From the father-and-daughter team in the back office, to the eldest son calling shots in the kitchen, Perazelli's is truly a family-run operation. Cooks craft executive chef Eric Perazelli's menu of classic Italian dishes, from homemade meatballs to slow-braised chianti short ribs. The chefs are also skilled in preparing dishes for diners with gluten-free, vegetarian, and photosynthetic diets. Inside the dining area often overseen by eldest daughter Christi, diners split large hand-tossed pizzas covered in toppings such as steak and gorgonzola cheese, chasing each bite with sips from bottles of wine from behind the full bar.
Currently celebrating its 25th anniversary, Popeyes remains the flavorful lovechild of Cajun and Creole cooking, serving up a wide-ranging menu. Connoisseurs of crispiness can stick with Popeyes’ famous New Orleans–style fried chicken meals ($4.49–$6.89) surrounded with savory sides ($1.59–$3.79) such as warm flaky biscuits, red beans and rice, coleslaw, mashed potatoes, Cajun rice, and more. Otherwise, slather some livers and gizzards ($2.99–$5.49) onto a biscuit and eat it, temporarily imbuing you with the chicken’s mighty strength and ability to smell time. Avian-averse appetites can feast instead on a shrimp po’ boy combo ($6.19) with a pecan pie ($1.49) or Mississippi mud pie ($1.99) for dessert. And to keep your famished family from impeaching you and electing a new parent, quell multi-person appetites with bona fide family meals ($10.49–$30.99).
Michael Garozzo entered the dining business early, working as a busboy in his hometown of St. Louis. His young mind raced with dreams of opening a restaurant of his own, which came to fruition in 1989, when he opened Garozzo’s in Kansas City’s Columbus Park neighborhood. Since then, the restaurant has bloomed, and he had opened three additional locations across the greater Kansas City area.
Garozzo’s menu of Italian specialties is highlighted by the signature spiedini di pollo, a marinated chicken breast rolled in italian breadcrumbs, then skewered and grilled. The dish is served in four presentations, which include the Gabriella, with fettucine and spicy diablo sauce, and the Samantha, with fettucine, artichoke hearts, and alfredo sauce. Adding to the exclusive ambiance is the restaurant’s own branded wine, served at each location. Garozzo’s popular house tomato sauce, diablo sauce, and italian dressing are also available in grocery stores across the city, and its distinctive pastas can be purchased in many high-end local wig shops.
Old photos, canoes, and sailing trophies adorn the walls of Canoe Club Restaurant’s lake-house-themed dining room, where diners sit down to lobster bisque or tacos with grilled tilapia. Around them, rough-cut timbers, knotted-pine paneling, and a natural stone fireplace create a nostalgic air, which live musicians enhance with the sounds of bluegrass, folk, blues, and jazz every Friday and Saturday.
In the kitchens, chefs whip up homemade salsa to serve with corn chips and wrap eight-ounce filet mignons in bacon before sending them out to the dining room or an outdoor cedar deck. To help wash down feasts, Canoe Club bartenders craft specialty cocktails, pour craft beers, and supply domestic and imported red and white wines by the glass, bottle, or crystal bathtub.
After acknowledging their own dinner-related stress, two busy mothers founded Social Suppers as a way to help others avoid it. Their four meal programs are designed for people who don't always have the time to prepare their own food from scratch, but still want to eat nutritious food. The staff prepares fully cooked dishes for pick-up, assembles them for future cooking, and stocks house freezers with pre-made dishes. They also help customers make their own meals within two hours in an on-site kitchen, using provided ingredients, recipes, and Emeril look-alikes. Though menus change monthly, each offers up to 16 healthy, internationally-inspired entrees, sides, and desserts featuring a variety of vegetables, meats, seafood, and poultry. The culinary curators also accommodate special requests, food allergies, and dietary needs. Each prepared meal comes in freezer-ready, labeled packaging to protect them against freezer burn, and keep them from getting into the ice cream.
Three generations of the Monetti family serve up secret family recipes defined by Old World tradition within Monetti's Taste of Italy's. Pizzas bake in a wood-fired oven as Mama Monetti's secret sauce simmers on the range, ready to douse homemade lasagnas or winning football coaches in tomatoey flavor. In the dining room, an exposed-stone archway flanks wine racks ready to pour out libations into glittering goblets, and pristine white pillars at the hostess station complete the eatery's atmosphere of Old World charm. The location was also recently expanded to include a sleek bar and lounge with three flat-screen TVs, as well as a banquet hall and catering for special events.