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Aaron Deacon

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Everything posted by Aaron Deacon

  1. Yeah, the boudin was terrific, though I wish moosnsqrl had purloined more than a single bite, as I really didn't need that whole thing after polishing off a plate of the braised rabbit gnocchi. The gnocchi were really well-crafted, and the slow-cooked meaty mushroom mix really hit the spot with a glass of wine on a drizzly early fall day.
  2. I stopped in for a late lunch today. I always forget how charming Delaware is. I really enjoy walking down that street, moreso when it's not 100 degrees. The space is great too, I'd not seen it before, but I really liked it. And it's huge! I could certainly see kicking back at the bar for a few cocktails some evening. I ordered a soup and sandwich combo. Soup of the day was a black bean and sausage. The first bite really caught me off guard...I guess I had heard chorizo, or just assumed it because black bean soups so often are served with Latin flair. I got a full hit of fennel...a much more Italian take on the black bean soup, and plenty of little white (navy?) beans too. Once my palate adjusted, I thought it was quite good. I'm a sucker for soup. Oh, and it was garnished with a tasty little pizza cracker, whose flavors were a perfect accent to the soup. A very nice little touch. The half BLT tasted good enough, but not nearly enough of the T for my taste. I was hoping to get good thick fresh tomato, with a little B and L accent. Bacon dominated instead, which usually isn't a bad thing, but there were two rather small, rather thin tomato slices that mostly disappeared in the sandwich. The bread was a rather nice, airy foccacia. Again, a perfectly decent sandwich overall, but well short of August BLT gold (mmmm, which has me coveting the BLT I had at bluestem last year...need to get back for that. Not a cheap lunch, at $9.50, but not out of line. The soup was huge--I'd hate to see the full portion! I had eaten more than I needed even before my waitress brought two complimentary chocolate chip cookies to end my meal, which was a very nice touch. We'd planned to head down last Saturday for brunch, but circumstances conspired against us. All-in-all, seems like a very promising River Market spot.
  3. Wow, that's too bad. That was a nice place.
  4. Wow, that was fast. I nearly stopped there for lunch yesterday, until I realized I didn't have my wallet.
  5. Our waiter at Blanc said they do make the pickles in-house (or at least that's what they told me). I've been to ChefBurger twice and Blanc once, and I come out pretty similarly to ulterior epicure, I think. Blanc is terrific, ChefBurger doesn't move me. I guess I ought to try Pizza Bella again. My visit was fairly recent, within the past couple months, and rather disappointing. Here's the Blanc write-up from a couple weeks ago visit: The burgers at Blanc are thick, juicy bar burgers, probably ½ pound or so. The bottles refer to the large collection (100+) of beers and specialty sodas. No beers on tap, but the bottle selection is pretty good. They also have a list of specialty cocktails of uncertain quality, but they take seem as if they take them seriously anyway. The four of us at our table all ordered different burgers—a classic, a burger au poivre, an “inside-out” burger stuffed with a ball of blue cheese, and a buffalo burger. Besides me, who ordered the classic, everyone’s own was their favorite, and mine was excellent. I like baseline measurements so I ordered a basic cheeseburger. Probably the best I’ve had in town. It came out medium rare as requested, the beef was obviously fresh, the buns were terrific, from a local bakery. I couldn’t ask for anything more in a burger. The blue cheese burger, with bacon, was decadent…a gooey, delicious, mess. The peppercorn burger was nice twist. The buffalo should have been cooked rarer (though it wasn’t ordered thus), but still tasted great. I wasn’t eating with people who are food-weird and would typically pass around all our food for sampling, but all four burgers got passed around the table. The fries, ordered a la carte, are terrific also—fresh cut, fresh fried. You have the option of regular fries, parmesan truffle fries, and sweet potato fries. All are excellent. I like ketchup on fries, and homemade ketchups aren’t usually much added value for me, but they deliver one here that is quite satisfying. Rich and unique, but not so novel that it makes one miss Heinz—a rare feat in my opinion. There’s also a chipotle aioli and homemade mustard that accompany. The fries come in little paper lined shopping carts, which are cute and impressive to people who like cute. The restaurant is largely white (blanc), contemporary décor, with chairs more comfortable than they appear. Oh, and pickles, also made in-house, are excellent. Service was good, a bit over-the-top for my taste in terms of giving the spiel—how local and concerned the chef was about every detail—but not in an obnoxious way. He was enthusiastic about recommending beers to taste, and delivered. (With some luck, I suspect, as he first tried to bring one of the ladies an Abita Purple Haze, which I find miserable. When it was unavailable, he subbed Delirium Tremens, which is one of my faves and a huge hit. There were two or three different beers unavailable, oddly enough.) In any event, I was fully prepared to find this place overhyped and overpriced, but I really enjoyed it, and the best burger I’ve had in quite some time.
  6. Yep, a question, sorry. Stupid punctuation. Hopefully the "new Swizzle" will work out. There's been a lot of closure lately. Of course, a fair amount of opening too. Even though I wasn't crazy about MelBee's food, it was great to have someplace like that walkable in my neighborhood. The closing I've been most bummed about to date.
  7. Two other good restaurants, bad restaurants, or in between. Swizzle is closing. I never made it there.
  8. I'm sorry to hear that and I do hope that KC is strongly considered as next year's venue, as it seems like a very good choice. =R= ← Huzzah! I'm on board with that.
  9. I don't know Krizman's. I like Werner's as a shop, though his sausages don't do that much for me. Re: Chapin, I'm getting really frustrated with how many of her meals are eaten with two teenagers who don't like anything. How can this go on? I find that extremely puzzling. Between her and Ferruzza, I know way more about the critics' dining companions than the critics themselves.
