For months and months I’ve had these photos ready to be posted and dishes to recount. Days have gone by without documentation or words because there is no way I can be unbiased in this article. Why? I want you to love EBT.
In an ideal restaurant world, all diners are treated like critic royalty Pete Wells and each plate is executed with a God-like consistency (the same yesterday, today and tomorrow). But naturally places come and go like migrating birds, service is carried out by imperfect people and taste is subjective. This is why every restaurant story I write and publish is my personal opinion of the experience I have at that time.
I’m still going to be honest but need to confess that I have a personal interest in EBT. My younger brother is the General Manager and I want to see it thrive.
EBT has been a classy establishment in Kansas City for a long time, offering table-side preparation and souffles for dessert. It’s also a namesake of a downtown department store, Emery Bird Thayer, hailing from a previous era.
I grew up in the Kansas City area and lived there until I was 23-years-old, but I had never eaten at EBT until last November. Of course I had heard of it but it seemed like an upscale lunching lady type establishment. Hidden on the backside in a bank building, it’s located directly off of State Line and I-435. Preconceived notions and an obscure location were not doing it any favors.
When we traveled to the Midwest for Thanksgiving, EBT was our first stop. We were welcomed by the sight of rows of orchids and a surprisingly large dining room. The art deco interior is decorated in warm tones and the lights were low during our relaxed late night dinner.
To begin the evening we sampled an array of appetizers such as the tender Thai Glazed Beef Skewers and Bacon Wrapped Tiger Shrimp with Thai chili sauce, but I couldn’t keep my hands from the buttery toasts. I have a bread and butter weakness. And although they are easy constructed at home, I do enjoy a salad with ingredients I don’t usually have on hand like the Apple, Gorgonzola and Red Leaf Salad or Iceberg Wedge. Both were equally delicious especially because I didn’t have to make the sherry vinaigrette or creamy bleu cheese dressing myself.
For our entrees my husband chose the Beef Ribeye and I picked Seared Scallops and Risotto from the appetizer menu, diligently trying to save room for dessert. His enormous steak came with mashed potatoes and almondine mixed vegetables, bleu cheese sauce on the side. I was slipped an extra perfectly seared scallop atop the slightly over seasoned risotto.
Finally the moment had come that I had been waiting for and he rolled out the table-side cart for Bananas Foster. He steadily melted butter, whisked in brown sugar and then with a few quick movements ignited the liquors shooting up a glowing flame. Nothing is more dramatic than a burst of fire in a dark dining room. Being fully gluttonous, I also ordered a chocolate souffle and mopped up every bit of cream anglaise from a tiny, adorable pitcher. The chocolate flavor wasn’t as intense as I anticipated but it was tall, light and airy.
We ate, drank and thoroughly enjoyed celebrating in my brother’s newest professional adventure. He’s good at what he does and reveres a fine meal just as much as I do. And as I said at his wedding, he got his driven work ethic from our father, his ability to make friends with anyone from our mother and I’m so very proud to call him my brother.
Read more about EBT restaurant below and browse my other Restaurant Stories.
The Young and the Restless: The Pitch
EBT restaurant targets fresh new image without abandoning longtime roots: Kansas City Business Journal
1310 Carondelet Drive
Kansas City, MO 64114
Friend them on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EBTKansasCity
Follow them on Twitter: http://twitter.com/EBTKansasCity
To conclude our weekend trip (yes, back in November) my friend and I went out for one final meal, which started out innocently enough. Two hours later we settled on a restaurant.
We had befriended a local couple, and per their recommendation, went to explore the downtown Five Points area. Stepping out of the car we encountered a handful of homeless men, but no trace of the lively crowd we were expecting on a Saturday night. Peeking into Surin West, we passed because they allegedly specialize in Thai food and sushi (doubtful). Retracing our steps we spotted Highlands Bar and Grill but we were under dressed and it looked overly busy.
Hopping back into the car we drove to Bottega, but found out both the restaurant and cafe were closed for a private party. Back in the saddle, we headed to Giuseppe’s Cafe & Espresso Bar because they’re the best kept secret in town (according to their website). Sadly we went in, got a table, glanced at the menus, opted out and moved on.
From there we headed back to Five Points, destination Highland Grill, but were sidetracked when discovering Chez Fonfon next door. It might have been easier to drive to Paris.
Having never been to France, I can only imagine that Chez Fonfon emulates the same cozy, intimate feeling as a bistro underneath the Eiffel tower. The lights were dim, the quarters close and wine bottles lined a wall.
While musing over our options we torn into a basket of bread and soaked in the glow. To begin, my friend and I split the Little gem bib salad with apples, tomme and tarragon-cider vinaigrette. It was a simply dressed salad, tangy from the dressing and sweet from the fruit.
Craving a healthy reprieve and saving room for dessert, I chose the salmon with lentils du Puy and niçoise olive butter for my entree. The generous portion of fish and lentils were perfectly cooked and complimented by the salty sharpness of the olives. My friend equally enjoyed the Coq au Vin which was tender and moist.
