Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Aixois Brasserie brings a little Gallic chic to the P&L District

Posted by on Tue, Aug 14, 2012 at 5:12 PM

Can Aixois Brasserie find success at 10th and Walnut?
  • Can Aixois Brasserie find success at 10th and Walnut?

With the exception of the Bristol Seafood Grill on 14th Street and, maybe, Maker's Mark Bourbon House & Lounge (which has a reputation for inconsistent service and is often irritatingly noisy), there's not much in the way of sophisticated, intimate dining in the heart of the Power & Light District. Head a couple of blocks east, and things are getting more interesting. Over at 11th and Grand, the Reserve in the Ambassador Hotel has a lot of style and a talented young chef, Geoffrey van Glabbeek.

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And now that restaurateurs Megan and Emmanuel Langlade have obtained a liquor license for the urban version of their Brookside boite, the two-month-old Aixois Brasserie, there's finally a sexy French restaurant in downtown Kansas City — the first in the neighborhood since the long-razed Le Bonne Auberge in the 1980s.

Aixois Brasserie also boasts the tallest chef in Kansas City: Arkansas native Patrick Lane. He's 6 feet, 8 inches tall and is a dominating presence in this restaurant's kitchen. The general manager is Dennis Collins, a former server at the original Brookside Aixois and a veteran of the local restaurant scene, including a stint at the old Venue restaurant on the Country Club Plaza.

Collins says the lunch business has picked up dramatically over the past two weeks, and fans of the midtown restaurant are starting to trickle in for dinner. "There are still some misconceptions about dining downtown," he says. "One is that there's no place to park. That's not true. There's a surprising amount of street parking after 6 p.m., and we validate the parking tickets from the adjacent bank garage."

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Another misconception about downtown dining is that it's more expensive than the Plaza or Westport. Maybe drinking at Aixois Brasserie is a little more costly — or is it? The Westport Cafe & Bar, which also serves a French-inspired menu, charges the same price for an Absolut martini or a Kir Royal that Aixois is currently charging. And the daily happy hour at the new Aixois starts earlier than most, 2 p.m., and goes until 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. The well cocktails are $4, and a glass of champagne is $5. The happy-hour menu prices range from $2.50 (an order of pommes frites sprinkled with truffle oil) to $7 for a croque monsieur sandwich.

There's the same croque monsieur sandwich on the lunch menu (for $9) and on the breakfast menu for $8. The breakfast menu also features brioche french toast, two omelets and the quiche du jour. The resataurant serves lunch Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and dinner — Wednesday through Saturday only — from 5 to 10 p.m.

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