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bluestem: The new and improved - Kansas City


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I need to get over and check out the lounge.  Do you need a reservation, or am I safe just showing up? 

I've convinced at least eight different people to go for brunch, and gotten nothing but raves from them.  Went for brunch on Sunday with the boyfriend and another friend.  Boyfriend has up to this point refused to eat eggs in any form, but loved the scrambled eggs in the Bluestem breakfast.  Friend absolutely demolished the crepes with berries, yogurt and honey, declaring it the best breakfast she's ever had.  And those pomme frites...  :wub:

If you go early on a weeknight (by which I mean I am scratching at the locked door when they open at 5 :rolleyes:) you'll be fine. I think other times are pretty unpredictable based on random sampling.

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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I went to the lounge on Friday for happy hour and my friend and I were the only people in there. That was really surprising because the food was excellent and reasonably priced, as were the drinks. It looked like the dining room was only 2/3 or 3/4 full. I hope that's an anomaly. KC better support this place.

On Saturday, my friend who has lived in San Francisco for a few years, was in town with his girlfriend. I sent them to Bluestem and they said it was better than any meal they'd had in SF. They couldn't stop thanking me for the recommendation. Keep in mind they're students and probably haven't been to all of the finer restaurants in the Bay Area, but I still thought it was a tremendous compliment.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Although I haven't yet been to partake, I noticed that bluestem has revamped their Lounge menu to include main course type options in addition to the more traditional bar fare.

Also, their dining room menu seems to have undergone an autumnal face lift as well. If I can manage it, I'll try to make it in one of these nights and report back.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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  • 2 weeks later...
Although I haven't yet been to partake, I noticed that bluestem has revamped their Lounge menu to include main course type options in addition to the more traditional bar fare.

Also, their dining room menu seems to have undergone an autumnal face lift as well.  If I can manage it, I'll try to make it in one of these nights and report back.

I've been into the Lounge to eat twice now since my last post. I've had chance to sample five of their bar "main courses." The best part is that I've had the benefit of trying the dishes half price.

Yes, you heard that correctly. I was informed a couple of weeks ago that through the holidays, bluestem's entire Lounge menu - Appetizers, "Entrees," and Desserts - is half-off during Happy Hour (5-7pm) Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. I've taken advantage of the deal already.

In addition to the Appetizer selections like Butter Lettuce Salad, Smoked Salmon, Assorted Cheese Plate, Assorted La Quercia Charcuterie Plate, and Wagyu Tartare, I've also tasted the following main courses:

Fish & Chips, Flight of Sauces ($12)

Braised Chicken, Bacon, San Marzano, Fall Herbs, Rigotoncini and Parmesan ($12)

La Belle Duck Confit, Brussels Sprouts and Dijon Jus ($14)

Pork Tenderloin with Root Vegetables ($14)

Guinness-braised Short Ribs, White ($15)

You can see all of my pictures of my two meals thus far here and here.

I was in last night, and they had switched out the Fish & Chips for Shrimp & Grits. The only other "Entree" I haven't tried is the Steak Frites - a 10 oz. behemoth for $16 (or $8 during M-W Happy Hour). While I hope to try their Shrimp & Grits soon, I do hope they bring back the Fish & Chips.

I'll dispense with a discussion about the appetizers - you can find their descriptions on one of my many bluestem photo sets on flickr.

The Fish & Chips and Guinness-Braised Short Ribs are probably my favorite of the "Entrees" I've tried. The Fish & Chips was a truly stunning plate of perfectly fried cod - the gigantic fillets, all three, were immensely moist and clean-tasting inside a light crispy yeasty batter crust. The flight of sauces was basically a duo of cocktail sauce and tartar sauce. The tartar sauce - something which I usually dislike immensely - was wonderful, no doubt thanks to lots of Worcestershire.

The Guinness-Braised Short Ribs were meltingly soft and flavorful and came on a thick, cheesy bed of white cheddar grits. It's the kind of food that you want to be tucked into bed with.

My only problem with these two dishes (and steak frites) is that they come with no vegetables. For some, that may be a dream. For me, this is not good - I need the veg with my meat and starch. I wished they offered a side dish bowl of brussels sprouts or cauliflower, or something other than just the Butter Lettuce; something warm, to go along with these veg-less "Entrees." It'd up their bar tab, to boot.

