After a trip to South America, restaurateur Sam Silvio was smitten with the desire to open his own churrascaria and began drawing up plans to that end with fellow restaurateur and brother Nick Silvio. Em Chamas sprang from this endeavor and now stands ready to dazzle diners with a continuous procession of meats grilled and skewered gaucho style. For a churrascaria experience at home, the restaurant packs and ships many of its authentic meats to doorsteps throughout the country. Family grill masters can dress up backyard barbecues with the gourmet flavors of Certified Angus Beef Pichana steaks and signature Brazilian linguica, while family sword masters can play passadore with something other than a prized teddy bear, for a change.
At the restaurant, two-course excursions begin with a trip to the gourmet buffet bar, where visitors sift through more than 30 culinary presentations including Brazilian and American fare, seafood dishes, and salads. Once guests flip their table's coin to the "bring it" side, passadores begin dancing out with various cuts of wood-fired meat—including top sirloin stuffed with provolone, bacon-wrapped chicken, Brazilian pork sausage, and caramelized pit ham—which they hand carve according to each eater's specified knife angle. To indicate satiation, diners simply flip the coin over or rip their napkin into the shape of a stop sign.
With a more casual dining experience, The Grille by Piropos in Parkville sets itself apart from its fine-dining sister establishment Piropos Restaurant. Nestled high in the hills of historic Parkville, it sits above the landscape, allowing diners to take in visions of Park University's beautiful gothic architecture or watch as the sun sets and the moon rises in the evening. Not only a restaurant for special occasions, it is also a favorite spot for everyday casual dining.
This vista-induced amnesia, however, doesn’t tend to last very long, as the aromas of South American–inspired food soon draw diners’ attention to the new casual-dining menu’s signature dishes from Venezuela, Mexico, and Argentina. This cuisine makes itself at home inside the dining room, where large, colorful murals and lavish wood furnishings give the restaurant an upscale, rustic ambiance. The outdoor patio, meanwhile, features views of the horizon and a fireplace, meaning at a certain time and from a certain angle, the sun is setting into the fire.
Cooking up Italian staples and baking pizza has been a Walker family tradition since 1969, first at a pizza franchise and now at their own Old Shawnee Pizza and Italian Kitchen. They use the skills they've perfected over the last 40 years to make everything from their Alfredo-topped ravioli stuffed with three types of seafood to their Midwest-style pizzas on homemade dough.
They first top their inventive pizzas with sauces such as the classic red, salsa, spicy peanut, or garlic olive oil. From there, they use their multitude of unique toppings to create most any pie their customers can dream up, barring ones that bear an uncanny resemblance to Burt Reynolds. They also cook up specialty pizzas such as the Caribbean Jerk, made with jerk sauce, chicken, onions, pineapple, and roasted red peppers.
“Laissez les bon temps rouler” is a favorite saying at Jazz, a Louisiana Kitchen; translated from French, it means, “let the good times roll.” With a blend of Cajun cuisine, cold drinks, and live music, the restaurant recreates the rollicking atmosphere of New Orleans' French Quarter. In the kitchen, chefs orchestrate multiple Gulf Coast flavors in classic louisiana catfish po'boys and blackened-shrimp platters, or let simple, properly prepared oysters and broiled crawfish stand on their own. Servers draw frothy mugs of beer from local breweries CIB and Keg Creek or mix specialty cocktails and frozen daiquiris. The lively atmosphere has drawn musicians such as two-time Grammy nominee Gerald Clayton and Mr. Tambourine Man.
True to their eatery's name, the family behind Los Amigos Mexican Restaurant focuses not only on curating a hearty menu of classic Mexican favorites and custom pizzas, but on creating a friendly atmosphere. Affable servers descend from the restaurant's velcro walls to stop at tables to deliver traditional or deep-fried burritos bundled with beef, pork, chicken, or turkey. Chefs refer to old family recipes to build enchiladas, tostadas, and guacamole or hand the reigns to customers so they can choose toppings such as pineapple, jalapeños, or sausage to assemble signature pizzas.
The circular nest of Harvey’s at Union Station affords an uninterrupted view of Union Station’s ornate ceilings, chandeliers, and arched masonry. An open-air second-floor patio lines the outer rim of the restaurant, offering ideal people-watching views of both the inside of the eatery below and passing commuters. During breakfast and lunch hours, the kitchen hums busily as chefs stuff omelets with homemade italian sausage and rub shrimp with citrus and chiles for tacos. For Sunday brunch, a spread of brown-sugar-glazed ham and mini cinnamon rolls sprawls across long banquet tables like those a king might demand for all his stuffed animals.