Reluctant to select just one, I settled on the Pear Almond tart for dessert but almost ordered the Chocolate Pot de Creme my friend had. Luckily, she’s the sharing type and let me scoop up a spoonful of the silky smooth rich chocolate mousse. Charmed by the flaky, buttery tart, I savored my dessert with a cappuccino leaving no crumb behind.
I imagine that the croque monsieur and steak frites are delightful, and wish I had room to taste the cheese plate. Chez Fonfon is as enchanting as Birmingham and a fairly inexpensive way to experience the allure of Paris. Just try to avoid the two hour tour to get there.
2007 Eleventh Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35205
Watching a Cirque du Solie show is instant inspiration to start doing push-ups or a guilt inducing catalyst for indulging in one too many cookies. Good thing we went to the performance after eating at Mon Ami Gabi.
On our final evening in Las Vegas we had dinner at Mon Ami Gabi and took in the “O” show at the Bellagio.
Upon arrival for our reservation, we were traipsed through the restaurant to a table adjacent to the outdoor patio, perched in perfect view of the Bellagio fountains across the street. The stars were shining, the water danced and the room was illuminated by a soft glow. And as if in Paris, a romantic aura permeated our meal.
While studying the menu we tore into a warm, crusty banquette, slathering the pieces with butter and didn’t quite know what to do with the plate of seasoned corn. Still reeling from the monstrous proportions at Hash House a Go Go, we decided to order sparingly and share.
I savored a towering cup of Onion Soup au Gratin draped with melted Gruyere cheese. A bread round and strands of onion were submerged in the chestnut broth, finished with a touch of sweet vermouth. My friend let me steal a bite of her Endive and Bosc Pear Salad which was light, finely dressed and punctuated by dots of blue cheese.
Then my other friend and I split a plate of Steak Frites Bone-In Ribeye, bearnaise sauce on the side. The steak had an ample amount of fat and was adequately cooked (good not great). Instead of ordinary french fries, the steak was surrounded by thin, flat crispy potato sticks, but having never been to France I couldn’t tell you if this was the French standard.
For dessert I wavered between the Apple Tarte Tatin and Profiteroles; I ended up greatly regretting not requesting the latter. The dark Apple Tarte Tatin was tough, gummy and left mostly untouched. Since we were heading to the late Cirque du Soile show following dinner, we had a round of mediocre cappuccinos.
The meal was satisfying and reasonably priced, a rare fine on the main strip, but the atmosphere was the magical part. If planning on a visit, be sure to inquire about sitting near the windows in full view of the strip and fountains. Get the profiteroles and worry about the push-ups later.
Mon Ami Gabi
Paris Resort & Casino
3655 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Forget diamonds, dessert is a girl’s best friend.
I’m the kind of girl who prefers experiences over objects. If given the choice between jewelry or a meal out, I’d wholeheartedly pick the meal every single time. For this milestone birthday, my husband spoiled me with both earrings and dinner. And not just any dinner. I was turning 30, we had a Living Social deal and a free evening before I left for Las Vegas. The perfect conditions to eat at Parlor Market had aligned.
On a Friday night we cruised downtown in the El Camino, parked near the King Edward Hotel and stepped into Parlor Market. Upon entering, there are exceptionally close tables on the left and a bar on the right, luckily we were led to the back in full view of the kitchen action. Immediately, a bowl of pimento cheese appeared our table.
The Cooking Bride posted Parlor Market’s pimento cheese recipe after they converted her into a fan. Identifying with her dismay of the alarming neon glow of most versions, I was intrigued to try it myself. Pimento cheese is Only in the South and an unknown phenomenon to most Northerners.
Put your fears aside because this Pimento Cheese is salty, smokey, slightly spicy and a natural color. My Southern born and bred husband exclaimed it’s the best he’s ever had. It involves a lot of bacon and was generously slathered on crostini rounds.
As a preview of the acts to come, we received a spoonful of velvety blueberry puree dotted with lemon scented ricotta cheese. While deliberating over the menu we spread sorghum butter (molded like a beehive) on mini cornbread muffins.
Known for their unique Prohibition-era cocktails, I savored a Front Porch while Ben ventured to the Pre-Prohibition menu for a Corpse Reviver #2. Mine had sweet tea vodka, lemonade and mint served in a mason jar, his included ingredients I’ve never heard of and absinthe. (Remember, I’m not much of a drinker.)
For starters, we decided on the Crab Duo appetizer and a dozen raw oysters.
The Crab Duo paired a light crab salad heaped into a zucchini boat and soft-shell crab tempura. Although nearly everything was fried golden brown, it was a delightful contrast of crisp salty batter and sweet succulent crab meat. The zucchini was still firm, the crab salad delicate and the soft-shell crab extended off the plate. Due to my losing record battling raw oysters, I declined to partake of the platter which Ben happily slurped down on his own.
