Denise Ward grew up nourished by soul food that her mother skillfully prepared. After learning to prepare the same recipes herself, she dreamed of sharing them with other people. That’s why she and her husband, Perry, opened a soul food café in 1985, naming it Niecies Restaurant. In 2006, they expanded to a second location.
In the early hours, cooks grill pork chops for breakfast sandwiches and prepare signature plates such as the Sunrise Breakfast, which The Pitch asserts, “may be the best way to start any morning.” Later in the day, plates of fried catfish and barbecue brisket share table space with bowls of beef stew more comforting to stomachs than teddy bears eaten whole. Homespun desserts such as peach cobbler sweeten palates.
The food gets served in a comfy diner-style setting. Thickly padded booths line two long rows of front windows, and diner stools prop up guests at the counter—in case they want to reenact scenes from their favorite road-trip movie, such as Ben-Hur. Floral wallpaper hangs cozily over wood-trim wainscoting, and plates of pancakes can be seen on the shelf between the kitchen and the dining area for that fleeting instant before servers whisk them off to tables.
As sister bars, The Well and Lew?s Grill & Bar make a perfect pairing for parties. Throughout the year, the bars usually host event parties including St. Patrick's Day, Hop Fest Craft Beer Festival, and New Year's Eve celebrations. The Well's rooftop bar lets patrons relax under the stars as they drink from a selection of more than 30 tap beers and bottled brews. The Well's chef-prepared menu includes plates of elevated bar fare, including char-grilled KC strip steak, baja fish tacos, roasted vegetable ravioli, and black Angus burgers. Das Boot, Lew's signature drink, is an 84-ounce boot-shaped beer that comes with an optional challenge: patrons who can imbibe the full boot, plus 2.5-pounds of cheeseburger and fries, win a free T-shirt and the honor of proving they have a stomach that is bigger on the inside.
Kansas City pit-masters are a bit like wizards: with dashes of sauce and wisps of wood-smoke, they summon barbecue aficionados from across the world. But tourists aren't the only ones who hunger for their savory-sweet brisket, ribs, and burnt ends??locals do, too. Bethanie Schemel, owner of KC Barbecue Tours, gives both locals and travelers insider's access to the rich history??and deep flavor??of the city's smoked-meat scene through bus-guided food tours.
On these tours, groups visit famed barbecue hot-spots. They also make stops at beneath-the-radar barbecue joints. "We do have a couple smaller places on our tour that we tend to keep a secret because they are the hidden gems that not a lot of people know about," owner Bethanie Schemel told KCTV 5 News. Food isn't the only reason for booking a spot on one of KC Barbecue Tours' expeditions?participants also get a peek at behind-the-scenes preparation techniques, and can ask pit-masters for tips on what type of wood chips to use or how to build a xylophone from leftover rib bones.
A half-pound of beef brisket lies beneath the thousand island dressing, american cheese, chopped onion, and three-piece bun of The Stack BBQ's namesake sandwich. The full menu is similarly loyal to Kansas City barbecue traditions, displaying pork, sausage, burnt ends, and ham. Chefs prepare ribs in the classic St. Louis style by rubbing them with spices while reciting lines from Braveheart. They also cook buffalo, barbecue, or bayou-style wings on the pit, which has multiple racks to keep meats to keep meats in just the right level of smoke and heat. Hand-breaded, deep-fried mushrooms slide around plates, scooping up last drips of sauce.
Regardless of the season, Snow & Company strives to transform its guests? mouths into winter wonderlands. Its signature snow cocktails combine housemade syrups, freshly squeezed juices, and spirits into frozen elixirs whose flavors range from citrusy to spicy. The Purple Rain, for example, blends Chambord with blueberry-infused Midnight Moon moonshine and fresh milk, whereas the Rockefeller?a twist on the popular manhattan?stirs cherry-infused rye with Cinzano sweet vermouth, angostura bitters, and sugary syrup. To contrast these icy sips, Hot-Tails come warm and often topped with fresh whipped cream, as is the case for the Tres Irish?Tres Leche triple-cream liqueur mixed with Jameson.
Though the lounge's list of libations constantly shifts, local ingredients and onsite prep remain its overarching prerogatives. This also affects the food menu, a catalog of shareable plates and sandwiches, as well as the decor, which features work by area artists. The open, chic space resembles a gallery more than a traditional restaurant, and it readily hosts group events that range from birthday parties to rehearsals for museum field trips.
As children practiced their spelling with chalk sticks and inkwells at the Daniel Webster School in the 1880s, they never imagined papers imprinted with exotic words such as vinaigrette and escarole would someday replace their notebooks. But more than a century later, the cupola-topped Romanesque Revival building—now known simply as Webster House—houses a restaurant where just such words appear on its menu of sumptuous new-American cuisine. As Chef Matt Arnold sears scallops and sea bass for dinner or whips up brioche french toast for Sunday brunch, the sound of clinking flatware fills dining rooms bedecked with antique furniture in the style of an English country home. An antiques gallery invites guests to recreate this stately look at home from a selection of 18th- and 19th-century pieces from around the world, including cabinets hewn from Georgian walnut and French fruitwoods. A collection of genteel gifts, such as Chinese porcelains and bow-topped boxes of stationery, rounds out Webster House's dignified collections.