For this reason, I liked the La Belle Duck Confit and the Pork Tenderloin - both came with roasted brussels sprouts, baby turnips, and thumbalina carrots. The duck confit was extremely flavorful and moist inside, although I found the sauce to be a bit heavy and much.

The pork dish was my least favorite. The medallions were tad dry, and there were a good 5 or 6 large chunks of bacon fat that I had to pick out of the bowl. The bowl brings up another point - I found the pork difficult to cut sitting atop an uneven bed of nobby root vegetables in a bowl full of sauce. But, hey, for $7, I'll deal.

The desserts haven't changed much since my last visit. In fact, I don't think they've changed at all. The pumpkin brioche bread pudding still remains my favorite dessert - although I've been finding just as much enjoyment out of the ice cream sampler. Last night I had two scoops of the salted caramel (which normally comes with the "Chocolate Consomme" dessert) and a scoop of lavender ice cream. Both were great.

Three of us had three salads, a cheese plate to share, three main courses, two desserts, an ice tea and cappucino and the tab came to $49 + change after tax.

The secret is definitely out on the best deal in town. The Lounge was packed to the gills last night.

Edited by ulterior epicure (log)

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Three of us had three salads, a cheese plate to share, three main courses, two desserts, an ice tea and cappucino and the tab came to $49 + change after tax.

Mother of *PEARL*, that is cheap. Three of you? I mean, yes, granted, the appetizers aren't there, but entrees, dessert, salad, non-alcoholic beverages, etc., and the tab was under $50 before gratuity? I'm not sure that you could find this kind of pricing structure had you "dined" at stinking Applebee's.

Guess they're looking to build their client base. Sounds like they're doing a bang-up job of it. I'd be there in spades if I had any reason at all to visit KC.

I kid you not: I'm literally shaking my head at how inexpensive that is.

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Three of us had three salads, a cheese plate to share, three main courses, two desserts, an ice tea and cappucino and the tab came to $49 + change after tax.

Mother of *PEARL*, that is cheap. Three of you? I mean, yes, granted, the appetizers aren't there, but entrees, dessert, salad, non-alcoholic beverages, etc., and the tab was under $50 before gratuity? I'm not sure that you could find this kind of pricing structure had you "dined" at stinking Applebee's.

Guess they're looking to build their client base. Sounds like they're doing a bang-up job of it. I'd be there in spades if I had any reason at all to visit KC.

I kid you not: I'm literally shaking my head at how inexpensive that is.

But the appetizers are - we had three salads and shared a cheese plate. Even if we had ordered a wagyu tartare and a smoked salmon plate, that would only have added a total of $7 more to the bill!

You can't find this kind of a deal at KFC let alone Applebee's!!

Edited by ulterior epicure (log)

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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  The Fish & Chips was a truly stunning plate of perfectly fried cod - the gigantic fillets, all three, were immensely moist and clean-tasting inside a light crispy yeasty batter crust.  The flight of sauces was basically a duo of cocktail sauce and tartar sauce.  The tartar sauce - something which I usually dislike immensely - was wonderful, no doubt thanks to lots of Worcestershire.

The Guinness-Braised Short Ribs were meltingly soft and flavorful and came on a thick, cheesy bed of white cheddar grits.  It's the kind of food that you want to be tucked into bed with.

My only problem with these two dishes (and steak frites) is that they come with no vegetables.  For some, that may be a dream.  For me, this is not good - I need the veg with my meat and starch.  I wished they offered a side dish bowl of brussels sprouts or cauliflower, or something other than just the Butter Lettuce; something warm, to go along with these veg-less "Entrees."  It'd up their bar tab, to boot.

From my own experiences, when ordering fish and chips, that is what one gets. And when I dined at Craft and ordered the braised short ribs, that is what I received. To order a vegetable side, I am sure that Chef would accommodate you

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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From my own experiences, when ordering fish and chips, that is what one gets.  And when I dined at Craft and ordered the braised short ribs, that is what I received.  To order a vegetable side, I am sure that Chef would accommodate you

Right. That is why I was not the one who ordered either of those two dishes - I opted for the ones with veg (pork and duck confit) in them already. All I simply meant to say is that I'd be much more apt to order fish & chips, shrimp & grits, short ribs, or steak frites if there were side veggies as an accompaniment. I'm sure Chef Garrelts would have accommodated a request; I just didn't want to bother them, as they were awfully busy, and we were running late for a show. It was more of a leisurely drive by, rather than a sit-and-enjoy.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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But the appetizers are - we had three salads and shared a cheese plate.  Even if we had ordered a wagyu tartare and a smoked salmon plate, that would only have added a total of $7 more to the bill!

