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.
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.
Located inside Hikari Japanese Steakhouse, Joy Luck Chinese Restaurant’s chefs look across the East China Sea for inspiration in crafting a menu of Chinese cuisine. Entrees include seafood dishes such as cashew shrimp and a seafood bird nest, mixed in with fusion meals including teriyaki filet mignon. Nodding to their host, the chefs whip up sushi rolls, including the Spider Roll—which wraps up tempura soft-shell crab—and the Yummy Roll—which pairs tempura shrimp with crabmeat, drizzled in eel sauce. The restaurant also feeds large groups with catering services, which churn out platters to accommodate company gatherings, family reunions, or pandas’ first dates.
Traditional Chinese entrees such as kung pao chicken, hunan beef, and Szechuan pork can be found on the menu at the casual Jia Restaurant. The chefs here also cook up soft lo mein noodles, flat ho fun noodles, and mei fun rice noodles flecked with bits of meat and seafood. The drink list includes soft drinks,bubble tea, and chai tea.
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.
In the eyes of New China Town's proprietors, dining, at its best, should be a communal experience. That's why an entire section of the menu is dedicated to family dinners. Accommodating up to six people, these shareable feasts include staples such as crab rangoon, kung pao chicken, and those tasty strips of paper inside fortune cookies.
Of course, all of New China Town's traditional dishes––from BBQ pork to orange chicken smothered in housemade sauce––are available as individual portions, too. Alongside Chinese specialties, the culinary team whips up a handful of Thai dishes, including beef pad thai and red curry with shrimp. Meals unfold inside a cozy dining room with simple white booths, lime walls, and orchids.