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Monday, October 27, 2014

'37 Steak is ready for big World Series spenders

Posted By on Mon, Oct 27, 2014 at 1:33 PM

Nick Estell, the young chef at '37 Steak, at Harrah's is cooking for a lot of high rollers this week.
  • Nick Estell, the young chef at '37 Steak, at Harrah's is cooking for a lot of high rollers this week.


Chef Nick Estell is gearing up for Tuesday night.

He won't be watching the sixth game of the World Series. He'll be too busy in the kitchen of '37 Steak, the four-month-old steakhouse — a fancy steakhouse, unlike its predecessor the Range — grilling ri- eyes and lamb chops for the high rollers from other Harrah's properties.

Harrah's Kansas City has been hosting its high-rolling patrons since the beginning of the World Series, says 26-year-old executive chef Estell, who took over the kitchen at '37 Steak over the summer after being wooed away from his previous job at another venue for big gamblers, the Final Cut Steakhouse at the Hollywood Casino.

Estell, a former sous chef at the American who had also worked at Celina Tio's Julian and the Michael Smith Restaurant, likes the opportunity to build a new restaurant brand and sees the job with Harrah's to be a positive step in his career. "Definitely in terms of job security and benefits," Estell says. 

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Summit Grill in Waldo is ready to open, maybe Monday

Posted By on Wed, Oct 22, 2014 at 2:07 PM

After leaving the McCormick & Schmick's chain, chef Domhnall Molloy, left, and veteran manager Andy Lock turned a  failing steakhouse in Lee's Summit into the highly successful Summit Grill. They're opening a new, smaller version of the concept in Waldo next week.
  • After leaving the McCormick & Schmick's chain, chef Domhnall Molloy, left, and veteran manager Andy Lock turned a failing steakhouse in Lee's Summit into the highly successful Summit Grill. They're opening a new, smaller version of the concept in Waldo next week.

Hey, don't blame Andy Lock and chef Domhnall Molloy for taking so long to open the new Summit Grill in Waldo. These two entrepreneurs, former McCormick & Schmick's employees who branched out on their own two years ago and turned the former Rumors Steakhouse in Lee's Summit into the first Summit Grill & Bar, are ready to open their doors. The staff has been hired and trained, the kitchen is fully stocked, and the bartenders are poised to start pouring drinks. That is, once the liquor license is in hand and the booze is delivered and positioned on the glass shelves at 500 West 75th Street.

Until a month ago, this was the address of the two-year-old Remedy Food + Drink, a cafe and saloon with the best intentions but a revolving door for chefs. Unsurprisingly, the cuisine was so inconsistent that you never knew if the menu served on Saturday would be the same menu offered on the following Wednesday. That doesn't seem likely to be a problem with the new Summit Grill, tentatively set to open next Monday at 3 p.m.

"I'm the co-owner," says Domhnall Molloy, "and I'll be in the kitchen almost every day."

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Tippin's celebrates the Royals with a blue French silk pie

Posted By on Fri, Oct 17, 2014 at 11:47 AM

Kansas City's Tippin's Gourmet Pies is offering a Royals blue French Silk pie -- only the whipped cream topping is tinted blue -- during the World Series games. - TIPPIN'S
  • Tippin's
  • Kansas City's Tippin's Gourmet Pies is offering a Royals blue French Silk pie -- only the whipped cream topping is tinted blue -- during the World Series games.

Kansas City's blue fetish — in honor of the Royals making it to the World Series — continues everywhere, including in the local culinary world. This morning, for instance, Tippin's let us know about a blue version of its French-silk pie.

The Kansas City, Kansas-based company (a subsidiary of Balls Foods) is delivering the pies to almost all of the Hen House supermarkets in the metro. It features a blue-tinted whipped topping. Underneath all that baby-blue stuff, though, is a traditional chocolate silk pie.

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Don't panic, getting tapeworm from sushi is 'exceedingly rare'

Posted By on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 4:09 PM

Eating sushi in Kansas City might hurt your wallet before it upsets your gastrointestinal tract. - MATTHEW TAYLOR
  • Matthew Taylor
  • Eating sushi in Kansas City might hurt your wallet before it upsets your gastrointestinal tract.

