To find an authentic beignet, Kansas City locals have the option of making the 13-hour, 900-mile journey to New Orleans, or simply shuffling over to Beignet in the River Market. Here, chefs concoct their own interpretations of the famous French donut, infusing pastry with decadent flavors such as Bavarian cream, Butterfinger, tiramisu, and caramel praline. The tasty, fried treats also serve as a vehicle for savory ingredient combinations such as mozzarella and meatballs, or bay shrimp, roasted peppers, and Szechuan cream cheese. The menu ventures into crepe territory as well with cornbread versions loaded down with dusted catfish and crawfish tails.
While Butterfly Kisses Baking's staff avidly serves its local customers by decorating cakes, cupcakes, and cookies, the people they most proudly cater to are military troops. The shop allocates 20% of its profits to providing care packages for servicemen and women abroad. They build those funds by enticing customers with the sweetness packed into their various treats, which include peppermint-bark cupcakes, lemon sugar cookies, and cake pops themed after the flavors of cereal, cookies, and candy bars. Bakers are on hand to help clients create custom desserts including themed cakes that might light up a child’s face on his birthday or fondant scenes so real you’d consider buying a time share there.
Z's satisfies caffeine cravings and general rumblings with an abundance of organic drinks and treats at its two locations. Take an aromatic journey through the 12 bulk bins of whole beans roasted on-site each week ($9.99+/lb.), or sidle up to a specialty drink, such as the Rocky Raccoon, a frappé fused with chocolate, hazelnut, and caramel ($4.10 for a big). Non-joe options include a tasty assortment of smoothies (sans high-fructose corn syrup) and tea, in addition to hearty breakfast chomps. Guilt-free sips and sudden urges to commune with nature are all courtesy of Z's Divine Espresso's commitment to sustainable practices, such as recycling used coffee grounds as free fertilizer for local farmers and gardeners.
Ceramic Cafe arms artists of all ages with the artistic instruments necessary to transform unfinished earthenware into pottery masterpieces. Guests can adorn two 12-ounce mugs, two 8-inch round plates, or one mug and one plate in more than 60 different colors of nontoxic ceramic glazes that will not flake off and add unwanted seasoning to swordfish-casserole dishes. Idea books, stencils, sponges, and stamps supply sources of artistic inspiration, and staff members stand by to demonstrate techniques, or to pose for a mug-side replica of Whistler's Mother. The studio fires pieces in its kiln to ensure designs are food safe and long lasting, and customers can retrieve their work the following week.
At Room 39, the dinner menu doesn't start with appetizers. Instead, the top of the carte features a short profile of a local farmer, followed by a list of all the small family farms that provided ingredients for the night's dishes. This choice signals the commitment of chefs and co-owners Ted Habiger and Andy Sloan to making local, sustainable food a part of fine dining. At both of the restaurant’s locations, they construct elegant New American dishes, such as blueberry-goat-cheese pancakes at breakfast and housemade pappardelle with bolognese at lunch. They're also no slouches with seafood—their spicy sautéed shrimp was named one of the best restaurant dishes of 2007 by Food & Wine magazine. Behind the bar, craft beers flow from local breweries such as Boulevard, Free State, and Tallgrass, as well as classic cocktails from local negroni wells.