Kansas City isn’t in Kansas, and it certainly doesn’t reside on the East Coast. But its cuisine does. Diners only need to step inside the wood-covered confines of Bobby Q’s, a family-friendly barbecue joint known for tender, pit-smoked meats smothered in award-winning sauces and celebrating their 8th year in the business. The eatery’s imported culinary stylings have earned it a spot on the Food Network, as well as the title “Best of the Gold Coast” from readers of Westport Magazine, who were undoubtedly delighted by favored items such as the slow-smoked pulled pork and the grilled Gulf Shrimp. Roasted atop an open beer can for proper moisture, their beer can chicken is far more delicious than proving you are not too chicken to eat a beer can. Their half-pound burger patties, meanwhile, come with zesty toppings such as Smokehouse chili, blue cheese, and frizzled onions. On weekends, the barn-esque dining room and outdoor patio transform into a bustling bar, with live music from local bands and house specialty drinks, such as lemonade infused with huckleberry vodka, or down-home punch, a mix of Jack Daniels, apricot brandy, orange juice and Sierra Mist.
Jazzeria owner Matt Criscuolo Jr. has been hanging out at pizzerias since he was 6 years old. After emigrating from Italy, his father opened a pizzeria where the entire family worked, giving little Matt an up-close look at the business of turning his mom’s recipes into feasts fit for the old country. Inspired both by his family’s livelihood and his passion for jazz, Criscuolo began his own pizzeria, where he now puts his more than 30 years of pizza-slinging experience to work each day.
Inspired both by family recipes and lessons he learns on his yearly trips to Amalfi, Italy, Jazzeria’s dishes derive their flavors from authentic Italian ingredients. Hand-tossed pizza dough transforms into pies including pesto pizza or the pescatore pizza topped with a trio of baby clams, roasted garlic, and bacon. Diners can enjoy dishes named after jazz greats—such as Lady Day’s Bolognese pasta—or grab a calzone to stuff in their pockets for later. In addition to housing tasty bites of the Mediterranean, Jazzeria locations live up to their name with live jazz performances three times a week.
As a child, Michele Stuart worked alongside her grandmother, peeling fruit, crimping dough, and assisting in other tasks to create decadent pies. Before her grandmother passed away, Michele vowed to make her pies famous. It's safe to say she has made good on that promise. Since founding Michele's Pies in 2007, her creations have won 27 national awards, and have garnered praise from outlets including the Food Network, QVC, and the New York Times. Her pies run the gamut from sweet to savory, and her display case also shines with handmade cookies, tea breads, cheesecakes, and other baked goods.
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Tucked away inside The Westport Inn, Bistro B's chefs prepare a classy and classic dinner menu of new-American cuisine. Small plates that encourage sharing include house-cured salmon, escargot bathing in a fragrant garlic-herb butter, and BLT sliders made with braised pork belly. Larger plates include burgers stuffed between buttery brioche buns, and potato and onion-encrusted halibut over a forest mushroom ragout.
At Eatalia, guests lounge on a brick patio forested by bright red umbrellas, dining on grilled sandwiches on focaccia bread, homemade lasagna, and gourmet pizzas. The menu fuses the finest centerpieces of American cuisine with treasured Italian favorites, including jumbo ravioli and steak pizzaiola served alongside chicken-parmesan sliders and 1/2-pound Prime sirloin burgers.
Inspired by his upbringing in southern Italy, La Villa Trattoria chef Michael Sornatale crafts a rotating menu of seasonally inspired fare with free-range and organic ingredients. Unexpected combinations of simple ingredients, such as white-wine sauce and hot cherry peppers on the pollo e salsiccia scarpariello, give his traditional Italian dishes a creative verve. Sornatale also strives to incorporate less common tastes, including wild game such as roe deer and rabbit, without diminishing the accessibility of his menu. Chefs also concoct low-fat and heart-healthy items, and provide a list of Italian wines carefully selected to complement each entree.
At lunchtime, La Villa Trattoria’s dining area fills with natural light softly diffused with sheer, white curtains. Artist Kim Salander’s murals of the small Italian fishing village of Portofino combine with ambient fog horns to create a seaside ambiance indoors.