While I don’t have a lot more pictures to share of things we did in the US, I will share a series of entries about some of the food we ate. I’m a big believer in the value that a good meal adds to your life. Not only quality food and careful preparation but also good company, all of which are necessary to really eat well. This first entry is about Lidia’s Kansas City, the first location of several restaurants opened by Italian grandmother and public broadcasting celebrity Lidia Bastianich.
Andy already wrote about this meal, so if you read his blog as well, you’re in for a rerun especially as his camera is better than mine. Nonetheless, humor me with this entry.
Lidia’s was the location of our wedding reception last August. It is a charming space in a converted freight warehouse adjacent to the rail yards across from Union Station. Service is great and the food is prepared with a lot of attention and love. Just the kind of place to celebrate our union. In fact, the waitress who served us on our most recent visit turned out to be one of the waitresses who had worked our reception. She was very excited to see us back and took good care of us during our meal – a good reminder of why it is always a good idea to treat servers very well.
Andy and Sugi made the drive down from Omaha to visit us and spend the night in KC. While I grouse in my entries about the feeling of having to make lots of appointments and visits with people while we’re in the US, that really doesn’t apply quite as much when we’re in Kansas City, where most of the people we know are family. Andy and Sugi feel just like part of the family and seeing them was one of the highlights of our trip, and a reminder of how much we miss close friends while we live overseas.
A Friday evening, it seemed appropriate to begin with drinks before moving on to a really nice bottle of wine. I’ve recently decided that Campari and soda is my new apéritif of the moment – the bitters are nicely refreshing.
Lidia’s features a nice selection of homemade bread, including some of the lightest breadsticks I’ve ever enjoyed. The menu includes seasonal selections with an emphasis on locally grown produce and meat. There is a three-course fixed price menu for $32 which is a good value given the quality of the food.
Choosing from three “primi” or first-course offerings, I enjoyed the Montasio Cheese Frico. Kind of like a quesadilla made without the tortilla, the frico has potato, leek, and in this case lump crab fried with melted cheese until crisp. It is then topped with a light salad. Very refreshing and flavorful start to the meal.
For my “secondi” I chose the Battutina of Veal. As the name implies, it is a battered (pounded) veal steak that is fried and served with broccoli, prosciutto, and a Taleggio sage-tomato sauce. Despite its tenderizing, the veal wasn’t all that tender. It was very flavorful, though. In hindsight, I should have enjoyed the risotto with Gorgonzola and pear instead.
Andy enjoyed a wild boar ravioli. Lidia’s gets bonus points for all of their pasta being homemade. An excellent touch that makes all the difference in terms of taste and texture.
Another option on the menu is the bottomless tasting of a trio of pastas, the selection of which changes daily. Servers bring pans around, refilling as long as you’d like more pasta. Of course, no obligation to take seconds, but if you want just a few more bites of your favorite, of course that’s okay!
Today’s trio included a spinach linguini with shrimp and tomato sauce, a rigatoni with butter and herbs, and a wild mushroom ravioli. All were very nice – my favorite was the mushroom ravioli.
Why is it important to treat your servers well? Because when you come back next time they treat you well in return. After we ordered dessert, our waitress brought us a plate of homemade cookies, candied orange peel, and vanilla gelato. Yummy.
We split two desserts including this very good tiramisu.
We also had this Torta del Mascarpone, a Mascarpone cheesecake with pistachio crust, vanilla rhubarb, and salted pistachio brittle. I’m a sucker for anything with rhubarb in it. Beebop-a-reebop rhubarb pie, if you know that reference.
After dinner Tawn, Sugi, Andy, and I posed for a picture against the original brick wall of the freight warehouse. Interesting artwork on the wall, eh?
It was a wonderful dinner with wonderful company, followed up by some more wine and conversation at the Trio Cafe on the Country Club Plaza. As we called it a night, the freezing rain was coming down. By the time Andy and Sugi dropped us off at my sister’s house, the first flakes of snow were falling.
It’s been a long time since the last time I visited your site. Definitely, what you have here makes me hungry. Thanks for sharing them.
Wow. Looks like a feast! As for rhubarb – some people love it and some despise it. I can’t get enough of it! hehe. I can’t wait until my friend’s pie plants are ready!
Good friends, Good food, cannot ask for more .:)
The drink looks really nice
Can we make that a table for 6 next time? I want in!