In seamless synchronization, our entrees were presented while empty plates were whisked away. For the main event we chose Pan Seared Halibut and the Duck Breast special.
A large portion of halibut was placed on top of a cheese laden corn maque choux, nestled next to a lobster tail and garnished with pieces of whole fried okra. The fish had a nice crust and tender center, but could have benefited being taken off the heat one minute earlier. The separate parts were well-executed but the dish didn’t feel as cohesive when compared to the duck. Ben devoured his apple glazed duck breast, haricot verts, polenta and tiger melon which he graciously let me taste. The flavors were bright and more sharply paired. He left no morsel behind.
As a grand finale we requested Cookies + Cream and to my surprise it came lovingly plated besides Walk Down Memory Lane. I was thrilled because it’s more of a struggle to select dessert, than it was to decide on a university.
A trio of ice creams in homemade cones sat perched on cookies, and I’m guessing the flavor combinations were vanilla (hint of mint)/brown sugar cookie, chocolate (hint of cinnamon)/chocolate chip cookie and pistachio/sugar cookie.
Opening the lid of the tin lunchbox I discovered a key lime push-up pop, chocolate pudding cup, moon pie, oatmeal cream pie and brown sugar rice krispie treats. The push-up pop was irresistable, refreshingly tart and creamy. I could only muster a bite of the rest of the items before I threw in the towel. Walk Down Memory Lane is the most playful and creative dessert I’ve ever experienced.
It was a pricey evening made less painful by the Living Social deal (repeat please), but even so, we’ve had such meals before and left much less satisfied. They do have a happy hour, reasonable lunch menu and brunch on the weekends.
We could have lingered much longer in our cozy spot, watching candles illuminate the dark wood accents and exposed brick, entertained by the flurry of activity. Evident by the flawless service and constant need for reservations, Parlor Market is a well-oiled machine, successfully putting their own twist on traditional regional dishes.
I adore everything about Parlor Market. The location, the concept, the glassware, the light fixtures, heck, even the logo. I’ll be back as much as possible (anniversary in October!) and hope to see you there.
115 West Capitol Street
Jackson, MS 39201
As part of the transition from my 20s to 30s, I embarked on an eating trail extending from Jackson to Las Vegas.
This is the beginning of a series on my birthday meals. Believe me, mentioning my thirtieth is getting equally as tiresome for me as it is you, but I am compelled to share.
The journey begins at Table 100.
On my third visit to Table 100, I eventually got to enjoy dinner in the dining room. On prior occasions I sat in the bar and in the adjacent conference center for their inaugural wine tasting school. The third time’s a charm.
Feeling indulgent and a little wild, I ordered a Pepe O’Malley cocktail. Knowing less about cocktails than SEC football (I’m a Big 12 girl), I picked this drink because of the freshly squeezed lemonade and quirky name. The tactic paid off because it was dangerously light, refreshing and had a hint of cucumber.
While I sipped, our large group selected approximately half of the appetizers on the menu to share at the table. We passed around the Duck Confit Spring Rolls, Pan Roasted Crab Cake “100″ and Cold Alaskan Salmon Spread. The spring roll didn’t have much of a noticeable flavor, but then again I only snagged half of one. The crab cake and spread were good, but I kept wishing we had gotten the Shrimp and Grits.
The next course arrived and I pressed on with a fresh Market Salad accompanied by a tiny, adorable pitcher of Comeback dressing. The Northerner in me preferred the Green Goddess to the tangy, thick Comeback. Either way you won’t be disappointed especially when warm, crusty bread is served on the side.
Luckily when it came to the entrees I was completely satisfied. Bypassing the Catch of the Day and overlooking the Bone-In Ribeye, I went with the safe, comfortable choice of the Gulf Shrimp and Andouille Sausage Pasta.
At home I cook Italian food nearly once a week and believe it’s a genre I can execute as well as, if not better, than what’s available at most restaurants (in my humble opinion). Unable throw caution to the wind and add excessive quantities of cream in my own cooking, I savored every bite of this rich, creamy dish. A spicy sauce coated thin, tender pappardelle noodles laden with plump shrimp and sausage. Ben chose the fish special but his fork kept wandering over to my plate.
The staff knew we were coming and gave us extremely attentive service, but I haven’t heard otherwise from anyone else else who has dined there. Our water glasses never ran low, the bread baskets were always full and everyone was courteous.
Between the polished dining room or live piano music in the bar, a $9 panini or $38 steak, and specialty martinis to wines of every color, there are plenty of choices to please anyone who enters the door.
Table 100 is a beacon of light for food lovers among the sea of chain restaurants lining Lakeland Drive. A friend has eaten there as many as four nights in a row, during the week. As far as I know, it’s been warmly received into the area and now I know why. Just be sure to get the Shrimp and Grits, do it for me.
100 Ridge Way
Flowood, MS 39232