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.
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.
As the doors to Gaslight Grill's back room swing open, the sounds of Dixeland jazz and the aromas of sizzling Angus steaks waltz forward together to greet guests. Lynn Zimmer and the Jazz Band play rollicking tunes from the 30s and 40s on Wednesday?Sunday nights as diners tap their fingers across the surfaces of menus filled with hand-cut steaks, pistachio-crusted salmon, and jumbo prawns drizzled in beurre blanc. More than 200 wines complement meats from land and sea, and a nimble barkeep dishes out mixed drinks and jetpack fuel for the ride home. It might be difficult to say goodbye, however, to a stately dining room lined with plush booths and illuminated by twin chandeliers.
Celebrating its 74th anniversary on April 15, 2012, Jess And Jim's Steakhouse has stood the test of time. The Van Noy clan owns and operates the throwback eatery and leads a staff whose dedication dates back, in some cases, more than 40 years. They serve hand-cut Sterling Silver beef sourced from the Great Plains and showcase fresh varieties in a chilled meat case.
This family-friendly establishment owes at least some of its popularity to prominent men's magazines. John Mariani of Esquire magazine named their Playboy Strip one of the 20 best steaks in America in 2008. The cut—which weighs in at a whopping 25 ounces and arrives with soup, salad, and choice of potato—was named after the publication whose 1972 story by writer Calvin Trillin placed the restaurant in sight of the public eye nationally. The menu also includes lobster tail, house surf ‘n’ turf specialties, pork chops, and chicken-fried steak. Guests can sip libations such as Boulevard Brewing Company's chocolate ale at the bar, which itself features a suspended model-train track and live singers harmonizing with the tiny train whistles every Friday night.