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Question on Cut of the Week at Charlie Palmer's

This looks like an awesome deal for a good restaurant, but wanted to know if the entire table has to order the Cut of the Week deal? We are planning a dinner out with at least 6 and I know not everyone will want whatever the cut of the week is that week. Anyone had experience with this? Thanks!

Nov 20, 2012
tarein in Las Vegas

Omaha - Non-chain, Small Child Friendly Restaurant

We are trekking to Omaha from KC for a couple of days to visit the zoo and go to an Omaha Royals game and are looking for a good kid friendly restaurant - preferably not a chain. We are staying in Council Bluffs at the Springhill Suites (near Bass Pro), but are willing to drive for somthing fun. Any good ideas? Thanks!

Jul 13, 2010
tarein in Great Plains

En Chamas in KC?

Brunch is very good. They serve a pretty good variety of meat, including a couple of decent beef cuts. But the very best thing is the ham with brown sugar roasted pinapple. Yum. The non-meat brunch items are pretty good, too, but its the meat that makes the meal.

Dec 15, 2009
tarein in Great Plains

Napa Valley Trip Report

I asked a lot of questions before our recent trip to Napa Valley, so wanted to report back on our experiences.

First night we had reservations at Ad Hoc, but were not crazy about the menu (lamb) so we walked in to Bottega. Even though it was a Friday night and they were booked solid, we got an immediate table on the patio. It was a chilly night, but we sat right near the fireplace and next to an outdoor heater, so were plenty warm. The service was a little rushed, but the food was great. Our table tried a number of the specialties, including the heavenly light ricotta gnocchi and the seasonal gnocchi with duck and butternut squash. The two types of gnocchi were very different, but each was very good. The ricotta gnocchi was melt-in-your mouth tender, with a light, fresh tomato basil sauce. The seasonal gnocchi was much hardier, but still had a great texture and the flavors of the duck and butternut squash went really well with the dish. We also tried the short ribs (an old favorite from when Chiarello was at Tra Vigne) and they were excellent as expected. Chiarello was walking around the restaurant talking to tables all night. I'd heard mixed reviews on the restaurant, but we would definitely go back.

The next night we ate a Redd. During our wine tasting that day two separate people had described the restaurant as very good but "sterile." I think that is a good description, with the plain white walls, unadorned tables and austere attitude of the servers. The food, however, made up for the lack of warmth in the surroundings. We started with the glazed pork belly, the tuna tartare and the calamari. The calamari were good, if not especially original. The tuna tartare was outstanding - the asian pears gave it a great level of sweetness balanced by the heat of the chili oil. The pork belly was very good as well, if a little too rich for my personal taste. For entrees we had the sole, the skate and the shortribs. When we first were seated, our waiter told us they were out of shortribs, but we he came to take our order told us the shortribs were again available because the chef was "over his snit" or something similar. Not sure what that was all about, but we found it very funny. The shortribs were at least as good if not a little better than Bottega's (and that's saying something). The sole was delicious as well - very light, perfectly cooked, with a nice sweetness from the coconut milk broth. The skate was a nice fall dish with butternut squash and brussel sprouts. All in all an excellent meal.

On our final night, we ate at Bistro Jeanty. I don't have a detailed memory of what we had, but the food was good, hearty French bistro fare. As I believe I've seen mentioned elsewhere, it was nothing really original, but it was well done and the restaurant was warm and cozy on a chilly evening.

We were sorry to miss Ad Hoc and will have to make another trip back to try it and the many other great restaurants in the area. I appreciate this board for helping us make some decisions as to where to eat - we would not have tried Redd without some of the recommendations here.

Dec 10, 2009
tarein in San Francisco Bay Area

Goin' to Kansas City

LaBodega is still very good. Extra Virgin (19th and Main) has really nice tapas - a little more adventurous than LaBodega, good drinks and great happy hour specials M-F. 1924 Main (located just where you would think from the name) has a really resonably priced 3 course dinner (3 course for $25), great food and also has well-made cocktails - if you go there, be sure to start off with their fried green beans - so yummy! The Power and Light District (very easy walk from your location) is new (or mostly new) since 2007 and has plenty of places for decent cocktails, but the food is mostly chain-restaurant and not outstanding. One exception is the Bristol - very good seafood, also has some good happy hour specials.

Dec 04, 2009
tarein in Great Plains

Ad Hoc Substitutions - Any Experience?

Has anyone had experience asking for substitutions at Ad Hoc? We have reservations tomorrow night and one member of our party has some allergies (including shellfish). Today's menu includes a shrimp salad. If we were eating there tonight, could we ask for a different salad for one diner? Thanks!

Ad Hoc
6476 Washington St., Yountville, CA 94599

Nov 12, 2009
tarein in San Francisco Bay Area

Reservations/Walk In at Bottega

We are going to be in the Napa area for three nights and have reservations two of the nights to Ad Hoc and Redd. We would like to try Bottega for the third night (a Sunday) but have had no luck getting a reservation. Does anyone know if they have walk-in seating available or if they have a high probability of cancellations? We would also be happy to eat at the bar if that seems like a feasible option (we are a party of 4).

