For many steakhouses, the art of preparing a tantalizing cut of meat begins in a professional kitchen. But Plaza III The Steakhouse reaches back further, choosing cuts of meat from its own facilities where it ages corn-fed beef inside specialized lockers. Once the cuts reach the restaurant, they are displayed tableside or via limousine motorcade for prospective diners before the chefs char grill chosen selections. To complete the flavor profile, patrons need only peruse a wine list of more than 700 bottles.
This meticulous process of cultivation and presentation embodies the award-winning steakhouse's sophisticated approach to mealtime. Its menu spans ribs, chops, and seafood in addition to Prime aged steaks, and appetizers such as the hand-chopped tenderloin tartare?a dish lauded by Gayot as a "classic rendition ? sprinkled with caviar."
Visitors bask in elegant dining rooms on two floors, which host live jazz and a dancing area on Saturday evenings. Parties of up to 64 guests can set up their fetes in private rooms, enjoying bacchanalias in the wine cellar and other intimate spaces such as the western-themed American Royal Room, which accommodates midsized gatherings.
Set beneath a tiled mosaic and a carved stone arch, the door to Starker's points the way to a 40-seat dining room decorated in French country style. A 40-page wine list on each white linen tablecloth describes the more than 1,600 labels in the sommelier's cache, whose breadth garnered a Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence. Vintages poured into Riedel glassware pair with seasonally rotating entrees, such as seared scallops, duck breasts, and grilled strip steak. Greens, heirloom beans, brussels sprouts au gratin, and other harvests from local farms round out each meal. Starker's also hosts special events, such as rehearsal dinners and catered jury deliberations, in a private dining room that seats up to 80 guests.
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.
Add some sepia tone and photo grain, and a snapshot of Hereford House could make it pass for an old Western saloon. But the photo would actually be of a modern steak house that churns out aged steaks, seafood, and ribs—the same fare that put Kansas City meat markets on the map at the turn of the century. In the dinner menu, most everything walks across the grill before being served. The steak oscar entree eschews the barriers that separate land from sea by teaming up a 6-ounce filet mignon with jumbo lump crab pilfered from crustacean birthday parties and pan-seared to perfection. Juicy tenderloin medallions come smothered in red-wine demi glace, and oven-roasted cuts of salmon arrive in pools of garlic herb butter.
801 Chophouse establishes itself as a special-occasion restaurant, where every table might well hold a ring in a hidden box or a couple celebrating an anniversary. There are the white tablecloths popping against dark leather booths, the racks of wine tended by a certified sommelier, and, of course, the chops and steaks, all USDA Prime. On the other hand, it's quite conceivable that someone might gladly eat at 801 Chophouse every week and for any occasion—the menu, drink selection, and Wine Spectator-awarded wine list could accommodate months of exploration, and an ever-changing "fresh sheet" overflows with the jet-fresh seafood selections of the day.
On any given night, the wait staff moves across wooden floors beneath high ceilings and 1920s-inspired decor, trays loaded with nine creative potato preparations, filet mignon, and dry-aged pork chops. Meanwhile, the cattle of a pastoral mural gaze out over the dining room's cherry-wood finishes, waiting patiently to graze on uneaten garnishes.
Tucked inside the lobby of the Overland Park Marriott Hotel, Nikko Japanese Steakhouse's chefs gracefully twirl their gleaming steel utensils and flip vegetables through the air while cooking filet mignon, teriyaki salmon, and scallops at each tabletop griddle. Traditional teppanyaki cooking is the foundation of the menu, which features seared morsels of steak and fresh seafood cooked before your very eyes instead of inside a magician's hat. Away from the sizzling action, the sleek sushi bar houses deft chefs slicing fresh sashimi and rolling ingredients into flavorful combinations, such as the spider roll's soft-shell crab, smelt roe, and avocado. Behind a second bar, the servers replace sushi with shakers of freshly squeezed fruit-juice cocktails and hot and cold pours of sake. Nikko Japanese Steakhouse also recently completed a renovation.