Monday, September 20, 2010

No. 12: chicken walnut pasta from Osteria il Centro

Posted By on Mon, Sep 20, 2010 at 11:00 AM

The foccaccia is for sopping up the leftover gorgonzola cream sauce.
  • The foccaccia is for sopping up the leftover gorgonzola cream sauce.
The foccaccia is for sopping up the leftover gorgonzola cream sauce.
To whet your appetite for The Pitch's annual Best of Kansas City issue, we're counting down our favorite Top 50 dishes each weekday until October 7.

Osteria il Centro, the comfortable Italian bistro just south of the Country Club Plaza, leaves the more traditional Sicilian-American fare to its neighbor, Accurso's Italian Restaurant, just up the street. Greg Johnson's Osteria doesn't really offer that many pasta dishes, focusing instead on more unusual items. There is, for example, a rich seafood ravioli. And there's another seafood creation: sauteed scallops tossed with whole-wheat penne in a spicy puttanseca sauce.

But this combination of chicken, thick cream and crunchy walnuts may be the house specialty.

Osteria Il Centro isn't the first Italian restaurant in Kansas City to offer a variation on this dish, but it's become famous for it. With good reason: slices of plump grilled chicken on a bed of penne drenched in a silky, savory cream sauce delicately seasoned with potent gorgonzola. It's one of those dishes that, after three bites, leaves you almost full. And happily, it tastes just as wonderful the next day.

Our list so far:

No. 50: Chocolate Malt from Fox's Drug Store

No. 49: Il Parma from Bella Napoli

No. 48: Italian sausage and eggs from Cascone's Grill

No. 47: Orange Roll from Clock Tower Bakery

No. 46: Tacos de cochinita from Frida's Contemporary Mexican Cuisine

No. 45: Barbecued pork bun from 888 International Market

No. 44: Tableside fresh mozzarella from Jasper's

No. 43: Gyro Sandwich from Mr. Gyros Greek Food & Pastry

No. 42: Apple strudel from Grunauer

No. 41: Rice noodle bowl from dim sum at Bo Lings

No. 40: E-Crush from Hi-Hat Coffee

No. 39: Flight of Freshness from Fresher than Fresh Snow Cones

No. 38: Curried chicken salad from Cafe Provence

No. 37: Apple fritter from John's Space Age Donuts

No. 36: Pollo con limone e olive from Lidia's Kansas City

No. 35: Wedding-cake cookie from LattéLand

No. 34: Stroud's cinnamon rolls

No. 33: Smoked Polish from Werner's

No. 32: Burger and frites from Westport Cafe & Bar

No. 31: Paletas from Paleterias Tropicana

No. 30: Goat korma at New Cafe Tandoor

No. 29: Lemon cake from Café Europa

No. 28: Chocolate Mousse Torte from Napoleon Bakery

No. 27: Spring rolls from Vietnam Cafe 

No. 26: French fries from LC's Bar-B-Q

No. 25: Classic Cookie's herbed-potato-and-sausage casserole

No 24: Farmer greens salad at The Farmhouse

No. 23: Egg salad sandwich from You Say Tomato

No. 22: Waldorf Salad from Bloomsbury Bistro

No. 21: Pork tenderloin sandwich from Kitty's Cafe

No. 20: Root beer from Mugs Up Drive In

No. 19: Flank steak sandwich from Happy Gillis

No. 18: Chicken Picatta from the Hereford House

No. 17: Mom's Macaroni and Cheese from McCoy's Public House

No. 16: Fried green tomato salad from Café Roux

No. 15: Veggie burger from Room 39

No. 14: Onion rings from Fiorella's Jack Stack Barbecue

No. 13: Cranberry scone from Oak Street Coffee

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