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.
The P.E.I. mussels at Bluestem make you realize that not all bowls are created equal. Two pieces of toasty baguettes rest atop a mound of mussels. Beneath those mussels is a savory broth that is good enough to sip.
Dishes don't have to be complicated to be excellent. The broth is made from four ingredients: white wine, shallots, thyme and garlic. The result is a light, garlicky broth that is, to paraphrase a Provencal saying, "a life saver." Garlic soup is known to cure hangovers, stomach ailments and colds. This dish will simply cure your unhappiness.
"These are the best mussels I've eaten in my life," a dining companion told me over a quick bite in the restaurant's trendy lounge.
Tender and almost fluffy, the mussels are memorable. The dishwashers at Bluestem must not get a lot of work because this is one bowl that you will wipe clean to make sure you don't miss a drop of this comforting broth.
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
No. 13: Cranberry scone from Oak Street Coffee
No. 12: Chicken walnut pasta from Osteria il Centro
No. 11: Steakburger, Fifty-Fifty and a special chocolate frosty from Winstead's
No. 10: Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale from Boulevard Brewery
No. 9:: Ice cream-and-cookie sandwich from Murray's
No. 8: Autumn Cookies from Chacko's Eatery
No. 7: Crab cakes from Cafe Sebastienne
No. 6: The Matterhorn from Andre's Confiserie Suisse
No. 5: Cheese pizza from d'Bronx