Tim Griffin has come a long way from washing dishes. That first job gave set him on a path into the restaurant industry, which led to stints in almost every position including bartender, server, manager, and dish taster for visiting monarchs. He first used his experience to launch a catering company, and then kept evolving and founded his own restaurant, J.Bean's Gathering Place. Today, Tim—along with his wife Ibby and head chef Blair Johnson—welcome guests with a creative menu of dishes ranging from crab-rangoon dip to fish tacos. The two-level dining room evokes a warm, welcoming atmosphere with an abundance of hardwood furnishings and trim anchored by a stone fireplace. The establishment also often hosts special events, such as occasional live music on the patio.
If a dance club isn't the first place you think of to find a great fried chicken dinner, then you clearly haven't been to Chico's Chicken yet. Tucked away inside Club Afrobeat, Chico's gives taste buds something to dance and sing about with a menu centered around home-style chicken dinners and rib-sticking sides such as mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, and red beans with rice. But that's only the beginning of what the restaurant has to offer—other hearty eats include cheeseburgers, mozzarella sticks, cheesesteaks, and fried fish.
Within Blue Yuu’s kitchen, chefs harmonize influences from Japanese, Chinese, Thai, and Korean cuisine. Sushi chefs wrap rice and fresh fish with sheets of nori as servers deliver sizzling iron plates of Szechuan-style seafood and black pepper beef. Hot stoneware cossets bibimbaps, which consist of vegetables, kimchi, egg, and hot sauce. Dulcet sauces coat Chinese dishes such as mango chicken and General Tso’s chicken, and provide contrast to fiery Thai curries.
When the Emery, Bird, Thayer department store was demolished in the 1960s, a local entrepreneur wanted to honor its memory. Adorned with stained glass, masonry, and wrought-iron archways salvaged from the building, EBT Restaurant opened in 1979 as a fine-dining establishment swarming with tuxedoed waiters and classic American dishes. Despite more modern and casual renovations, the eatery still stays true to its roots with a pair of brass elevator cages from the EBT store in the dining room that can be reserved for parties of up to four. The interior is filled in dark woods and soft golden light, and roses fill the room during season, including illuminated rose sculptures that hang above the bar. The original owner of the restaurant still maintains a rose garden at his home to provide seasonal blossoms that cluster throughout the dining room. Under the guidance of executive chef Tate Roberts, who describes himself as a ?culinary historian? with a modernist edge, the kitchen prepares a dinner menu split into contemporary and classic dishes. Contemporary selections include pan-roasted duck breast and an Alaskan halibut served with Yukon baby potatoes in a sherry broth with littleneck clams. On the traditional side, teeth tear into parmesan-crusted chicken and tender 4-ounce beef medallions in peppercorn cream sauce. Kansas City Star correspondent Jill Wendholt Silva called out the tableside preparation of the caesar salad for two, in which a server deftly whisked a dressing of egg yolk, garlic, and anchovies together with mustard, olive oil, and a dash of Tabasco. Silva also had high praise for the experience stating, ?If I had to pick a single reason to recommend EBT, it would be the refined service.? While admiring the flowers or relaxing to live music in the lounge, patrons can uncork a bottle from an extensive international wine list with hundreds of distinct vintages. Fresh juices and syrups add an original touch to the signature cocktails, including a contemporary variation on a sidecar with Courvoisier VS, Grand Marnier, and lemon-infused orange syrup, all served with a slice of fresh orange and a sugared rim.
Known for growing cotton and soybeans, many farms in the South known now nurture a new crop—catfish. Converting their fields to ponds, farmers raise the whiskered fish on an all-grain diet to develop meat with a clean, slightly sweet taste and reduced cholesterol. Every filet at Jumpin' Catfish Restaurant comes from this stock, which the chefs prepare in various ways: breaded and fried in the Southern tradition, marinated in lemon and pepper, or dusted with cajun spices, like the mayor of New Orleans after their morning bath. They then pair the plump, juicy filets with sides such as hushpuppies and white beans with ham.
The chefs extend their culinary skills to other seafood as well, from Norwegian salmon to Alaskan snow-crab legs. They also work with wild game such as quail and frog legs, and prepare Southern fare, such as fried chicken.
Armed with a culinary education from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, Chef John Westerhaus uses classical techniques and international flavors to create refined American cuisine. His inspiration stems from a deep love for the simple menus of Parisian sidewalk cafés. For starters, a chipotle-spiked hollandaise sauce blankets a plate of smoked salmon and corn cakes, and garlic-ginger dipping sauce graces lobster spring rolls. For entrees, the restaurant's chefs demonstrate their mastery of traditional American cuisine by grilling rib eyes, Kansas City–style strip steaks, and trout fillets over a pile of smoldering baseballs.
Purple booths and napkins add a splash of color to the dining room's gently lit earth tones. Stone walls divide the dining area from the kitchen, and two walls of floor-to-ceiling windows separate the restaurant from the outside world. To keep things lively indoors, the restaurant hosts live performances by local musicians Wednesday–Sunday, serenading diners with cool jazz and gentle R&B melodies.