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.
For more than 20 years, the chefs at Spirit's Restaurant have been serving up cuisine to match their patriotic location, tucked inside the American Inn. The chefs offer a menu of hamburgers, sandwiches, and hearty entrees such as fried chicken and lasagna. But if you can't choose just one dish from this spread of classic American eats, opt for the buffet. Offered seven days a week, the chefs stock buffet trays with enough comfort food to feed armies of customers all day, every day, excepting, of course, the hours that they're closed or find themselves mysteriously transported to an alternate dimension.
Amidst dazzling décor imported from Egypt, Sahara Sheesha Lounge's handmade Egyptian hookahs billow out wafts of premium flavored tobacco from Al Fakher, Star Buzz, and the lounge's own hand-crafted blends. Amid handmade rugs and bamboo chairs, spacious couches cushion customers as they pair their puffs of flavored smoke with sips of tea, fresh fruit juices, and smoothies. The lounge also boasts a large projection-screen television for communal entertainment and eschews the greatest yodeling hits in favor of authentic midwestern music.
Surfboards hang from the ceiling alongside hammock-like netting to create a beachy atmosphere inside the landlocked Shark Bar. Patrons cluster around colorful bench-style seats or high-top tables to sip refreshing island drinks, such as rumrunners and the signature Beach Pail punch. Wait staff dressed as lifeguards mix drinks behind a wood-slatted bar adorned with a giant flip-flop left behind after Paul Bunyan's 21st birthday party. At night, disco balls illuminate and black lights transform the bar into a neon dance floor with a soundtrack set by in-house DJs.
Born of a union between Sports Radio 810 WHB and the restaurateurs at KC Hopps, Ltd., 810 Zone marries sports spectatorship with scrumptious sandwiches, burgers, and Kansas City barbecue. Gamblers can down a grilled salmon club at the Harrah's casino location or enjoy pizza at the Lee's Summit Zone, before a trip to the tables or before trying to pass off burgers as poker chips.
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.