  10. The Sugar Creek Slavic Festival is this weekend: http://www.slavicfest.com/index.html
  11. I can't find a link to the original bit in the Star, but here's the text (via KCMax at KCRag): Macaluso’s closed at 1403 W. 39th St. in early February after 14 years. Then its chef, Scott Warren, opened Scotty’s on 39th St. That operation recently closed but will be replaced by Bella. The central-Italian-influenced upscale restaurant and catering operation had planned to open in the City Market but couldn’t get funding to start a restaurant from scratch. That wasn’t a problem with an existing restaurant space on 39th Street’s restaurant row. The menu will change seasonally. The owners are shooting for a mid to late May opening.
  12. Nice call on Lao Sze Chuan. Another nice, and maybe developing, thread on the LSC menu is also available.
  13. Funny, I met a fellow in from Chicago a couple weeks back, and we had planned on dining in the lounge, but a jazz musician drove us into the dining room. He ordered the 5-course, I was quite short on time and ordered two courses...the pea soup and the strozzapreti. The pea soup was terrific, just bursting with essence of spring peas. I enjoyed the strozzapreti but wasn't as blown away as UE. Of course, I don't have past pasta dishes there to compare. This may be a silly criticism, but I found it a little difficult to eat, which may have distracted me from the flavors. The guy I met posted a full account of his meal on LTHForum.
  14. Yeah, I was glad to run into you, Judy, it's been too long. The La Quercia plate is indeed an enormous amount of cured meat, and really excellent at that. The "appetizer" portions are so generous that, to my dismay, we were too full to even order entrees or dessert. Really freaking good too.
  15. I had a terrific time in the lounge at bluestem tonight. I find it easy to believe this is the best nice restaurant in Kansas City by several orders of magnitude, though I admittedly haven't tried them all. I still haven't tried a full 7-course tasting menu yet, but finally had a chance to sit at the bar and sample the lounge menu this evening. Started with a nibble of cheese, the Drunken Goat, served with some toasted bread and caramelized shallots. A little unorthodox to start with cheese at a restaurant, but comfortable and we were hungry. Then ordered the parmesan truffle fries. It really speaks to the kitchen at a fine dining place when they can put out the best ham and eggs and the best fries in town. I didn't get much truffle flavor. Great on their own, also served with 5 different dips--a ketchup/Heinz 57 mix, horse radish-creme fraiche, aioli, spicy aioli, and spicy brown mustard. I had planned to order the duck confit, but it had another day to marinate, or something, so we both ordered, basically, a shrimp and grits entree--Spicy Shrimp Fricasee with Creamy Parmesan Grits. Shrimp were sweet and perfectly cooked, the grits were both creamy and gritty in a delightful way, and the spicy sauce made for a killer dish. The terrific bartender graciously poured us each a taste of a wine I'd never had, a Spanish grape called Godello (a Jorge Ordonez import called Viña Godeval) , which paired perfectly with the dish and is a recent arrival to the menu. Followed it up with two desserts, both a little disappointing. I liked the "Textures of Carrot Cake" the better of the two: "Sweet Mascarpone, Walnut Nougatine, Cinammon Emulsion, Carrot Ginger Sorbet" Still, I think I prefer actual carrot cake to deconstructed carrot cake, especially with the sort of casual meal we were having. I wasn't looking for an intellectual exercise, and I hate having to put all the flavors together myself. My wife found the sorbet a little to close to the baby food we currently serve our 7-month old. The "Rocky Road" Brownie (Nut Caramel, Milk Chocolate Ice Cream, Honey Bourbon Marshmallows) was more traditional, but too cloyingly sweet. Okay, here's the kicker though, all the above food, courtesy 1/2 price Happy Hour Tu-Th 5-7: $26. Seriously. I'm just astounded that this place isn't packed, even if it is a bit early for dinner. A ridiculous amount of very good food for the money. Of course, we upped our tab a bit with the cocktails (also a hell of a happy hour deal at $7 per). It's not $3 draws, but this place also happens to have the best bartender I've happened to encounter in Kansas City. I had a couple perfect Negronis (orange peel flamed in), Kate had a terrific house margarita and a Hendricks martini. The kicker...there was only one other couple in the lounge (aside from the Garrelts (chefs/owners) and their guests, also hanging out in the lounge) the whole time we were there. I don't understand that at all. It was a little cold and drizzly, and I know it's early, but still. Anyway, I really dig this place. Cheers.
  16. Anyone know why she closed? The mutterings don't sound like it was for lack of business, but mutterings are all I've heard.
  17. It was reported in The Star recently that he's moving to Starker's.
  18. They've already folded. Sorry, didn't mean to be short. There was some coverage in The Star in August, I think. I was looking for this thread on KCRag, too but couldn't find it before. It sounds like the owners had some health problems, needed to close up shop, and have been unable to sell.
  19. Nope, it's been there for about six months.
  20. I'm not sure how much value there is in lauding specific bartenders here, but we were also taken very well care of by Kyle a few months back.
  21. I'm astounded. Through which holidays? I hope it's all the way through Christmas. I'm giddy.
  22. Good to know, I've never really looked at the prices there. I find good cheese to be extremely expensive here, generally...in fact, that was a definite factor in arguing to my wife that cost of living in Chicago was cheaper. Needless to say, I lost that argument.
  23. Not north of the river, but Cellar Rat in the Crossroads is at least a little closer. Or the wine shop in River Market...I think they've got some good cheese there too.
  24. By DaveKCMO on the KCRag Forum.
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