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Posts tagged with Restaurants

Two Lawrence wine lists get awards from Wine Spectator

Journal-World file photo by Kevin Anderson

Journal-World file photo by Kevin Anderson by Sara Shepherd

Wine Spectator included two Lawrence locations — both hotel restaurants — in its 2013 Restaurant Wine List Awards, announced this week.

The winning wine lists — which the magazine says “offer an interesting and diverse selection of 100 or more wines that are well-presented and thematically match the restaurant cuisine” — are at Ten, inside the Eldridge Hotel at 701 Massachusetts St., and Five 21 restaurant, inside the Oread Hotel at 1200 Oread Ave. According to Wine Spectator’s listing, Ten has 200 wine selections, with California wine being a particular strength. Five 21 also has 200 selections, with a list strong in French and California wine.

Wine Spectator’s list includes more than 3,700 restaurants from across the globe, plus a few cruise ships. Outside the Kansas City metropolitan area, which has 21 restaurants listed, the other Kansas restaurants on this year’s list are 4 Olives Wine Bar in Manhattan, Chester’s Chophouse and Wine Bar in Wichita and Mike’s Wine Dive in Wichita.

Wine Enthusiast also announced restaurant honors this week, but in a much more exclusive list. The nearest restaurant named in that magazine's America’s 100 Best Wine Restaurants 2013 is Niche in St. Louis.

Tips welcome!

Try something unusual or know of something interesting going on at a Lawrence restaurant? Send me an email at sshepherd@ljworld.com or contact me on Twitter @KCSSara. For more local food and restaurant news, click here.

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A taste of what’s on the menu for Merchants Pub and Plate (quail panzanella!)

Philip Wilson, left, and chef T.K. Peterson, co-owners of Merchants Pub and Plate, offer samples of menu items from their new restaurant, opening in August at 746 Massachusetts St.

Philip Wilson, left, and chef T.K. Peterson, co-owners of Merchants Pub and Plate, offer samples of menu items from their new restaurant, opening in August at 746 Massachusetts St. by Sara Shepherd

Co-owners of the soon-to-come Merchants Pub and Plate, Philip Wilson and chef T.K. Peterson, were chatting up potential customers while whipping up appetizers Friday evening in the back room of the Phoenix Gallery.

Final Friday-goers got to try two items expected to be on the menu at the new gastropub-style restaurant, on track to open in mid-August in the building formerly home to Teller’s, 746 Massachusetts St. (Previously, Wilson was the operating manager of Teller’s, and Peterson was executive chef at the Oread.)

On the table at Phoenix Gallery were samples of Black Pepper Mascarpone Crostini with Peach Basil Preserves and little boats of Grilled Quail Panzanella Salad, a mix of tender quail slices, arugula, diced tomatoes, fresh onions and bread cubes that soaked up a bright vinaigrette (a decidedly non-woodsy take on quail, and, unlike some at-home versions around these parts, birdshot-free!). I thought both were pretty to look at, fresh, flavorful and season-appropriate — and of course even better with a sip of the sauvignon blanc and IPA they were serving next door at BIAO Designs.

Black Pepper Mascarpone Crostini with Peach Basil Preserves

Black Pepper Mascarpone Crostini with Peach Basil Preserves by Sara Shepherd

Grilled Quail Panzanella Salad

Grilled Quail Panzanella Salad by Sara Shepherd

That’s good, because one of Merchants’ main goals is making seasonal food that goes well with beer, Peterson said. “It’s just kind of the food I want to cook,” he said. “Our restaurant’s going to be heavy on the beer side of things ... we’re beer enthusiasts.”

Merchants plans to have 30 beers on tap — all craft varieties, including Free State and other area beers — with no duplicate handles. Owners say that’s easily the most beers on tap of any place in town.

For updates on the restaurant’s anticipated opening, keep an eye on Merchants at Twitter.com/MerchantsOnMass or like them at facebook.com/MerchantsOnMass.

