|"The Absinthe Drinker," Picasso, Melville Hall Collection|
Although this week's snowfall and frigid temperatures were hard on the restaurant community in Fat City, Jonathan Bender started the the week on a warm, high note with a post about absinthe -- the legendary beverage that was banned in the United States for decades because of the hallucinogenic chemical that's still not permitted in absinthe sold in American liquor establishments. The post reminded us of the connection between absinthe and bohemian life -- or at least the bohemian life depicted in paintings like Picasso's Absinthe Drinker or movies like Moulin Rouge (the 1952 version about Toulouse-Lautrec) or Bright Young Things. To get into a truly bohemian and artistic mood, start tonight with the debut of happy hour at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art.
A touch of java might make the bitter taste of absinthe more pleasing and we reported on the new coffee house -- which doesn't serve liquor -- in the River Market: K City Coffee. An even more potent combination than coffee and absinthe? Hot coffee with chicken and waffles, perhaps? This week's Battle of the Dishes squared off the soul-food specialty served at the new Niecie's Restaurant on Troost and at the new Jack Gage American Tavern in the South Plaza.
On the subject of deep-fried delicacies, have you wondered where to find the best onion rings in town? Here are five top choices. And if you're ordering those onions to go, you should read about the proper etiquette for tipping on to-go orders. The debate is still going on in response to Jonathan Bender's post.
And we wave a bittersweet farewell to 2009, with a last look at the good news and bad news in Kansas City's restaurant community. Things are already looking up for the new decade, so here, have another glass of absinthe with that onion ring.