Monday, July 27, 2015

Ibis Bakery taking reservations for Wednesday's pizza night

Posted By on Mon, Jul 27, 2015 at 3:04 PM

Ibis Bakery creates a different pie for each Pizza night. - IBIS BAKERY
  • Ibis Bakery
  • Ibis Bakery creates a different pie for each Pizza night.

Ibis Bakery's latest pizza night — this Wednesday, July 29 — will have just one variety available. But it sounds more than worth the drive to Lenexa (the bakery is located at 12817 West 87th Street Parkway) for a taste. 

Chris Matsch, who owns the business with his wife, Kate, says this time the pie features black plum tomatoes ("They're dark brown and more savory than sweet," he says), zucchini, onion, basil and cheese. The produce and dairy come from Stony Crest Urban Farm, KC Food Circle and the New Roots for Refugees farmers, Green Dirt Farm, and the Shatto Milk Co.

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R Bar & Patio in Lawrence is now serving food, including smoked chicken wings and Maryland crab cakes

Posted By on Mon, Jul 27, 2015 at 11:58 AM

Wings, skewers and Maryland crab cakes.
  • Wings, skewers and Maryland crab cakes.

Lawrence's R Bar & Patio, at 610 Florida, on the west side of the college town, may be better known to longtime residents under its previous name: the Jet Lag Lounge. But for the last four years, it has been operating as the R Patio under owner James Shaffer.

A month ago, Shaffer brought on a minority partner, Brian Reeves — the two have been friends since they were undergraduates at Kansas State University — to oversee a major overhaul of the venue, adding a kitchen.

"There had never been food in this place before, so we installed a kitchen," Reeves says. "We have some new equipment, some used equipment, but it's fully outfitted so we can serve a limited but really interesting menu."

Reeves is correct on both points. It's a small menu, perfect for eating in a casual sports-bar setting. There's nothing fried being served here. Smoked? That's a different story.

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Friday, July 24, 2015

1900 Barker in Lawrence: great bread and pastries

Posted By on Fri, Jul 24, 2015 at 12:00 PM

Freshly baked bread, four days a week.
  • Freshly baked bread, four days a week.

As incredible as it seems, the occasional person still wanders into the white, one-story building at 1900 Barker in Lawrence — now the site of the 1900 Bakery & Cafe — wanting to get some washing done. Bungalow Laundry occupied this location for decades, and the long-gone business's sign still hangs on one side of the building. 

The new bakery's owners, brothers Taylor and Reagan Petrehn, like the sign, so it stayed. But virtually everything inside is different, following a $150,000 build-out. The result is a sunny, attractive baked-goods-and-coffee shop — one that already has a dedicated following. 

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Bizz & Weezy Confections readies for an August 7 opening in the Crossroads

Posted By on Fri, Jul 24, 2015 at 10:35 AM

It's all house-made at Bizz & Weezy - JEREMY LUTHER
  • Jeremy Luther
  • It's all house-made at Bizz & Weezy

Jonathan Pitcher has his fingers crossed, he says. He and his wife, Amy, want their candy retail shop, Bizz & Weezy Confections, at 1800 Baltimore to be open in time for the First Friday crowd in the Crossroads on August  7. "If everything goes according to plan, we'll be open on that date," he says. "Or maybe a day or two later."

Located in the former Kim Weinberger Art Gallery, the shop is set to offer, among other treats, six kinds of caramels: bourbon, bacon, chocolate, raspberry, sea salt, and root-beer float. They're buttery, creamy and very satisfying. 

But that's just the start, Jonathan Pitcher says: "We've developed recipes for over 40 caramels. We'll have quite an assortment."

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Celebrate National Tequila Day at these local drinking holes

Posted By on Fri, Jul 24, 2015 at 8:11 AM

  • Zócalo Mexican Cuisine

Today is National Tequila Day, a day that I personally like to celebrate with all the enthusiasm of a child at Christmas. As if any of us needed an excuse to have a margarita or eight on a Friday afternoon. In case you need help selecting a destination for post-work imbibing, we have here compiled a short list of some of the most tequila-friendly bars around — so friendly, in fact, that they are running special deals in honor of this hallowed day.

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Campground's Christopher Ciesiel talks crowdsourcing ahead of Saturday's pop-up fundraiser

Posted By on Thu, Jul 23, 2015 at 1:11 PM

  • Kickstarter / Christopher Ciesiel

Christopher Ciesiel and Cristin Llewellyn have been entertaining guests in their backyard since 2011, when the husband-and-wife team built a bar in their shed and started stocking the booze. In the years since, Ciesiel has slowly built a reputation around his craft cocktails — thanks, in part, to a few off-site gigs and guest-bartending spots at local bars. 

By the spring of 2016, Ciesiel and Llewellyn hope to make the Campground more of an official space. They've got their eyes set on a storefront at 6 Westport Road, on the corner of Westport and Main. To help raise funds for the brick-and-mortar business, the couple has turned to the popular crowdsourcing platform, Kickstarter. They set a goal of $20,000; with 10 days left on the campaign, the Campground is more than halfway funded.

