After a trip to South America, restaurateur Sam Silvio was smitten with the desire to open his own churrascaria and began drawing up plans to that end with fellow restaurateur and brother Nick Silvio. Em Chamas sprang from this endeavor and now stands ready to dazzle diners with a continuous procession of meats grilled and skewered gaucho style. For a churrascaria experience at home, the restaurant packs and ships many of its authentic meats to doorsteps throughout the country. Family grill masters can dress up backyard barbecues with the gourmet flavors of Certified Angus Beef Pichana steaks and signature Brazilian linguica, while family sword masters can play passadore with something other than a prized teddy bear, for a change.
At the restaurant, two-course excursions begin with a trip to the gourmet buffet bar, where visitors sift through more than 30 culinary presentations including Brazilian and American fare, seafood dishes, and salads. Once guests flip their table's coin to the "bring it" side, passadores begin dancing out with various cuts of wood-fired meat?including top sirloin stuffed with provolone, bacon-wrapped chicken, Brazilian pork sausage, and caramelized pit ham?which they hand carve according to each eater's specified knife angle. To indicate satiation, diners simply flip the coin over or rip their napkin into the shape of a stop sign.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.