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.
Authentic techniques are the key to French recipes. Understanding this, Chef Emmanuel Langlade honed his cooking skills in Marseille, France, before opening Aixois Bistro with his wife more than a decade ago.
Amid suspended orb lights and rustic, wrought-iron chandeliers, French flavors prepared by chef Miguel Sanchez delight palates at all hours. As morning light spills through enormous windows, the staff brews fresh coffee to pair with piping-hot croissants for early-bird visitors. Lunchtime guests sample favorite French sandwiches, from the classic croque-monsieurs to the egg-crowned croque madames. For dinner diners, the kitchen dishes up an elegant menu that includes two varieties of moules frites (mussels with pommes frites), as well as seafood, steak, and oven-roasted chicken. Afterward, traditional desserts such as crème brûlée topped with fresh berries cap off meals and keep sweet teeth from rebelliously biting tongues.
Though André and Elsbeth Bollier left Basel, Switzerland for Kansas City in 1955, they didn't really leave the Old World behind. Finding his adopted home bereft of fine pastries, André set out to "bring something new and exciting" to the city, as his son Marcel told the Wednesday Sun in 2011. A master pastry chef, he began selling his handcrafted swiss confections at his eponymous store, André's Confiserie Suisse. Intent on re-creating the feel of an authentic Swiss confiserie, he relied on natural ingredients and pure butter to produce his treats' signature rich flavor. Soon, André expanded his business to two tearooms festooned with the flags of several Swiss cantons.
Now joined by third-generation members of the Bollier family, André's Confiserie Suisse remains faithful to that original vision while creating new lines of seasonal and signature bites. In addition to hand-decorated caramels, fruit tortes, and freshly shelled circus peanuts, the display cases feature grand cru truffles made from single-sourced cocoa beans whose flavors reflect the soil and climate of their exotic original locales, including Madagascar and Bolivia.
The Teahouse & Coffeepot's homey front porch harkens back to simple small-town pleasures, inviting guests to shoo away stress with each sip of tea from a huge loose-leaf selection chosen by tea master Keith Buchanan. The aroma of made-from-scratch scones, muffins, and vegan-friendly blueberry cobbler wafts from the kitchen and through the shop's sunny rooms, signaling backup for cups of the day's featured teas or glasses of mint ice tea flavored with sweet vanilla. Though reservations are required for English Afternoon Tea—a popular weekend event and guaranteed right within the Magna Carta—the shop dishes up an internationally inspired round of sandwiches, salads, and quiches every day of the week. The shop also brews pots of french-pressed coffees, echoing Buchanan’s confession to The Pitch that you can't "convert a coffee drinker if you can't get them into the door."