I actually enjoy these dual entries very much. I like seeing the same event from multiple perspectives; especially since Andy provides very good photos, and you provide very good exposition.
oh gosh! i’m all famish now because of this blog. just had some mushroom risotto cakes today but what i would give to get some of those risotto with gorgonzola n pear. yeah, you should’ve ordered that. but i forgive you 🙂
@Norcani – Welcome back. There’s always some food porn waiting for you!@kenpcho – You and your smiley-faced boyfriend are always welcome to join us in KC or Omaha.@rudyhou – Thanks, I feel lots better with your forgiveness. =)@Wangium – Doesn’t it? It makes me want to fix one… right… now… is it five o’clock yet?@stevew918 – That’s pretty much all you need, isn’t it?@murisopsis – We had some plants in the backyard growing up. I can’t imagine why someone wouldn’t enjoy it. I guess “tart” doesn’t work for some tongues.
@arenadi – Maybe that’s an avenue Andy and I should explore. We could be like Siskel and Ebert for the palate.
Looks so nice! I would love to have a meal with you and Tawn someday 🙂
wow wow… pasta and cheesecake with pistachio crust… omg i heart cheesecake so much…@secade – me too!!!
we were just talking about kansas city yesterday (i know u guys went awhile ago tho)! i have a coworker from missouri and he said that they’d always drive to kansas city for bbqs or something. BUT.. i think you just revived my cravings for pasta…everything looks delicious; i bet my fave would be the mushroom ravioli too!
@arenadi – Agreed it’s so fun reading about the same experience from a different view. :)Perhaps we could do that in Hawaii some time? 😀
@kenpcho – Yeah come to Omaha in July!!!
@iskrak – Seriously one of the best if not THEEE best ravioli I’ve ever had. You totally should’ve come. Or perhaps just come any time and we’ll go down there!
@christao408 – We could! 😀 Very nice. BTW I totally don’t recall exactly what the other two pastas were that’s why I didn’t put in the descriptions haha. I was just so stuck on the mushroom ravioli!
Nice to revisit this restaurant again. The food looked delicious! Were the homemade cookies complimentary?
@iskrak – Lidia’s is really good and KC barbeque is excellent. How about July?@CurryPuffy – Yes, a gift from the house. Very nice, eh?@yang1815 – I had to guess a bit. Green pasta usually equals spinach, right?
@christao408 – I would think so. Boy the rigatoni was good too though! Cooked the way I like it.
Oh, that’s very nice to get some ‘exculsive’ goodies from the house! How much was the dinner? Just curious!
Dinner looked delicious. The pasta looks amazing. Homemade pasta is always the best 🙂
Hi there Chris and welcome home ! But I really am going to have to start and eat ‘before’ I visit here ! Lol All that food looks delicious !
I cannot imagine any one having a better camera than what you have Chris. Your pictures are fit to be posted in the Food and Wine magazine.I loved the different foods and salad and the desserts here. I think I will take a drive to Kansas City and check this place out. How can I pass something this delicious?
@secade – Well, all the more reason to escape Ohio!@CurryPuffy – Good question – I don’t remember exactly but probably $40-45 per person including wine and drinks. @yang1815 – Andy, do you remember what the price was? Gary wants to know.@TheCheshireGrins – Homemade pasta is so much better than store-bought. Unless it is store-bought homemade pasta!@Chatamanda – Thanks – yes, you’d better start eating and taking lots of pictures!@ZSA_MD – Come visit KC! Yeah!!!
It’s always interesting reading different perspectives of the same experience. I like how well you treated the servers at your last visit. I’m glad they remembered you and I won’t be surprised if they might have even read your entry. I try to catch Lidia’s cooking show on PBS when I have time. Some of her recipes look simple enough.
@ElusiveWords – Her recipes are really straight-forward. I have one of her cookbooks and have found it a valuable reference especially in my attempts to make pasta.As for the servers, while I’ve never been a waiter I spent many years in the service industry and know how tough the work is.
@CurryPuffy – @christao408 – With tip it was about $220 USD. That included two pasta tasting trios with salads and desserts, a wild boar ravioli, 3-course prix fixe, one bottle of wine, and I believe one or two cocktails.
Mmmm I’m craving some of that wild boar ravioli. And $32 is a steal when it comes to prix fixe menus here in LA!
The photos brought back fond memories of the place itself and the four of you! You do an excellent job of “painting a picture” of your life. I love the painting, by the way, and the water reminds me, actually, of some favorite skies of my memory.
@Rm2046 – Yeah, $32 is pretty decent.@albertmoore – The painting was really nice, just sort of out of place.