The Internet was practically infested last week with the story (and the ghastly X-rays) of a patient in China who arrived at the hospital (Guangzhou No. 8 People's Hospital in Guangdong Province, to be precise) with vague complaints and was discovered to have tapeworms throughout his body. What created this hellish situation? Sushi, allegedly. (This story has since been debunked by snopes.com.)

But the story was wriggling all over the Web and Facebook over the weekend, giving local sushi eaters some hesitancy in going out for a plate of sashimi. One local physician, Dr. Richard Gilroy, a gastroenterologist at the University of Kansas Medical Center, scoffs at the reports.

"Yes, you can be exposed to fish tapeworm, or diphyllobothrium, through raw fish," Gilroy says, "but it would be exceedingly, exceedingly rare."

Many species can carry some form of parasitic worm, including beef and pork, Gilroy says. "But the fact that so few cases of infection have been reported, despite the increasing popularity of sushi in America, speaks volumes."

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Next Year's Winner BBQ serves a barbecue sundae

Posted By on Wed, Sep 17, 2014 at 8:01 AM

Next Year's Winner BBQ in the Northland serves a barbecue sundae. Can a chicken wing creme brulee be far behind?
  • Next Year's Winner BBQ in the Northland serves a barbecue sundae. Can a chicken wing creme brulee be far behind?

I loved the idea of a barbecue sundae when I saw it on the menu of the three-year-old Next Year's Winner BBQ and Catering (2306 Northwest Vivion Road, 816-587-4227), and the description was certainly enticing: "Layers of rib tips, beans, cole slaw, and pulled pork with bacon-wrapped meatballs on top."

But when the "sundae" arrived in a tall red-plastic cup, my heart fell. If there was ever a novelty barbecue creation that practically begged for a traditional tulip-shaped glass sundae dish, it's owner Steve Christian's $5 BBQ Sundae. At the very least, it requires a transparent plastic cup, the better to see all of those savory layers at one time. Don't forget that time-honored restaurant mantra: Visual appeal is half the meal.

Steve Christian, the veteran competitive barbecue pitmaster and owner of Next Year's Winner, agrees.

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Preservation Market takes on table service, cheaper beer, bigger menu

Posted By on Mon, Sep 15, 2014 at 12:33 PM

There will still be a large selection of domestic and imported beers at Bridger's Bottle Shop, but the primary focus will be on chef Alex Pope's cuisine. - DAVID HUDNALL
  • David Hudnall
  • There will still be a large selection of domestic and imported beers at Bridger's Bottle Shop, but the primary focus will be on chef Alex Pope's cuisine.

Get ready for some big changes at the venue known as Bridger's Bottle Shop at 510 Westport Road.

The five-month-old beer emporium has become, since it opened, better known for the restaurant inside the venue — Alex Pope's popular Preservation Market — than for the beer selection. Pope and his crew, including head chef Devin Campbell, are taking a more active role in the business (including the management of the business) now that two of the original managing partners, Phil Theis and Aaron Beatty, are currently more focused on their karaoke saloon, Offkey Karaoke Lounge & Suites; the third managing partner, Eric Flanagan, is now working for the Westport Ale House.

"In the short term, patrons will see very few changes," Pope says. "But we'll be introducing quite a few changes over the next few weeks. Starting this week, Adam Northcraft is the general manager, and we'll have a full-time host welcoming visitors. It was very confusing for people walking into the place for the first time."

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Dennis Edwards keeps his family's grocery store alive in KCK

Posted By on Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 11:58 AM

Dennis Edwards makes a terrific spicy Reuben and a classic Philly cheesesteak in Kansas City, Kansas. He sells groceries too.
  • Dennis Edwards makes a terrific spicy Reuben and a classic Philly cheesesteak in Kansas City, Kansas. He sells groceries too.


Dennis Edwards was barely out of his teens, a young felon in Leavenworth Penitentiary, when he got a solid piece of advice from a fellow inmate and veteran Chicago mobster.

“His name was Joey Lombardo,” Edwards says. “He looked at me and said, ‘Kid, you’re too smart and too nice to be in a place like this. You need to get out of here and stay out.’”