Ahead of the pop-up fundraiser for the Campground on Saturday, July 25, at Morton Ballroom, I chatted with Ciesiel about the ups and downs of crowdsourcing and his plans for the bar. 

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Bluestem's Boulevard beer dinner coming August 31

Posted By on Thu, Jul 23, 2015 at 11:52 AM

Colby and Megan Garrelts (and Boulevard): brewing up a beer dinner. - ANGELA C. BOND
  • Angela C. Bond
  • Colby and Megan Garrelts (and Boulevard): brewing up a beer dinner.

Colby Garrelts and Megan Garrelts, owners of Bluestem restaurant in Westport, are finally doing the Boulevard beer dinner that they've had in mind for a long time.

"We've done beer dinners at Rye," chef Colby Garrelts says, naming the couple's Leawood restaurant. "Over the years, we've tried to get something going at Bluestem but couldn't get it nailed down. This time, the dinner is truly a better fit at Bluestem." Not least because when Boulevard Brewing Co.'s ambassador brewer, Jeremy Danner, approached Colby Garrelts about creating a dinner that focused on three of the company's craft beers, he was specific about the venue being Bluestem.

So the Garreltses will open Bluestem for a four-course meal on Monday, August 31 (when the restaurant is usually closed), that features Boulevard's Saison-Brett, Long Strange Tripel and Pale Ale.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Pizzeria Locale brings Chipotle speed and organization to Neapolitan pizza in Waldo

Posted By on Wed, Jul 22, 2015 at 11:05 AM

Chris de Peralta rolls out the dough.
  • Chris de Peralta rolls out the dough.

Is pizza better when it comes out of the oven faster? A lot faster?

Waldo is about to find out. Pizzeria Locale, which opens today at 11 a.m., at 505 West 75th Street, is the first outpost of the fast-casual pizzeria created by Denver restaurateurs Bobby Stuckey and Lachlan MacKinnon-Patterson in 2011. The new restaurant can serve either a 10-inch signature pizza or a custom-designed creation in just about two minutes.

That first Pizzeria Locale was a full-service restaurant (and still is), but when Stuckey and Mackinnon-Patterson went into partnership with fast-casual giant Chipotle — that company's CEO, Steve Ells, is a big fan of the fine-dining restaurant Frasca, the first Stuckey and Mackinnon-Patterson collaboration — the two men wanted to benefit from Chipotle's expertise in the fast-casual market.

"We're the ones who wanted to test a restaurant concept that could offer a great, high-quality pizza quickly and at a competitive price point," says Stuckey, who flew into Kansas City yesterday for the restaurant's media preview.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Standard Pour is now pouring, and serving food, in the old Boozefish space

Posted By on Tue, Jul 21, 2015 at 2:24 PM

Let there be light. Lots of it.
  • Let there be light. Lots of it.

You could say that 1511 Westport Road has had a long saloon life over the past century. Some still recall that address as home to Bender's Bar & Grill for decades, others as the not-long-departed Boozefish Wine Bar. Whatever the name and whatever the year, though, it's not a place you'll ever see dark for more than a short time. 

And the newest saloon to take the reins here — the Standard Pour, which opened June 13 — has done more than just turn on the lights. Owner David Sederholm, a vice president and portfolio manager with the Commerce Trust Co., has brightened up the room and begun to make it his own.

Sederholm is a buttoned-down kind of guy and, at 60 years old, an unlikely candidate for barkeep, but this turns out to be his dream project. "It was one of those bucket-list things," he tells me. "I grew up in Montana, and this space reminded me of the bars I used to patronize as a young man."

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Chocolate Frog opens in, tries to tickle, Prairie Village

Posted By on Tue, Jul 21, 2015 at 10:00 AM

Comfortable booths and toad stools? - CHOCOLATE FROG/FACEBOOK
  • Chocolate Frog/Facebook
  • Comfortable booths and toad stools?

Prairie Village Shopping Center has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to stylish restaurants, but the newest addition is unusual in its obvious desire to lure families. The Chocolate Frog Cafe — the name is a Harry Potter reference — sounds a little precious on paper, and it's precious in person, too. But it is at least a significant improvement over the venue that preceded it at 3935 West 69th Terrace: Standees: The Entertaining Eatery, a Denny's with delusions of grandeur.

Standees was attached to the movie miniplex — also called Standees (still) — where patrons could watch a feature film before or after a meal or, with some implied disapproval given the lack of tables inside the theaters, bring menu items into a movie. You can no longer take very many menu items into the theater, and the dining room has been stripped of its most garish touches, such as the wrap-around digital screen above the bar.

Since local company Leap Hospitality (best known for the Jacobson in the Crossroads) took over the operation of the restaurant component of this petite entertainment "complex," it has replaced the Standees slickness with a more accessible, cheery dining experience — one that's not just family-friendly but almost childlike.

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