Ah, well, I consider a salad course to be different from an appetizer course. Can't much argue about the cheese plate, however, even if I wouldn't appreciate said cheese plate. That's very much an appetizer, and inherently meant-to-be-shared. I'd have *certainly* ordered the wagyu tartare or the smoked salmon in its stead, however, as cheese and I really don't get along all that well (exception: pizza, or pizza-esque things [thai chicken "pizza", e.g.]).

Still, I mean, three people for under $50 with all of that *quality* food, and what I'm assuming was good service. Ask them if they're considering opening a branch in the Detroit area for me, will you? ;)

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I'm astounded.

Through which holidays?  I hope it's all the way through Christmas.

I'm giddy.

I was wondering the same thing... it was left vaguely at "the holidays..." You know, holidays are year-round occurances... I'm looking at Christmas 2020, but I doubt that's what they have in mind.

To answer your (and my) question, we shall have to summon Chef CAG from his slumber...

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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I'm astounded.

Through which holidays?  I hope it's all the way through Christmas.

I'm giddy.

I was wondering the same thing... it was left vaguely at "the holidays..." You know, holidays are year-round occurances... I'm looking at Christmas 2020, but I doubt that's what they have in mind.

To answer your (and my) question, we shall have to summon Chef CAG from his slumber...

Detroit.....No. :biggrin: Happy hour......I'm going to see what happens. I will run it through the winter. We needed to give a jolt to the lounge. If it continues to do well we will keep it for a while. I think we might start music on Thursdays in Dec. also. We are taking a hit on food but hopefully it will get some people in that wouldnt come otherwise. The dining room does great just trying to get some next door :cool:

“Nobody can be so amusingly arrogant as a young man who has just discovered an old idea and thinks it is his own." - Sydney J. Harris

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Detroit.....No.  :biggrin:  Happy hour......I'm going to see what happens. I will run it through the winter. We needed to give a jolt to the lounge. If it continues to do well we will keep it for a while. I think we might start music on Thursdays in Dec. also. We are taking a hit on food but hopefully it will get some people in that wouldnt come otherwise. The dining room does great just trying to get some next door  :cool:

Nonsense - the Chef de Cuisine already wears a Tigers hat - Detroit is no stretch at all.

I give the specials one visit from Zeemanb before they're off.

I am available, with vocal stylings and rapier wit, for your entertainment needs. I'll be here all week - try the veal - and don't forget to tip your server :laugh:

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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  • 2 months later...

I ate off of bluestem Lounge's menu last week (see here). The pork went off the menu that night, and I suspected it meant that something new would be replacing it. I just looked, and it seems that a PEI mussels dish has replaced the pork. I know what I'm ordering the next time I make it.

My shrimp preparation was a tad different from the times before. On my last visit, the shrimp had been cut (in half/thirds?) before cooking, and not left whole. But, the sauce seemed the same - a sweet syrupy glaze that had quite a nice kick of heat not unlike Chinese sweet and spicy sauce. On the new menu, the "Shrimp and Grits" has morphed into a "Fricasse."

There are quite a few new desserts as well as a new format on the cheese plate. You can now order the cheese individually, or a composed sampling of all six.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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I have lived in Kansas City for nearly seven years, and have yet to visit this restaurant. I think I'm due.

At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since. ‐ Salvador Dali

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I have lived in Kansas City for nearly seven years, and have yet to visit this restaurant. I think I'm due.

I would certainly say high thee forth. I have been known to drive up just for dinner from Oklahoma.

I know, I am weird.

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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I think I'll make a visit some time this spring.

At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since. ‐ Salvador Dali

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Hi everyone, I'm glad to see this post staying active as this is a wonderful and important restaurant that deserves our attention. I just wanted to acknowledge a change in the guard, though, that I don't know if most people are aware of.

Dave Crum has been with Bluestem since the beginning, first as sous chef, then as chef de cuisine. He has poured a lot of himself into the place, is extremely hard working and talented, and I know he will be missed by the staff and patrons alike. To put it simply he is a great guy and a bad-ass cook.