The problem, Edwards says, was that he didn’t know what he wanted to do when he was finally released from prison after 13 years.

“I’m a very good mechanic. I can do that,” he says. “But my only other skill was working in my father’s grocery store, and he had closed that down.”

The two-story building that formerly housed the family store was still standing at 81 North Mill in Kansas City, Kansas. Edwards’ father, Cedric “Walkie Talkie” Edwards, was living on the second floor, in the big apartment where he had raised his four sons. However, the first-floor grocery store, which the senior Edwards operated from 1959 to 1985, was filled with junk.

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Friday, September 5, 2014

Nicolette Foster leaving Baked in Kansas City for Parisi Artisan Coffee

Posted By on Fri, Sep 5, 2014 at 4:21 PM



Pastry chef Nicolette Foster -- a veteran of the Michael Smith Restaurant and, more recently, Baked in Kansas City -- is moving to a new job as executive pastry chef for Parisi Coffee. - ASHFORD STAMPER
  • Ashford Stamper
  • Pastry chef Nicolette Foster -- a veteran of the Michael Smith Restaurant and, more recently, Baked in Kansas City -- is moving to a new job as executive pastry chef for Parisi Coffee.


Nicolette Foster has given her notice at Baked in Kansas City, the nine-month-old bakery and restaurant at 706 Westport Road (reviewed here). The talented young pastry chef starts a new job — executive pastry chef for Parisi Artisan Coffee — on September 15.

"I learned a lot at Baked in Kansas City," Foster says. "It was an amazing opportunity to be part of a new venture from the ground up. But after 14 months, I was ready to move on to the next level of my career. I have great respect for the Paris brothers and what they have done with the Parisi Cafés."

Foster takes over Parisi's bakery operation, which produces a line of freshly baked croissants, scones, cinnamon rolls and bagels for the two Parisi Cafés in the metro, inside Union Station and in Leawood.

"It's an awesome company," Foster says. "I can't wait to start."

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Corner Restaurant has one owner, a new chef

Posted By on Tue, Sep 2, 2014 at 1:02 PM

The Corner Restaurant has had three chefs in the kitchen since opening last year; the newest is former Webster House sous chef Stephanie Dumler. - ANGELA C. BOND
  • Angela C. Bond
  • The Corner Restaurant has had three chefs in the kitchen since opening last year; the newest is former Webster House sous chef Stephanie Dumler.

Ten months ago, the Corner Restaurant in Westport had a new chef, Mickey Priolo, and two owners: Dawn Slaughter and Michael Pfeifer. Flash-forward to today and Pfeifer is gone (Slaughter purchased his interest in the venue several months ago), and this is the first day of work for the restaurant's newest chef, Stephanie Dumler.

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Friday, August 29, 2014

KCUR's restaurant critics have a last supper in the old format

Posted By on Fri, Aug 29, 2014 at 8:21 AM

The late Walt Bodine loved discussing chili and chocolate malts during his tenure at KCUR 89.3, but the city's culinary palate has changed and, starting next week, so will the culinary discussions on Central Standard.
  • The late Walt Bodine loved discussing chili and chocolate malts during his tenure at KCUR 89.3, but the city's culinary palate has changed and, starting next week, so will the culinary discussions on Central Standard.

Back in the mid-1980s, I was invited on KCUR 89.3's Walt Bodine Show to discuss restaurants with a panel of local food writers including, at that time, the late Larry "Fats" Goldberg and KCMO's chatty Bobbi Marx (a total pro — I was entranced by her), restaurateur Lou Jane Temple, Squire columnist Johanna Hall, then-Pitch columnist Kathy Hale (and later, her successor, Jane Berkowitz) and John Martellaro, then of The Kansas City Star. In those early days, the food-critics show was an occasional feature of veteran broadcaster Bodine's schedule, maybe once every six weeks or so.

The panel didn't change so frequently over the years, but in the last decade of Walt Bodine's tenure at KCUR, it became a more frequent staple in his lineup: first, once a month, then every other Friday. For most of the last decade, the panel has included me, Christine Becicka, Mary Bloch, and Gloria Gale. Food writer and culinary entrepreneur Emily Farris joined the panel nearly two years ago, discussing new restaurants and taking phone calls from listeners.

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