Christine and I have a close relationship to Kansas City. She went to college there and I was born there, though my family moved from there when I was only two. Still, I like to think of Kansas City as a second home. It really does have a lot going on for it, including one heck of a food scene. So, we’ve decided to expand coverage to KC as well as STL, and we couldn’t pick a better place to start with than Michael Smith’s Extra Virgin.
We’ve been here twice and both times were the highlight of the trip. The drinks, the food, and the ambience are modern, welcoming, and well executed. Michael Smith is a James Beard winner and former psychologist, which may or may not portend to the quality of his restaurant.
Extra-Virgin is designed to be a tapas place, serving lots of small plates perfect for sharing with friends or just having a light meal. The hummus was an instant hit with us and had a perfect silky texture and many subtle flavors. Some of the best we’ve had and we’ve had a lot of hummus in our time.
All of our classic favorites were there: mussels, bone marrow, caprese salad, etc., but they go way beyond the classics into some adventurous territory. Grilled octopus nachos, beef heart and tongue terrine, and duck tongue tacos to name a few.
We didn’t try the duck tongue tacos, as adventurous as we are, but we did try the Tuna Ceviche Tacos and they were a fun twist on a classic dish and they were darn good too. Light, flavorful, and presented very nicely with a classy wooden taco holder.
We absolutely drooled over their amazing Summer Caprese Salad. Such rich, hearty tomatoes and tender, delicious mozzarella. Simple and wonderful to eat.
Another simple and simply wonderful dish was their Summer Bean Salad. Some fresh green beans with a light garlic tapenade and these flavorful grapes that I think were smoked (forgot to ask).
Now, usually Christine and I keep pretty good notes but I this time we forgot to write down the names of our drinks, which, by the way, were simply incredible. A previous time we had gone to Extra Virgin I had a simply amazing Manhattan (actually I think I had three…) that started my love affair with Amarena cherries.
Seriously though, I wish I took better notes, but trust me when I say that their cocktails are to die for and are worth the drive to KC alone.
We finished off our meal with some amazing churros with a decadent chocolate sauce for dipping. A definite must have if you have room for dessert.
So, in summary, this is our absolute favorite place to go in Kansas City so far. We know there are tons of places to check out in KC and we shall be getting to them as well, but we can confidently recommend Extra-Virgin to all St. Louisians wishing to visit our neighbor on the other side of the state. And to those in KC who haven’t been here yet, please check it out. It’s a great place.
- Pros: Spot on tapas that range from standard to avant garde. Great drinks!
- Cons: It’s not in St. Louis. Can we get a high speed rail going to KC?
- Charlie’s Favorites: Tuna Ceviche Tacos, Hummus, Every Cocktail They Serve
- Christine’s Favorites: Churros and Chocolate, Hummus, Summer Caprese Salad