Tips welcome!

Try something unusual or know of something interesting going on at a Lawrence restaurant? Send me an email at sshepherd@ljworld.com or contact me on Twitter @KCSSara. For more local food and restaurant news, click here.

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Burger Stand lands on another nationwide ‘best burger’ list

Lawrence isn’t one of the 21 big cities the website Thrillist usually writes about, but somebody on their staff has been here — and been very impressed with one of our burgers.

The Burger Stand’s “Hamburg Burger” (which I'm pretty sure is one of their inventive specials, but not on the regular daily menu) made Thrillist’s list of “the 33 best burgers in the entire country,” published this week. Here’s what they said:

Originally started in the kitchen of an Irish pub in 2009, the burger stand has reached cult status in and around the college town thanks to their custom blend of tenderloin, strip steak, and ribeye; their housemade sauces (cherry pepper or chipotle cocoa ketchup, whole grain guinness mustard); and their duck fat fries. If you're feeling bold (and hell, you're in Kansas, why wouldn't you be?!?), get the Hamburg burger -- a German take with braised red cabbage, whole grain mustard, and homemade pickle relish.

Check out the Hamburg and the other 32 burgers — and find a printable PDF checklist if you have a wild hair to travel around the country and try them all — here. Burger Stand has been voted Lawrence's best burger three years running, and also got a shout out on Zagat's "best burgers in 25 cities" list earlier this year.

Tips welcome!

Try something unusual or know of something interesting going on at a Lawrence restaurant? Send me an email at sshepherd@ljworld.com or contact me on Twitter @KCSSara. For more local food and restaurant news, click here.

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Upcoming tasting event to break in La Parrilla’s new wine cellar

La Parrilla has planned a South American-style christening for the wine cellar in its new, bigger digs at 724 Massachusetts St., the space that formerly housed Tapas.

The cellar, which has been in the building since 2000, belongs to Steve Wilson of City Wine Market, who will lead La Parrilla's first tasting event there. The evening will feature four Argentinian wines paired with South American influenced, small-plate style dishes from chef Alejandro Lule (a Peruvian shrimp and octopus ceviche with a glass of torrontés gets the menu started).

The event is scheduled for 7 p.m. June 19 at La Parrilla. Cost is $48 per person. Seating is limited, and reservations should be made by calling 841-1100.

La Parrilla owner Subarna Bhattachan, in the event announcement, describes the cellar as an intimate space featuring exposed hardwood beams and decorated with Persian rugs. He said he plans to collaborate with Wilson on more cellar tasting events in the future, highlighting primarily Spanish, Portuguese and South American wines to complement the restaurant’s Latin American cuisine.

Tips welcome!

Try something unusual or know about something interesting going on at a Lawrence restaurant? Send me an email at sshepherd@ljworld.com or contact me on Twitter @KCSSara. For more local food and restaurant news, click here.

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West Coast wine pairings coming to a restaurant near you

West coast wineries — one in Oregon, one in California — will provide the wine part of two upcoming wine dinners in downtown Lawrence.

On June 5, the Eldridge is playing host to a dinner featuring wines from Jax Vineyard in Calistoga, Calif., at the foot of Mt. St. Helena. The planned five-course menu includes roasted duck breast with ginger-glazed carrot and slow-braised beef cheek with Iwig buttermilk mash.

The Jax Vineyard Wine Dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Eldridge. Cost is $60 per person, and reservations are required. Contact Lindsay Robinson at 785-749-1005 or lindsay@oliviacollection.com.

Genovese’s June wine dinner will prove that seafood and red wine can go together, especially when you’re talking about pinot noir. Each course will be paired with wine from Oregon’s Willamette Valley Vineyards — two whites and two pinot noirs. Planned dishes include a parmesan breadcrumb crusted diver scallop and pancetta-wrapped seared ahi tuna.

