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Everything posted by JWest

  1. Andre's really shined in KC during the 90's but I don't know if they are still holding on strong. I think Avant Garde's Dessert Bar could be something that people will embrace in KC.
  2. After reading the last few posts I think it would be best if the Dessert Bar covered a few areas. It seems like a dessert bar can easily go under because of its short list of areas that it covers. Can you survive off of just being open at night selling only desserts? On top of just being a dessert bar what about a few other things to go along with it? -Sell lots of alcohol. -Possibly set it up as a great coffee and pastry shop for mornings? -Do cakes for birthdays/anniversaries/weddings? -Chocolates and Truffles? -Candies and holiday gifts? As far as having a "rock star" pastry chef...you can accomplish that by setting your dessert bar way ahead of everyone else. I don't know what your expertise falls in line with but whether it's you or someone that you are hiring as the pastry chef- they need to set the biggest standards that this city has ever seen. The desserts have to be quality but not necessarily cutting edge. Well, it doesn't have to be cutting edge as far as creativity is concerned (but that does help the rock star image) but it does have to be cutting edge as far as quality in the products you sell. Also, don't forget about Elizabeth Faulkner at Citizen Cake who just also opened Citizen Cupcake. Although she does savory items as well, she has garnered a lot of press (i.e. Food Network)and has been nominated as the best pastry chef in the nation numerous times as well.
  3. Also, What's the concept going to be? I think this plays a huge role in your location. As for me, when I think of dessert I think of one thing : "It better be damn sexy" Desserts seem to taste better at night time and at night I would rather be in a place that is more modern, sexy, and upscale. Which I think is just a classic combination with dessert. For me, I think of hot spots in Miami and NYC with tons of people enjoying the after hours in some place of that nature.
  4. Anything is possible... KC is going to be a bigger food town in the next 5 to 10 years from now. It's been growing and it hasn't really stopped growing. The problem that I see with Kansas City is that it's so spread out. You can't just go to one place and expect to stay in the same area to do different activities. For example, in Denver if you go downtown, you have all three major sport teams' stadiums and arenas. Besides sporting events, you get other entertainment attractions. Along with all three being walking distance from the heart of downtown, you get massive amounts of bars, breweries, clubs, diners, and high end restaurants. Down the street, there's a gigantic performing arts theater and also four different major museums. So you have all of this with two different mass transit light rails, busses, taxis, and a free 16th street mall bus ride up and down the entire area. Currently I only see the country club plaza having enough foot and auto traffic. Town Center is just a big playground for high school kids. Downtown is not developed enough but one day I think will be. Westport is dead during the week but weekends I could see a high end dessert bar being completely packed. For me, if I was going to a dessert bar, I'd like it to be in Westport or the plaza. Maybe even the Crossroads. If this is in 5 years from now, maybe even downtown if the development is there, the sprint arena sparks energy downtown, and new entertainment venues start to grow.
  5. Sounds great..maybe for a subtle flavor of coffee you could try making coffee bean sugar? and use that in place of your regular sugar in your recipe.
  6. anyone know what days they're open for dinner and lunch?
  7. they do some sort of disappearing birthday cake don't they?
  8. Sounds Great.. My best wishes go out to the team at Michael Smith and Extra Virgin. Can't wait to eat!
  9. Anyone know of any restaurants who are still willing to serve it with a request by the customer? If so PM me! and no I'm not a secret undercover govt. worker. Planning on going to a few places during my visit...TRU, Blackbird, Moto, Alinea, or Avenues most likely.
  10. Thinking about getting lunch at David Burke Primehouse.. even though I have changed hotel plans from The James to The Raffaello. As much as the $25 3 course prix fixe menu sounds like a bargain..the menu it self doesn't seem that appealing. Anyone want to change my mind otherwise?
  11. Avenues is very close to the James, I hope you have it on your list! Incredible experience! ← Avenues is always on my list!
  12. Just finished a new project by sous vide poaching banana bread batter. I don't have the exact recipe on the batter but I was able to accomplish an actual firm, slightly dense, and flavorful banana bread. This was my only first attempt but I have a feeling if I adjust the recipe and timing...I can come up with an even better product. The original idea was to create the "goo" of banana bread without having the extra waste of the outer edges of banana bread. Anyone have any ideas or input? ...oh and tell me if someone has already accomplished this. Here's the photo on my blog. (Also on my flickr account)
  13. So.. I'm going back to Chicago for a third summer vacation in a row...I'm possibly staying at the James Hotel and want to know if Lunch and Dinner is roughly the same dining experience since I plan on visiting a couple of other restaurants that are dinner only. If anyone has done both or either one... let me know what you think!
  14. Isn't he like 23 or 24, thats what I had heard. That makes me feel worthless or at least jealous, what an incredible opportunity. I would love to hear more on him, what did he do before?? ← I think he was 22 as the pastry chef when Moto opened (so 23 or 24 probably makes sense). Im sure there's more info on him but from what I know he's a Johnson & Wales graduate and a former employee of Trotter's. In my opinion, these are quite some amazing accomplishments for someone his age which has given a lot of inspiration to the young ones like myself and even the older ones.
