For many steakhouses, the art of preparing a tantalizing cut of meat begins in a professional kitchen. But Plaza III The Steakhouse reaches back further, choosing cuts of meat from its own facilities where it ages corn-fed beef inside specialized lockers. Once the cuts reach the restaurant, they are displayed tableside or via limousine motorcade for prospective diners before the chefs char grill chosen selections. To complete the flavor profile, patrons need only peruse a wine list of more than 700 bottles.
This meticulous process of cultivation and presentation embodies the award-winning steakhouse's sophisticated approach to mealtime. Its menu spans ribs, chops, and seafood in addition to Prime aged steaks, and appetizers such as the hand-chopped tenderloin tartare—a dish lauded by Gayot as a "classic rendition … sprinkled with caviar."
Visitors bask in elegant dining rooms on two floors, which host live jazz and a dancing area on Saturday evenings. Parties of up to 64 guests can set up their fetes in private rooms, enjoying bacchanalias in the wine cellar and other intimate spaces such as the western-themed American Royal Room, which accommodates midsized gatherings.
The soulful pulse of Kansas City beats outward from The Drum Room’s historic dining room inside the Hilton President, where modern track lighting illuminates photos of jazz legends gone by and classic cocktails complement a dinner menu of urban comfort cuisine. Chef Eric Carter bridges the gap between homestyle cooking and cosmopolitan delicacies, drawing on local and seasonal ingredients to evoke a double-sided nostalgia for childhood and the height of the Jazz Age—when the restaurant first opened its doors. Tables whose wood still shivers with the excitement of meeting Frank Sinatra in 1941 host diners as they carve through grilled beef-tenderloin medallions ($30) or succulent cuts of smoked rib eye glazed with red wine ($34). A subtle kick of caffeine comes courtesy of the coffee-rubbed porchetta and caramelized scallops ($22), which keeps bellies alert with a side of red-eye gravy and a garnish of finely ground fire alarms.
Tapping into Kansas City's famed jazz legacy built by Count Basie, Big Joe Turner, and Charlie Parker, Jardine’s Restaurant and Jazz Club provides patrons with soulful tunes and an expansive menu of wine and steakhouse fare. Begin your mealtime riff with an order of jumbo lump crab cakes accompanied by a house-made horseradish aioli ($12). A solo rib eye steak is grilled to order with a backup ensemble of seasoned green beans, creamy mashed potatoes, and a fresh house salad ($25). A platter of pork chops glazed with honey-infused barbecue sauce ($15) goes splendidly with the live music performed nightly by talented local musicians. Scope out the calendar for a schedule of events.
The Performing Arts Series brings internationally recognized acts to dazzle Kansas City–based eyes and ears in the relatively intimate space of Yardley Hall. Lauded by the New York Times, choreographer Lar Lubovitch coordinates lithe bodies through the swift, public execution of modern dance. Greedy ears, meanwhile, can hoard the pleasures of Haydn, Mozart, Strauss, and the Beatles as performed by the renowned Vienna Boys Choir, whose top-secret youth serum has kept its carolers young for the 500 years of the organization's biblically long life. Viennese composers vie for your aural affections during the Philharmonic of Poland's first-ever U.S. tour, with arias spotlighting soprano soloist Izabela Matula as she sails her voice atop classic compositions by Lehar and Verdi. The New York Times has also given an appreciative nod to The Joffrey Ballet, whose classically trained foot workers leap and lunge to the orchestrations of Tchaikovsky, Richard Rodgers, and Philip Glass. Check out Johnson County Community College's website for more information about the series, and each individual performance.