The Willamette Valley dinner is set for 6 p.m. June 6 at Genovese, 941 Massachusetts St. Cost is $45 per person. Call the restaurant at 842-0300 for reservations.

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Morels popping up on Lawrence menus

Pizza Bianca with morels, Maggie's Farm purple asparagus, fresh spinach, Crescenza cheese and truffle oil was one of the May 14, 2013, lunch specials at Genovese.

Pizza Bianca with morels, Maggie's Farm purple asparagus, fresh spinach, Crescenza cheese and truffle oil was one of the May 14, 2013, lunch specials at Genovese. by Sara Shepherd

It’s the time of year when morels are popping up in Kansas woods and in the news feeds of those foraging-types you’re friends with on Facebook — not that that does us non-foraging-types any good.

Luckily, a few Lawrence restaurants have secured sources for the elusive mushrooms and are plating up the pungent (in a good way!) fungi in various forms.

I got my fix today at Genovese, where the lunch specials included a Pizza Bianca with morels, Maggie's Farm purple asparagus, fresh spinach, Crescenza cheese and truffle oil. In the past week I’ve also seen morel specials advertised at 715 — where they’ve offered the mushrooms at dinnertime, sauteed with pancetta and served over grilled WheatFields bread and Maytag polenta — and at Pachamama’s — where they showed them Friday on Facebook atop pan roasted walleye, along with roasted cauliflower and dill and onion bubble and squeak.

To buy morels to cook yourself, Pendleton’s Kaw Valley Country Market also has advertised morels in their newsletter, although in limited amounts. For availability call 843-1409.

Watch social media feeds and keep an eye on downtown sandwich boards to catch any remaining morel specials before what's left of the season is gone. And maybe it wouldn’t hurt to try and make more of those foraging types more than just Facebook friends — they're probably more likely to share than to give away their secret hunting spots.

The true morel (left) is distinguishable from false morels (right) by its hollow core. False morels have cottony or other weblike structures inside their stem and cap.

The true morel (left) is distinguishable from false morels (right) by its hollow core. False morels have cottony or other weblike structures inside their stem and cap.

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Cinco de Mayo dinner to highlight refined side of tequila

There is a tequila world beyond “lick, shoot, suck” (and, inevitably, burn), and an upcoming event provides a good opportunity to foray into it.

Genovese’s annual Cinco de Mayo Tequila Tasting Dinner is planned for 6 p.m. Sunday at the restaurant, 941 Massachusetts St.

Genovese plans to serve a selection of Avión and Familia Camarena brand tequilas — silver, reposado and añejo, all produced in the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico — paired with a four-course dinner menu. Geneovese chef and co-owner Armando Paniagua’s Mexican heritage is reflected in his planned dishes: shrimp and octopus cocktail, grilled mahi mahi tacos, barbacoa and chocolate Kahlua panna cotta.

The cost of the dinner is $50 per person, not including tax and gratuity. For reservations, call Genovese at 842-0300.

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Boulevard’s new experimental brew is minty-fresh, on tap in Lawrence

Boulevard's Tripel Julep

Boulevard's Tripel Julep by Sara Shepherd

There’s only a handful of kegs (sixth-barrels at that) in town, but Boulevard Brewing Company’s Kentucky Derby-inspired Tripel Julep — a very limited, experimental release not planned for bottling — is on tap in Lawrence.

Mariscos has one keg, and Dempsey’s says they have two — one tapped and one backup. (There may be more, most likely bars that routinely serve Boulevard's Smokestack Series brews. Feel free to add sightings in the comments section below.)

This is easily the most unusual beer I’ve had. (Maybe the most unusual beer anyone has had?) Boulevard took some of its Long Strange Tripel, aged it in bourbon barrels and infused it with mint. You’ll taste a lot of mint, the banana and citrus notes Belgians are known for, a little bit of sweetness, plus a hint of oak and bourbon.

