Michael Smith goes Italian
Ten years is a long time for any restaurant to be successful but when you operate at the level of Michael Smith Restaurant, a James Beard Award winner, it’s a particularly joyous occasion. So what did Chef Smith do to celebrate? He retooled his modern American contemporary menu into one centered on seasonal Italian cuisine.
The change isn’t a huge stretch for Smith, who has been hosting Italian nights weekly for some time now. Smith says that he will continue to pay attention to seasonality instead of focusing on one particular region of Italy. The menu now follows the traditional Italian form—antipasti, pasta, secondi and contorni, along with dessert.
“When tomatoes are in season, the menu reflects more southern Italian, but as winter comes and we think of more hearty vegetables like Brussels sprouts and such, it will travel more north. We just want to do what tastes good at the moment,’ he says.
In the meantime, Michael Smith offers tasting menus of five or six courses, as well as an all pasta option for those carb lovers.
Hogshead debuts on the Country Club Plaza
Finding a craft brew on the Country Club Plaza can be a bit of a challenge. Chef Clark Grant and business partner Shawn McClenny saw a need and are excited to fill it with an anticipated early-November opening of Hogshead KC.
The new restaurant/pub will occupy the former California Pizza Kitchen space at 4743 Pennsylvania Av. Grant, formerly the executive chef partner at Capital Grille, is focused on locally sourced ingredients for a menu that will feature upscale creative American cuisine. The space will see significant renovations and when completed, will feature a 20-seat chef’s counter facing an open kitchen, as well as table seating.
Although Grant says the menu will be slightly “pork-centric,” it will not, he says, be a barbecue joint. Hogshead’s beverage program will feature 24 local and craft beer taps as well as a menu of classic cocktails made with local spirits if possible. The restaurant will feature the same menu all day, with hours from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. on Sunday.
Spring 2018 is set to be chilly, at least in the Kansas City Power and Light District. That’s when the minds behind Joe’s KC and Back Napkin Restaurant Group will open a new collaboration, the County Line Ice House.
Ice houses are common in Texas and offer a place for folks to gather, eat, drink and listen to music, generally in large outdoor spaces. The County Line Ice House will feature the smoked meats that Joe’s KC fans crave, as well as an expanded menu featuring burgers, tacos and of course, ice cold beer. Cary Taylor, currently director of culinary development at Joe’s Kansas City, will oversee culinary operations and menu development.
The concept will take over the Gordon Biersch space, which features prime seating for outdoor concerts. And if the blend of outdoor/indoor seating, music and beer isn’t tantalizing enough, County Line will also be the only place to get Joe’s Kansas City barbecue on Sunday in Kansas City.