side dish with green beans, roasted potatoes and figs in a walnut-fig dressing.
A long list of intriguing salads and soups round out the menu, most of which are suitable for vegetarian diners.
Servers are still in the process of being trained. Ours was well-intentioned but didn’t know the difference between a white and rose wine. She made up for that by giving us a fabulous chocolate cake gratis for the birthday girl in our ranks.
Next time? The full tapas experience in the evening.
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.