Boulevard used 15 first-use barrels from the Four Roses Bourbon distillery to age the Tripel for about three months, according to tasting notes from the distributor. Brewers then added mint and filled about 50 kegs by hand. For having an alcohol content of more than 11 percent, it’s deceivingly light and easy-drinking.

Naturally, Kansas City has the lion’s share of Tripel Julep. For those of you venturing that way, The Pitch today published a list of restaurants where it’s on tap in KC.

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‘United States of Caffeine’: Lawrence coffee shop represents Kansas on Zagat list

Brenna McKedy, a Kansas University junior from Garden City, left, works on homework near the cereal bar at Java Break, 17 E. Seventh St. Sarina Geist, right, store manager, says cereal bars are popular on the coasts and suit Java Break’s college-age clientele.

Brenna McKedy, a Kansas University junior from Garden City, left, works on homework near the cereal bar at Java Break, 17 E. Seventh St. Sarina Geist, right, store manager, says cereal bars are popular on the coasts and suit Java Break’s college-age clientele. by Mike Yoder

For the second time in two weeks, Lawrence has landed a spot on a Zagat list.

Our very own Java Break, 17 E. Seventh St., is representing Kansas on Zagat’s latest online roundup, “The United States of Caffeine: 50 States, 50 Must-Try Coffee Shops.” It's No. 16 on the slideshow list, revealed Wednesday on the Zagat blog.

Here’s what caught the judges' attention:

“Lawrence has no shortage of cool-kid coffee shops, but Java Break is unique thanks to the 24-hour coffee-flowing-though-your-veins service. The ultra-kitschy decor is loved by hipster college kids sticking Starbucks to the man, and their drinks, like the cult-ish Hazelnut Chai, are made from scratch without preservatives or corn syrup. Bonus: there’s a cereal bar with a slew of toppings.”

I'm an almond milk latte gal myself and haven't tried the chai, but I'll vouch for the rest of this writeup. If you missed our recent Off The Beaten Plate feature on their Cereal Bar, check it out here.

The other Zagat mention? That would be Burger Stand making its "Best Burgers in 25 Cities" list.

Java Break’s Minty Hot Chocolate.

Java Break’s Minty Hot Chocolate. by Nick Krug

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Lawrence joint makes Zagat’s ‘Best Burgers’ list

The Burger Stand at the Casbah, 803 Mass., won Best Burger in the 2012 Best of Lawrence contest.

The Burger Stand at the Casbah, 803 Mass., won Best Burger in the 2012 Best of Lawrence contest.

Zagat has taken note of something we Lawrencians have known for a while, if the Best of Lawrence contest is a fair indication. Zagat released its “Best Burgers in 25 Cities” list this week, and the Burger Stand at the Casbah, 803 Massachusetts St., is on it.

In a recent Zagat survey, the Zagat.com Blog feature explains, diners revealed they eat burgers more than four times per month. Thus, Zagat compiled the list in honor of the American favorite.

The Burger Stand joins restaurants and dives from Honolulu to Boston. (While Burger Stand is listed as being in Kansas City, I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt and assuming they’re implying the Kansas City area.)

As far is the quotes in Zagat’s summary of our local favorite go, they don’t indicate who or what they’re quoting. Maybe reader reviews? Anyway, here’s what they have to say:

“Outstanding” “gourmet” burgers and the “best” sides (“you can’t beat the truffle or duck-fat fries”) make this “cool” Lawrence joint a “new classic” whose “bustling” vibe “feels vital without being obnoxious”; service is “quick”, the bar stays open late most nights, and even if it’s not the cheapest patty-slinger around, you get to “indulge without emptying the bank.”

Kevin Anderson/Journal-World Photo.The Burger Stand, 803 Mass., creates a variety of signature ketchups.  Truffle fries gets some chipotle cocoa ketchup added.

Kevin Anderson/Journal-World Photo.The Burger Stand, 803 Mass., creates a variety of signature ketchups. Truffle fries gets some chipotle cocoa ketchup added. by Kevin Anderson

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