I guess that's it. I just wanted to point out his contribution to this up and coming food scene. Good luck to Dave, and to Colby, Megan, and the rest of the Bluestem crew, and thanks for all the great food you've put out so far.

HH

"As far as cuisine is concerned one must read everything, see everything, hear everything, try everything, observe everything, in order to retain, in the end, just a little bit!"

F. Point

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Hi everyone, I'm glad to see this post staying active as this is a wonderful and important restaurant that deserves our attention.  I just wanted to acknowledge a change in the guard, though, that I don't know if most people are aware of. 

Dave Crum has been with Bluestem since the beginning, first as sous chef, then as chef de cuisine.  He has poured a lot of himself into the place, is extremely hard working and talented, and I know he will be missed by the staff and patrons alike.  To put it simply he is a great guy and a bad-ass cook.

I guess that's it.  I just wanted to point out his contribution to this up and coming food scene.  Good luck to Dave, and to Colby, Megan, and the rest of the Bluestem crew, and thanks for all the great food you've put out so far.

HH

Yes, I've been remiss in my postings - thanks HH. I'm happy to say that I (and Dividend, as it happened) enjoyed our last Dave-produced brunch on Sunday. I have mixed emotions about him leaving but, since he didn't ask me, I guess I'll learn to live with it :angry::wink:

Kidding aside, I look forward to seeing what Chef CAG has up his sleeve.

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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Hi everyone, I'm glad to see this post staying active as this is a wonderful and important restaurant that deserves our attention.  I just wanted to acknowledge a change in the guard, though, that I don't know if most people are aware of. 

Dave Crum has been with Bluestem since the beginning, first as sous chef, then as chef de cuisine.  He has poured a lot of himself into the place, is extremely hard working and talented, and I know he will be missed by the staff and patrons alike.  To put it simply he is a great guy and a bad-ass cook.

I guess that's it.  I just wanted to point out his contribution to this up and coming food scene.  Good luck to Dave, and to Colby, Megan, and the rest of the Bluestem crew, and thanks for all the great food you've put out so far.

HH

Yes, I've been remiss in my postings - thanks HH. I'm happy to say that I (and Dividend, as it happened) enjoyed our last Dave-produced brunch on Sunday. I have mixed emotions about him leaving but, since he didn't ask me, I guess I'll learn to live with it :angry::wink:

Kidding aside, I look forward to seeing what Chef CAG has up his sleeve.

Echo (not on the brunch bit, as I wasn't there, but I'm sure it was tasty). Best of luck to Mr. Crum, where'er he's off to (care to share?), and to Chef CAG, not that either of them needs any.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Hi everyone, I'm glad to see this post staying active as this is a wonderful and important restaurant that deserves our attention.  I just wanted to acknowledge a change in the guard, though, that I don't know if most people are aware of. 

Dave Crum has been with Bluestem since the beginning, first as sous chef, then as chef de cuisine.  He has poured a lot of himself into the place, is extremely hard working and talented, and I know he will be missed by the staff and patrons alike.  To put it simply he is a great guy and a bad-ass cook.

I guess that's it.  I just wanted to point out his contribution to this up and coming food scene.  Good luck to Dave, and to Colby, Megan, and the rest of the Bluestem crew, and thanks for all the great food you've put out so far.

HH

Yes, I've been remiss in my postings - thanks HH. I'm happy to say that I (and Dividend, as it happened) enjoyed our last Dave-produced brunch on Sunday. I have mixed emotions about him leaving but, since he didn't ask me, I guess I'll learn to live with it :angry::wink:

Kidding aside, I look forward to seeing what Chef CAG has up his sleeve.

you should of called, I would of driven up. Mr. Crum has impressed when I have dragged people kicking and screaming to Kansas City. They left very impressed.

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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you should of called, I would of driven up.  Mr. Crum has impressed when I have dragged people kicking and screaming to Kansas City. They left very impressed.

You're in luck, joiei. You can now drag them kicking and screaming to Starker's Reserve, where Mr. Crum is now cooking.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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you should of called, I would of driven up.  Mr. Crum has impressed when I have dragged people kicking and screaming to Kansas City. They left very impressed.

You're in luck, joiei. You can now drag them kicking and screaming to Starker's Reserve, where Mr. Crum is now cooking.

Advice is noted, thanks u.e. Have a great day on me. lol

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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