The Westside Local Restaurant & Beer Garden satiates ravenous diners by utilizing an extensive selection of beer and a dinner menu that suggests drinks to complement each entree. Barons of the brewski can start by guzzling down a European beer, with intercontinental selections including Belgium's Hoegaarden ($6), Germany's Henniger Premium ($4), and Canada's Unibroue Ephermere Apple ($6). Domestic craft brews such as Kansas City's Boulevard Dry Stout ($6) and Bell's Two Hearted Ale ($5) from Michigan are also available for patriotic palates, as is a wide array of wines. Pair your barley pop with one of Westside Local's large entrees—the grilled chicken breast unites its poultry with a jalapeño-infused sweet potato hash ($19), and the grilled cheese sandwich, a melty amalgamation of brie, emmentaler, and white cheddar, leads gourmands on a gondola ride through cheesy canals ($9).
Each plate of Moxie's barbecue is two days in the making—cooks must first ornament meat with a spicy rub, marinate it overnight, and smoke it for 12–16 hours. Though the restaurant's homemade salsa and hand-formed half-pound burgers don't spend as much time in the studio as Moxie's ribs, they supply equally potent flavors, as do the four secret-recipe barbecue sauces hailed by Jessica Huska of nightlifekc.com as "nothing short of exceptional."
The restaurant's lively setting won The Pitch’s Best Place to Dance in Kansas City award in 2011, and even those without dancing shoes can don their drinking masks and sip cocktails at the full bar or goggle at 12 televisions, including a giant HDTV with a Nintendo Wii. Moxie's frequent special events include karaoke on Wednesday nights as well as pool tournaments played out on the bar and grill's high-quality Diamond billiard tables and played back in the stories second-place finishers tell their housekeeping robots in 2028.
Founded in 1957, Kansas City Ballet holds rank amongst the top ballet institutions in the U.S. At its two locations—including one at the newly renovated Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity—the company divides its services between two divisions. On the Academy side, more than 20 instructors utilize their varied performing backgrounds to school aspiring professionals in dance, beginning with children ages 3 and up.
But you don’t have to yearn for the spotlight to tap into Kansas City Ballet’s wisdom. For recreational steppers, or those simply hoping to make trips to the grocery store more interesting by pirouetting down the aisles, the company also features a Studio division aimed at dancers of all ages and abilities. There, fitness and fun get blended into a schedule of classes that includes Zumba, flamenco, and jazz, as well as Pilates, yoga, and boot camp-style offerings.
Fine Arts Theatres’ four venues surround moviegoers with classic silver-screen ambiance as they present the latest independent and mainstream film offerings. Lovingly refurbished neighborhood movie palaces such as the early-20th-century Rio Theatre now boast surround-sound digital audio, high-backed rocker seats with arm-mounted cup holders, and movie trailers acted out by gregarious ticket takers. In addition to flicks opening each week, Fine Arts Theatres hosts the Gathr Preview Series each Thursday at 7:30 p.m. The group also holds screenings for the annual Kansas International Film Festival, voted the Best Local Film Festival by readers of The Pitch in 2011, as well as a Latin American Film Festival every September.
Bodies turn and twirl in the air, suspended from the rafters with colorful silks. Whether during a performance or class, the staff and students of Voler–Thieves of Flight Aerial Academy inspire awe with aerial dance and acrobatics. The academy’s professional ensemble includes ballet and modern dancers, along with circus artists, all of whom add their skills to lofty choreography on swings, silks, and hoops. The Voler ensemble has also performed at more than 30 notable locations including the Kansas city and Chicago fringe festivals and the Kansas City Renaissance Festival.
The academy’s primary purpose is teaching, of course, and three levels of classes instruct participants on the finer points of contorting on silks and practicing spirals, suspension, and falls.
Sponsored by the ACF Kansas City Chef’s Association, the annual Best of Kansas City Chefs benefit lets guests meet and taste the signature dishes of the area's best culinary masterminds. This year’s food venues—which range from Jon Russell’s Barbeque to the Dark Horse Distillery—satisfy appetites with samples from some of Kansas City’s best restaurants, and pairs of celebrity chefs—including Kevin Gillespie from Bravo’s Top Chef and multiple James Beard nominee Colby Garrelts of bluestem Restaurant—throw down in epic duels between skillets. During the three-hour event, attendees may also participate in live and silent auctions for a chance to win a BeefEater two-burner grill from event sponsor Smoke 'n' Fire—a prize valued at $800.