Dr. John L. Bean and his wife Marsha couldn’t have named Belvoir Winery any more aptly. Belvoir is French for “beautiful view,” and, with 170 lush, vibrant acres to its name, Belvoir Winery certainly doesn’t disappoint. Once a hub for the historic Odd Fellows, the estate now blooms with the vineyards planted by Dr. Bean more than 15 years ago. Vines ripe with golden muscat, chambourcin, and vingnoles grapes anchor the winery’s six signature vinos, which include the floral semi-dry Plumeria and the Lucky Pierre, a sweet red dessert wine. The winery’s newly renovated interior unfolds across five luxurious event spaces, an ornate tasting bar, and a cozy ice-cream shop that overlook the property’s towering 100-year-old trees and stunning marble gazebo. No stranger to supernatural happenings, Belvoir also hosts monthly investigations of its grounds with the Paranormal Research Investigators, a local troupe of ghost hunters also trained in the art of summoning lost car keys.
Chef Peter Grünauer rolls his apple-strudel dough thin enough to literally read a newspaper through one of its layers. This loyalty to the traditional, time-intensive methods of preparing Austrian and continental European fare can be tasted in all of the dishes at Grünauer’s restaurant, which he runs with his children Nicholas and Elisabeth. They modeled their eatery after the one their family operates in Vienna, which is why the Kansas City restaurant evokes the Old World with its brick walls and exposed overhead beams. Yet it also exudes local flavor by nestling inside a historic freight house decorated with chandeliers and mirrors.
For an authentic menu, the Grünauers rely on the expertise Chef Peter gained while owning renowned New York restaurants Vienna '79 and Fledermaus as well as meats, such as wienerschnitzel and smoked pork loin, purchased from New York–based Schaller & Weber or from local butchers. Whether the entree is a classic bratwurst or a more adventurous pale ale braised bratwurst, the generous portions cause diners to undo the top button or padlock holding their pants together.
For a sweet end to the evening, diners can savor the aforementioned apple strudel with its paper-thin layers of dough or sink their forks into the chocolate and fresh cream of a viennese sacher torte. A cherry-red espresso machine yields steaming cups of coffee by Viennese roaster Julius Meinl to accompany sweets, which guests enjoy in the dining room or on the biergarten. There, amid potted flowers and with a view of the downtown skyline, guests sip Austrian beer and wines such as Eggenberg doppelbock and Samichlaus helles, which the restaurant’s Wunderbar pours until 1 a.m. or when the moon starts snoring.
A family-owned eatery passed down through several generations, The Beacon Tavern fits right in with the historic neighborhood it resides in. The tavern's owners and proprietors, all of whom still live nearby, emphasize that close-knit atmosphere as they serve recipes made from scratch and meats hand cut on site.
Aromas from double-cut pork chops, north-atlantic salmon, and pale-ale-battered cod fill the air as 16 draft beers and a lengthy selection of reds and whites dazzles palates. A kids' menu keeps energetic youngsters occupied with built-in games and helpful tips for convincing parents why they should be emancipated.
The tavern's main dining room accents steaming plates of food with exposed brick walls and tall wooden booths. In warm weather, The Alley seating area features alfresco dining with sights of the South Plaza neighborhood and mischievous birds dropping gum into the hair of passersby. Meanwhile, parties and meetings convene in the upstairs Monk’s Loft area.
Quality Hill Playhouse parts its curtains through October 23 for Noël and Gertie, devised by Sheridan Morley and featuring the words and music of Noël Coward. One of six musicals and cabaret revues the theater puts on annually, Noël and Gertie is based on Coward's own diaries and musical compositions and delves into the friendship of two former stage personalities, Noël Coward (Robert Gibby Brand) and Gertrude Lawrence (Melinda MacDonald). The witty and occasionally heartfelt performance celebrates the fun and sophistication of the roaring '20s without the drawback of state-mandated lessons to learn the Charleston. Quality Hill Playhouse's intimate 153-seat theater ensures patrons don't miss a single sight or sound, and the newly renovated lobby bristles with casual elegance. Multiple performances take to the stage each week in order to accommodate busy schedules and revisit important plot points for forgetful goldfish.
Nestled in the Crossroads Arts District, Tannin Wine Bar & Kitchen sates sophisticated palates with seasonal, contemporary-American cuisine and an eclectic selection of voluptuous vinos from around the world. Midday grape guzzlers can indulge taste buds with a lunch menu boasting a savory selection of gourmet portobello, pork, and strip-steak sandwiches ($8–$11). For dinner, indulge in a selection of pre-meal cheeses that include drunken goat, port-salut, and jokes told by the waiter's uncle on Christmas ($6/individual, $15/choice of three). Diners can savor the aromatics rising from a piping plate of seared ahi tuna served with wasabi mashed potatoes and tempura asparagus ($26), or sink knives into a grilled pork chop served with a three-veggie succotash and golden-potato hash ($23). A stalwart array of cutlery helps guests plot the epic four-course tasting menu that can be paired with a selection of wines or a tiny pair of wind-up chattering teeth ($38/person).
As UMKC’s resident theater company, Kansas City Repertory Theatre performs professional-grade productions under its nationally lauded artistic director, Eric Rosen. This season’s theatrical selection features the musical classic Cabaret, alongside the thought-provoking, one-man show Another American: Asking and Telling, the Obie-award-winning comedy Circle Mirror Transformation, and the famously “impossible to produce” adventure Peer Gynt. Check the regular season showtimes and seating charts to plan your visit; call to reserve your tickets all at once, or schedule your trips separately, in accordance with your celestial horoscope.