Wednesday, January 27, 2010

KC Restaurant Week according to Faith & Leo

We're about halfway through KC Restaurant Week, and Leo and I have managed to visit 3 restaurants so far. Here's my rundown up to this point:

Marina Grog & Galley (Lake Lotawana): We went there on Friday night to kick off the whole Restaurant Week experience. Ok, first off, if you've never been out to Lake Lotawana, and need to find your way around there in the dark, do not count on being able to read the street signs to get around. Apparently, they left the choice of print on them up to a mental giant who decided that super-reflective paint that you can't read in any way, shape, or form when either headlights are shining on it or when it's dark around it was the way to go. So we just kind of got off the freeway when we saw a sign that said "Lake Lotawana: Next Left", and then drove around based loosely on my boss's directions once we got into town. (He lives out there.) We still had to pull in to the little market down the street from the lake to find out where to turn for the restaurant. They were able to point us in the right direction, and we finally got there just in time for our reservation. It was a good thing I was moving kind of slow in our search for the proper streets because just as I was thinking about it being a perfect area for deer to be crossing roads left and right, a doe leaped out in front of the car, and moseyed across the street as if on cue. ("Release the deer.") Awesome!

Dinner was lovely, and ridiculously plentiful for the $30 each we were paying. We're really looking forward to heading back out there in the spring/summer to sit on their huge deck, and enjoy the views out over the lake during the evening hours. It seems like a place to order a steak, IMO. Although Leo had their scallop offering, and really enjoyed it. I had their pork fillets wrapped in bacon, and glazed with a hoisin sauce, and it was really yummy. The food came out of the kitchen a little slower than I usually like when I go out, but since it was a Friday, and we were enjoying our wine, we just dealt with it and enjoyed the muzak that was playing. (Ok, I might've been making fun of some of the other patrons in the place at the same time. What do you want? It IS me we're talking about here! Gotta entertain myself somehow...)

J. Gilbert's: I made Sunday night reservations for J. Gilbert's, and the restaurant was pretty bustling for a Sunday, if you ask me. I chose this for one of our Restaurant Week visits because it's relatively close to home, and they have pretty damned good food. I also love the ambience in there...its totally my kind of place. Sunday night, they were offering $10 off bottles of wine, so that was a nice surprise. I don't know if that's something they do every Sunday, or not. So don't hold me to it! I can't find a happy hour menu online, so I can't be sure. They have a pretty decent wine list, though, so even if it isn't a $10 off night, you can surely find something that will suit your taste in a decent price range. I had a petit filet and salmon, and Leo had the shortribs, which looked delicious. He said he could have drank a glass of the sauce that was on them, it was so good. Unfortunately, we'd both had a late lunch, and were relatively full after the first course, so we wound up taking most of our entrees home with us. That left room for me to devour the chocolate velvet cake, and Leo was able to polish off the bread pudding he ordered. Both were effing delicious. My steak, by the way, was perfectly cooked, of course. I don't eat steak very often, so when I order it, I love for it to be as perfect as that. They really know their shit at J. Gilbert's, so if it's steak you want in an old timey, wood and stone surrounded environment, that's definitely the place you should head. We'll be back there soon ourselves, I'm betting.

Cafe Trio: Last night, we headed out to Cafe Trio for dinner. I've always wanted to try the place, ever since it was in it's old location. Now that it's located on Main, right off the Plaza, it's even better, IMO! A couple weeks back, we met a girl through a friend of ours who is a waitress there, and she told us to ask for her section, which was why we went on what I'd generally consider to be an "off" night for heading out. Yeah, not at Cafe Trio! Our reservations were at 6:30, and while we were able to find parking without too much trouble, it filled up soon after we arrived. (The restaurant has vallet parking for $5, if you'd prefer to take advantage of that.) Our friend was serving in the bar, so we had a table in there, which was...ok. The table was a bit small, in Leo's opinion. I didn't find it to be too much of a problem, personally. But the noise and proximity to the door weren't my favorite part of the evening. Still, it wasn't bad enough to ruin our experience, by any means. And our server (Cara) was awesome, so that helped, too!

I was excited about one thing, and one thing only when it came to their Restaurant Week menu: the osso bucco. I fucking LOOOVE osso bucco, and it's made even better when I'm not the one that has to cook it! (Confession: I've only had osso bucco one other time prior to last night, and it was homemade in my oven. It was delicious, but now that I know how it's really supposed to taste and stuff, I can do WAY better.) For my appetizer, I started with their spinach and artichoke dip, which was the best I've ever had, to be honest. Huge chunks of artichoke heart and a really delicious cheese sauce made it tip top, in my book. (Another confession: I've only ever had "spin" dip in one other place, and that was at the Blue Moose in P.V. Since I've only been eating dairy again for the last year, I haven't really been wasting my dairy-eating on shit like spin dip. There are better dairy options to spend those calories on, IMO! Like really good cheese from the cheese case at Whole Foods. And Dove ice cream. Hells. YES.) The osso bucco was absolutely wonderful, although I wish that there were more shanks in my dish, so I could have had more opportunities to dig out some marrow. The one shank that is served in the dish is still absolutely fabulous, so I really can't complain. Again, Leo and I were unable to finish everything we were served, so we brought leftovers home. I can't wait to dig into mine tomorrow morning for breakfast! (Another confession: I like to eat some relatively weird stuff for breakfast. This could explain a lot of my fat ass, but I'm not likely to start eating oatmeal for breakfast anytime soon...sorry.) We will definitely be heading back to Cafe Trio soon, so we can try other things on their menu like the yummy smelling pizzas, and the delicious-sounding monk fish entree they have.

All in all, it's been a successful week. We never, EVER go out this much, so it's been a bit weird in that regard. We don't have reservations for anyplace else, specifically, but I would like to hit Blanc for their lunch menu on Saturday or Sunday, if we can. Thursday night, we'll be at the Blue Moose in P.V. for the blogger meetup (didja know there was one happening there? Because there is!), so we might just eat off of their Restaurant Week menu, too. It's all for a good cause, so why not?

Where have you been for Restaurant Week? Have you enjoyed your experiences so far?


faithstwin said...

Just post the clown, would ya? =P

It all sounds amazing and I am wildly jealous.

Layla said...

My boss also lives out at Lake Lotawana and LOVES that restaurant. Took his admin and her husband there for dinner one night, they were also big fans. I've been wanting to get out there myself, so good to know about planning directions for night time travel.

Everything sounds super yummy!... OK, now I'm hungry, damn it...

Faith said...

Oh, we had directions. I always print out directions for new places. Even if it's just in Brookside, or somethin'! But it was the inability to read the signs that caused the biggest problem. If you can't read the signs, then what use are the directions???

Now, had Leo not had his Nuvi stolen out of his car last spring, we would have been fine. But...::shrugs::

Anonymous said...

We've hit up Houlihan's, J. Gilbert's and tomorrow it's Prime Rib Grill. J. Gilbert's chocolate velvet cake was so good I felt like I was cheating on my husband.