Avenues Bistro's chefs modernize traditional European bistro fare by creatively incorporating Latin flavors, helping earn KC Magazine's award for Restaurant Innovator of the Year in 2009. In addition to frying orders of Belgian-style pommes frites and braising beef short ribs in marsala and veal stock, the chefs also marinate pork tenderloin in chimichurri for guests to enjoy in a newly renovated dining room. This interplay between Old- and New-World flavors extends to the wine list, which features bottles from domestic, international, and trans-dimensional producers, and won the restaurant Wine Enthusiast Magazine's Award of Unique Distinction in 2007.
A wave of pastel hues washes over the walls of Lauren Alexandra's two elegant boutiques, where baby and maternity specialist Pamela Dicapo has been outfitting infants, toddlers, and their parents with upscale accessories since 1994. Newborn essentials—stuffed animals, baby-talk translators, and blankets from brands such as My Blankee and Little Giraffe—share colorful shelf space with apparel from European clothiers such as CakeWalk and Catimini. The shops brim with a bevy of accouterments, and Pamela's passion for all things baby-related extends beyond her store. She and her supporting crew travel to parents’ homes to cultivate domestic comfort with professional room design services, harnessing their decorating finesse to help parents select soothing, kid-friendly wall treatments, furniture, and carpet.
Under the watchful eyes and green thumbs of owners Jim and Ami Zumalt, the fertile, chemical-free soils at Red Ridge Farms sprout up to 60 varieties of vegetables and more than 475 varieties of fruits, herbs, and flowers each season. The Zumalts share the wealth of their harvest?which can include chard, heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, and blackberries? through locally distributed CSAs, or Community Supported Agriculture crop-shares. Each week, Red Ridge's freshest bounty travels to local farmers' markets, where CSA members pick up their prepacked bags or customize market-style baskets to take home. Staffers can also provide tips and recipes relevant to that week's harvest or attempt to prognosticate next week's crop by reading lines on a rutabaga.
Culling inspiration from the original Michael Forbes Grill—a popular dining destination open from 1985 to 1999—the new Michael Forbes Bar & Grille makes guests feel at home with its cozy and casual vibe. Owner Forbes Cross and his son Matt Cross, who helms the kitchen, have forged an accessible menu of gourmet American fare, from fried catfish that's deboned tableside to baby-back ribs that are smoked in-house but away from the smoke alarms. At the granite-top bar, barkeepers pour an impressive selection of red, white, and sparkling wines, while servers saunter to cozy booths decorated by black-and-white framed photos of double rainbows over Kansas City.
One nippy Tuesday morning, Oliver H. Gerry swung open a set of doors inside the Grand Avenue Temple in downtown Kansas City. It was January 23, 1912, and that unfurled entranceway symbolized the first day Gerry Optical was open for business. In the 100 years since, professionally trained technicians have prepared eyewear to complement the styles of countless clients, including President Harry Truman and Senator Nancy Kassebaum. Today, each of the store's nine locations carries between 800 and 1,200 frames from brands such as Calvin Klein, Ray-Ban, Prada, and BCBG, and the flagship store on 75th Street also houses its own grinding lab to quickly custom-craft lenses and fix cracks after cartoon eye-popping mishaps. To honor its deep community roots, Gerry Optical gives back by partnering with Lions Clubs International to provide discount eye exams and eyeglasses to underprivileged families.
Led by a board-certified plastic surgeon, Hudson Med Spas' aestheticians and medical professionals aim to restore bodies to a smooth, youthful, and healthy appearance. Four on-staff nurses perform beautifying procedures, which include laser treatments that can shrink fat cells, expunge unwanted hair, and tighten skin to give clients a youthful appearance smooth enough to get the kids' discount at a wind tunnel. In addition to medical treatments such as Botox and Radiesse, clients can opt for traditional spa services such as facials and soothing massages. Hudson Med Spas also schedules appointments after hours for an additional $20 fee, helping accommodate clients who need to work late stoking the sun's coal-burning core.