Quite possibly my favorite week of the year in Crown Town–Kansas City Restaurant Week. When Chad and I first moved to Kansas City, we determined that it was our mission to eat our way through our new city. We moved to KC in January, so it was perfect timing to kick off our exploration through this annual event. And we’ve been enjoying it every year since!
Kansas City Restaurant Week is a 10-day event (This year is January 10-19.) where you can dine at hundreds of local restaurants. This is the perfect way to try new places, visit those spots you’ve been dying to try, or to visit your favorites. No matter what you decide, you’re sure to have a great time, at a discounted price.
Each participating restaurant offers a special multicourse menu, all of either $15 for lunch or $35 for dinner. And often times, they will feature dishes that you can only get during this week, and some offer drink specials as well.
In addition, restaurants pledge to donate 10 percent of sales from each meal to benefit an annual charity partner and two founding beneficiaries. The 2020 charity partner is The Don Bosco Centers.
This year, I was fortunate enough to attend a preview event at Parkway Social on the Country Club Plaza. A few local bloggers and influencers got the opportunity to sample the menu, taste some wines from Platinum sponsor Robert Mondavi, and host a giveaway giving locals a chance to win a gift card to use for their own visit to Parkway. It was a great way to kick off the week, learn a little bit more about how the event impacts our community, and the eat lots of yummy food.
So now to my plans for the 2020 event…Chad and I have a rule to use this week to try restaurants that we’ve never visited. This year, I made three reservations at new-to-me spots.
First up was a girls night at Plate in Brookside. We met at 5:30 on a snowy Saturday night, and everything was perfect from the second we walked in the door to the careful walk to our cars on the frozen sidewalks. Plate was also offering their happy hour during this time, so we took advantage of their wine specials. All of us decided to order from the Restaurant Week menu (of course), and we each ordered different items. For my first course, I ordered the Italian salad. My second course, the main entrée was a faro dish. The menu had four main courses listed, all of which contained meat. I asked for one to be modified, and they came back with the offer to create a vegetarian dish, which was such a generous and lasting experience. I’m so glad I took them up on the offer, because it was exceptional! And finally, my dessert was the Trio, which was an incredible chocolate and caramel concoction that tasted like a creamy chocolate crusted Werther’s. Incredible.
Next was a Friday lunch date at Grand Street with a girlfriend. We were both had to return to work, so there were no cocktails or lingering conversations, but we enjoyed a quick and delicious visit. At most restaurants, the lunch menu is a two-course offering, as was the case here. I landed on the Arugula Salad and the Butternut Squash Ravioli, which was the perfect choice for a cold KC day. The ability to still enjoy a beautiful lunch when you’re in a rush on a workday is one of the best things about KC Restaurant Week.
My third and final visit was a date night at Lazia at the Crossroads hotel. The Crossroads Hotel is certainly a hot spot in our city. With its swanky, yet historic setting, it’s the place to be on any night of the week. We were seated at a table right by one of the two vaults in the building that belonged to Tom Pendergast, and this bank nerd was thrilled. We started with cocktails–a glass of Malbec for me and a Dual Intersect for Chad, which is the Crossroads collaboration beer with Double Shift Brewing. Although we were in for a filling meal, we took our server’s suggestion to start with an order of their arancini, and we were so glad we did. Between that and the complementary house-made focaccia, we were worried we might be too full to continue. But we didn’t worry for too long, because it was time to get started on our courses. For our first course, we ordered a Caesar Salad and House Salad and shared both. We had our respective favorite but agreed that both were fantastic. The second course was the entree, and we ordered the Artic Char and the Pomodoro and shared. Both were so flavorful, and we ate every single bite! And the final course–dessert, my favorite. We ordered both the Buttermilk Panna Cotta and the Tiramisu. And yes, we shared, but Chad always lets me have significantly more. These were so fabulous, but the tiramisu definitely stole the show for me. They make it in house, and it’s the best I’ve ever tasted. We finished our visit with craft cocktails at the XR Bar in the lobby. Everything from start to finish was exceptional!
So here are a few things you need to know about Kansas City Restaurant Week:
- You need reservations! These restaurants book up early and fast, so plan ahead and grab a spot.
- Use the KCRW app. It has all of the restaurants listed, you can add favorites, you can view the menus, and you can make reservations at most of the restaurants. One central location for everything you need to plan your week.
- Sometimes the menus online/on the app do not match the menu when you get to the restaurant. There are a lot of reasons for this, but the main one is that, because it is so popular, they run out of things and have to modify. Be patient, grant grace, and move on to another option.
- Follow KCRW on social media. They post updates, feature restaurants, and offer giveaways for many of the restaurants.
Did you get out and about for KC Restaurant Week this year? Where did you go?