I know there are lots of other options in the area, but one of our group has a particularly fond memory of the short ribs at Tre Vigne when Chiarello was there and wants to try Bottega.

Ad Hoc
6476 Washington St., Yountville, CA 94599

6525 Washington Street Suite A9, Yountville, CA 94599

Nov 04, 2009
tarein in San Francisco Bay Area

J Bubble Room

We are looking at spending a day in the Healdsburg area in November and one of our group really wants to visit J. The Bubble Room tasting looks interesting, but it is hard to tell from the website what the experience actually entails and I can't find anything on searching this site. We do like both Pinots and sparkling. Has anyone been there recently? Is the tasting and the food worth the $60? Is it enough food for lunch or just small tastings?

We visited J a few years ago, but I only recall them having small bites of food, so it looks like the concept has changed.

Oct 24, 2009
tarein in San Francisco Bay Area

Healdsburg recommendations

Thanks for all of the replies - it is really helpful to hear about personal experience with the drive. Things always look easier when you are just looking at a map! We will save dinner in Healdsburg for another trip.

Oct 20, 2009
tarein in San Francisco Bay Area

Healdsburg recommendations

We are going to be in sine country for three nights in November. We are staying in the Carneros region, so will be close to both Napa and Sonoma. We already have reservations for two of the nights at Redd and Ad Hoc. Our dilemma is whether it is worth the drive to spend all or part of a day in the Healdsburg area. On the plus side of the trip is that we are pinot noir lovers and would really enjoy all of the great wines in that area. Plus we would love to try Dry Creek Kitchen or Cyrus. But if we spend an afternoon tasting and have an early dinner, are we going to regret the long drive back to our accommodations? We are staying at a private cottage and relocating for the night is not an option.

Oct 19, 2009
tarein in San Francisco Bay Area

Fun / funky / celebratory in KC (north)

Choices in KC (north) are limited, so if you are looking for something that is not a chain, I would venture toward downtown - its a quick drive from Gladstone.

My favorite choice for a fun, casual night out is La Bodega. Its on the south side of downtown on Southwest Boulevard. It has really fun tapas, so the table can order a bunch of plates of things to share and while it can get pricey if you order too many things, you can easily stay under $20/person without alcohol. The restaurant itself has a funky decor and vibe. And they take reservations - always a plus.

Question about scheduling wine tastings in Napa - do you need a reservation everywhere?

Last time we were in Napa (5 or so years ago) most places did not seem to require reservations, but it appears that most of the wineries we are interested in do require reservations now. We will make reservations at the places that are "must visits" for us, but if we end up with some extra time or drive by someplace that looks interesting, can we get in without a reservation? Are there wineries that don't require reservations? We are going in mid-November, so it should be a less-busy time, if that makes a difference.

Oct 09, 2009
tarein in San Francisco Bay Area

Staying by Oakland Airport - any decent restaurants close?

Thanks for all of the suggestions. Cesar, Barlata and Marzano all sound like great options for what we want. Angelfish sounds fabulous as well, but we have a non-sushi eater with us, so will have to save that for a different trip.

Aug 28, 2009
tarein in San Francisco Bay Area

Staying by Oakland Airport - any decent restaurants close?

On our return from a few days in Napa, we are spending one night close to the Oakland airport for a very early flight the next morning. Wondering if there are any worthwhile restaurants nearby or if we are better of either driving into SF or eating one last meal in Napa before heading down. Since its the end of our trip, we will probably be looking for something lighter (tapas, maybe) but still want tasty, well-prepared food. Not interested in Chez Panisse on this trip. Thanks!

Aug 27, 2009
tarein in San Francisco Bay Area

Kansas City/Parkville - breakfast, lunch, drinks/music recs?

Parkville has quite a few fun, funky shops - antiques, furnishings, clothing. Best restaurant in Parkville is Cafe Des Amis, by far - very good French food, cozy atmosphere and great deck. They do lunch and dinner - lunch is a good way to get in the "fine dining" experience without spending too much money. If you are wine drinkers, check out Wines by Jennifer, just up the street from Cafe Des Amis. They have lots of fun wines and do a wine tasting all the time for about $10 - usually they pour 5 to 6 wines. They also have wine by the glass and light cheese platters, etc. - you can sit on the deck or the front porch. They also have art showings.

If you are looking for funky stores and art, check out the Crossroads district. On the south side of downtown, the district has lots of art galleries and interesting stores, as well as a few good restaurants. For dinner, 1924 Main does a great, very reasonable fixed price menu - I think its 3 course for $25 or $30 And while it may not be quite the fine dining experience that bluestem is, I think the food is outstanding. Pizza Bella has really good pizza and great appetizers. Extra Virgin is a great spot for tapas, with really interesting selections and a good happy hour (1/2 price tapas, good drink specials) - and if you go for lunch on Friday, the happy hour prices apply. Lulu's is in the same general area and is good, but not something special that I would go out of my way for.

The market is great on Saturday mornings, but more fun if you are looking to buy produce. I highly recommend Succotash in the market for breakfast - it is very funky and the service may be a bit slow, but their pear pancakes are awesome.