  15. Just went to the Palace Arms for my 2nd visit in 2 years. The food is even better and the service seems to have been polished a bit as well. On slow nights, I reccommend asking for the Chef's all out tasting menu (I've heard he'll do up to around 25). For my party, we actually had about 8 courses. New pics are up here. Pictures of Kevin Taylors are here as well. As far as steaks...I've heard steak lovers love Elway's. Also, Kevin Taylor and The Palace Arms offer American Kobe Beef. Frasca's service and quality in food just can't be beat by anyone in Denver, unfortunately it is in Boulder. Master Sommelier Bobby Stuckey is a master of running a dining room and Chef Mackinnon Patterson's kitchen is near flawless when it comes to the execution of every dish. If you can find someone to drive up there, do it! I know they run out of reservations quickly but it seems as if there's always one or two tables available on last minute reservations. Also..I haven't been there myself but have heard great things about Sushi Sasa and their omakase. This would be a short drive or a long walk from where you are staying.
  16. I don't know how long it's been but I just noticed that The American Restaurant has developed a new website. Congrats to Chef Tio for an amazing achievement as well.
  17. What made you change your mind? As to whether or not you're the only one who eats there, I find it hard to go out to dinner for "diner" food. If I'm eating greasy pub food, I'm stumbling up to the T-bird (so I can stumble home! )--somehow I'm not that adventurous when I'm in that mindset. ← The 2nd time around the sauce was a little bit thicker, making it perfect! well if you're ever stumbling around 17th ...you should stumble into Steubens ..Happy Hour starts again at 10 I think?
  18. Am I the only one that eats here?? Burgers are amazing..The best crispy buttered buns I have ever had. and you can get them durring happy hour for only $4. Domestic Beers are also a dollar off. Gravy Fries are still top notch. Get the Green Chili on top. Too much mayo in the deviled eggs though (they weren't filled all the way either) and the service was terrible this time around. The guy shows up to our table 20 minutes after we sat down and the only reason he did was because I made a complaint with one of the hostess(or manager). The guy had an attitude with us when we wanted to make our order..as if we were stupid or something. We then get a bill right after the appetizers and the burgers without any question of dessert. I really wanted a shake or a float to go but I guess I wasn't getting one. The bussers do a great though. An earlier visit about two weeks ago, the mac n cheese was perfect and the Cheese Steak was awesome as well. Although I don't know if the price was worth it. You can get cheaper at other Cheese Steak Places.
  19. Are there any other areas that might be of interest closer to SD? or even LA.
  20. Finding the right location will be tough. We originally thought about Temecula as the location for this project but have also thought about going more south toward San Diego as well. If it is in temecula, we would like it to be away from all of the cookie cutter corporate businesses and strip malls (unless it suits our type of business). It would be nice to be out where theres nothing but just a view of the mountains. In a perfect world we would just open right into Los Angeles, San Diego/Coronado, or even Orange County. With our budget we want to start out small but even with a big budget we would want the dining room to seat no more than 60 seats at a time. We are going to keep an eye out for locations stretching from San Diego to Temecula and hoping to find the right place. Of course with a small budget we would like to find a location with a kitchen and hood vent in place. We plan to find a place by August and moving out to California in September. The question I have for all of you is .. Is it possible for a restaurant of extreme high standards of modern food do well in a place that only holds one restaurant of a Mobil 2 star restaurant and one Mobil 1 star restaurant? Can this project work in a place of just corporate cooking? All I hear from people in Temecula is that it's growing rapidly and that it needs a nice restaurant in town. My concern is that it's not a food focused town...I need opinions from locals and whoever else. There's another way to look at it and that's to say people will come from SD and LA to Temecula to eat at this restaurant. If it's that good, will people make the commute?
  21. My business partner and I arrived 20 minutes late to our reservation which was 8:30 but everything was perfect when we stepped into Sona. We went for the 9 course degustation and also the cheese supplement ($30). We also enjoyed a white wine to pair with the first 3 or 4 courses and a red for all the meat courses. Then they brought out a dessert wine which was insanely good. I'll have names later on hopefully. I definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone who is going to be in the area. My experience there was the best a mobil 4 star rated restaurant has ever given. Unfortunately the chef had just left before we got there we did meet some great people at the restaurant. The service was excellent and the food just seemed to work throughout each course. They do a great job of implacing asian flavors gently throughout the meal, no fusion-confusion fussy business here. Pictures are on my Flickr. I should have more descriptions soon with those pics.
  22. Ive made it out here in the area..I visited Temecula today and also went to te Pachenga (SP?) Casino just to walk around. It looks like we have a deal with the investors for a restaurant. Look around in Fall of 07' for a small fine dining operation with extreme high standards. We will most likely start out slow with menu development but with the same quality and standards. No 20+ course meals until later on. Edited to clarify that the restaurant will not be in the casino ...the location is still under research.
  23. thanks for the post rjwong ...I'm looking forward to my reservation on the 20th.
  24. This is great guys, I really appreciate everyone's input. We're hoping we can start up an independent restaurant using fresh/local ingredients and that's why I am concerned about local farming and farmer's markets but it sounds as there might be some nice outlets. Our goals will stay the same no matter where the location is and that's to achieve greatness by providing excellent service, cuisine, and atmosphere. So far with my research Temecula is home to only two mobil starred restaurants and the highest one is a Two Star, we're hoping to atleast 4 stars and eventually growing into 5 star status. Not saying that stars matter but just to give everyone an idea what kind of restaurant we are aiming for. It will be progressive American Cuisine. Currently I am trying to get as much information on local farms, farmer's markets, and wine vineyards. Also, finding gourmet shops and food stores will be just as important to us. I am looking forward to flying in to California to see the selected locations that our investor has kept an eye on for us.
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