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. 49: Il Parma from Bella Napoli
No. 42: Apple strudel from Grunauer
No. 40: E-Crush from Hi-Hat Coffee
No. 34: Stroud's cinnamon rolls
No. 33: Smoked Polish from Werner's
No. 27: Spring rolls from Vietnam Cafe
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