Have fun in KC!

Inn at Red Hills/Farm to Fork

We are planning a trip to the McMinnville/Dundee area for some wine tasting and are interested in the new Inn at Red Hills and attached restaurant, Farm to Fork in Dundee. Its so new, there is very little information on it available. Has anyone been and if so, how is the property and the food? Last time we made the trip and stayed at the Black Walnut Inn, which we loved, but would be willing to try something new if it was worth it.

I also read something about the Allison Inn in Newberg. I don't believe it has opened yet, but wondered if there is any advance word on the locations.

Aug 24, 2009
tarein in Pacific Northwest

Napa trip - seeking off-the-beaten-track wineries with good reds

We are spending three days in Napa. We've been a couple of times before, but have visited mostly the more well-known wineries on the main drag. We'd really like to try some smaller, more boutique wineries with good reds, but preferably reds other than Cabs (we tend to like Zinfindels and Syrahs, as well as Pinot Noirs). Wineries with limited distribution and some reasonable wines (less than $50) a plus. Which wineries do you recommend? Thanks in advance.

Aug 24, 2009
tarein in San Francisco Bay Area

Where would you eat in Yountville area?

We are going to be staying in the Yountville area for 3 nights. One night we plan to go to Bottega (understand the mixed reviews, but as huge fans of Tra Vigne from way back when, we want to give it a try). We need good locations for the other two nights. No chance we'll get reservations at FL. Ad Hoc is certainly in the mix, but my SO is a somewhat picky eater, so much depends on the menu. We would like to stay in Yountville one of the nights and are considering Bistro Jeanty, Bouchon or Redd. For the other night, we plan to venture further out, but want something a little lighter. How is ZuZu in Napa? Anyplace else with tapas/small plates that rates a visit in the area? Or other tasty, lighter fare (but no sushi - picky eater issue again). Thanks.

Aug 19, 2009
tarein in San Francisco Bay Area

Kansas City Brunch

Tomfooleries is family friendly, but the brunch is mediocre. Nick and Jake's (Hwy 9 and 45 in Parkville) does a nice brunch buffet. If you want to order off a menu instead of a buffett, Mimi's food is pretty good (it's next to Granite City at Zona Rosa).

Tommy T's in Parkville, MO (KC)

Has anyone eaten at Tommy T's in Parkville, MO? Its a burger and shake joint in an old railroad car. Looks like it might be fun for the kids, but only if the food is decent, so wanted to get some opinions before we tried it out. Thanks!

KC - Wine Shops

Its a little out of your neighborhood, but Red X in Riverside is well worth the drive. They have a great selection (lots of non-California choices) and the best prices in town by far (better than even Sam's or Costco). It is a very funky liquor store/grocery store/tobacco shop/hardware store and certainly nothing to look at, but it really can't be beat for wine. And if you are looking for something in particular that they don't carry, they will order it for you.

restaurants in Vegas - where to go to eat at the bar?

A friend and I are spending a weekend in Vegas in February, staying at the Palazzo. We'd like to try a couple of really good restaurants, but prefer to eat at the bar and have a couple of starters or maybe split an entree and dessert rather than eat a full meal. What restaurants are best for our style of eating? Not too interested in steak, but other than that we are pretty open to any type of cuisine.

Jan 01, 2009
tarein in Southwest

KC First Night - where to eat

1924 Main. Really great fixed price menu and close to all of the galleries. In my view, much better than Michael Smith.

Looking for some Chow Advice in Missouri!!!

Unfortunately, in Blue Springs you are very limited in non-chain choices. Of the choices you list, I would go for Garozzo's. Its local, red-sauce Italian that is generally very good. Huge portions. They are known for their chicken spiedini, which is a breaded, grilled chicken on a stick dish (its better than that description sounds). One caveat - I have eaten at the original location downtown many times, but have never eaten at the Blue Springs location - but I hear all of their locations are generally good.

Carrabbas is a not-good chain. Hereford House is a local steak-house chain, but in my opinion the food is no better than Outback. Don't know anything about Siki Japanese.

Kid Friendly Food in Encinitas Area

Thanks for the breakfast recommendations - all of those restaurants looks great! Can't wait to try them out. . .

Jul 24, 2008
tarein in San Diego

Kid Friendly Food in Encinitas Area

We will be in Encinitas with our two kids, ages 2 and 5, for a week and are looking for some good, kid-friendly restaurants. I've looked through the board and already come up with Today's Pizza, Bety's and Russo's Pasta shop as possibilities, but any good suggestions for other (non-chain) family friendly places? What about good breakfast places? We are renting a house near Moonlight Beach, so any suggestions in walking distance of that location would be great as well. Thanks.

Jul 24, 2008
tarein in San Diego

Kansas City - Places for Bridal Shower

The Intercontinental does a nice afternoon tea on Saturdays - I've been to a few showers there that were lovely.

KC - Rehearsal Dinner for 30?

1924 Main has a great private wine room that holds 30 or so. Awesome food, a little less "formal" than Starkers if your guests don't mind driving downtown.