Now’s the time to mark your calendars for this year’s Restaurant Week. The dates are January 17-26, and more than 125 restaurants are participating. At lunch two courses will be served for $15 and at dinner you can enjoy three for $33. Diners will have a choice of several appetizers, entrees and desserts, but be forewarned that it will be a limited menu. Check out Restaurant Week’s website where most restaurants have posted the menu they will be serving. Restaurants typically offer a combination of dishes that are normally featured and some that have been created just for this event. This is a terrific way for restaurants to promote themselves and for diners to try a restaurant that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford (or several, judging from the way in which some diners attack the Week, trying one or two a day to take advantage of the great offers).
As in past years, I was asked to make the rounds and try three of the RW menus. My first assignment was the original La Bodega on Southwest Blvd. The dinner menu offers 4 tapas from an extensive list (but not the complete menu that is typically available) and dessert for $33. Considering the portion size, this is a great deal, and if you share around the table as tapas are meant to be, you can enjoy a wide variety of dishes. My husband and I had crostini with goat cheese, fig coulis and red pepper, sautéed squid with yellow rice, sautéed mushrooms, shrimp scampi, potatas bravas, and chicken and chorizo kabobs. All of them were flavorful and satisfying, and I was happy for the reminder to visit this long-loved restaurant on a more frequent basis.
I was also asked to preview the Pig and Finch RW menu and it was a real treat. Chef John Smith, who has opened 801 Chophouse and The Jacobson, and has worked in an impressive array of restaurants in New York and Chicago, is at the helm. Smith is a fun and interesting guy with many a story to tell, all with a twinkle in his eye. And what he’s whipping up in the kitchen is a reflection of his Southern background as well as his passion for global cuisine.
Most of the dishes offered for Restaurant Week are ones that the restaurant’s regular patrons are familiar with, though there are a few additions.
We enjoyed roasted tomato soup, butternut squash and kale salad, espresso rubbed pork shoulder and oven roasted farm hen. The meal was capped off by a citrusy twist on the traditional creme caramel.
You can feel good about overindulging because 10% of the price of each meal will be donated to this year’s beneficiaries, Harvesters: The Community Food Network, Kansas City Regional Destination Development Foundation and The Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.
Stay tuned for my preview of Rosso, the restaurant in the new Hotel Sorella…