Last night my sister and father and I had dinner at Avenues Bistro at the corner of Wornall and 63rd in Brookside, which is considered a top restaurant in Kansas City. I wanted to go there and I decided to take them because I worried that the dinner would be expensive, but it was $150 for three dinners plus tapas, desserts, and a bottle of wine. That was a reasonable amount for very good food—not quite as artisanal as Frasca in Boulder, but not nearly as expensive either. In any case, Avenues Bistro tends toward French- and German-influenced dishes, not Italian.

We sat in the second room, beyond the bar. Behind us a large party celebrated something: a wedding, perhaps, or a well-lived life. We were rather quiet because of the background noise, which makes it hard for my father and me to hear conversation. I think the high ceilings absorbed much of the sound, but not quite enough for us.

The sommelier brought us Jade Mountain 2007 Syrah as a compromise between the red zinfandel I prefer and the merlot my father has been drinking lately. It had an aroma of blackberries and was light-bodied and soft on the tongue. He brought us 3 Riedel glasses so my sister could have a taste.

Since Avenues Bistro offers tapas as well as full-sized entrees, I ordered the ceviche, Avenues Bistro ceviche KC Oct 2009and the filet tips and the mushroom Cabreles. The ceviche was fish-forward: I couldn’t taste lime or cilantro, which were supposed to be seasoning the lobster, shrimp, crab, and tomatoes. But it was refreshing against the marvelous grilled ciabatta. The filet was wonderful;Avenues Bistro filet tips and mushroom cabreles KC Oct 2009 I loved the blue cheese taste of the sauce and the silkiness of the meat.

By the time we got our entrees, we were getting full, but we soldiered on. The Black Forest Jaeger schnitzel, which the menu calls “a Swiss-German specialty,” was topped with Black Forest ham, bacon, caramelized onions, and mushrooms in a white wine cream sauce. Avenues Bistro Black Forest Jaeger Schnitzel KC Oct 2009It made me feel like the queen of bacon-gooeyness. When I had the leftovers for lunch today, they were still good. But I would not call this dish subtle. Is there such a thing as a subtle schnitzel?

We still didn’t stop. We ordered the flourless chocolate cake, which had the consistency of a dark mousse, Avenues Bistro flourless chocolate cake mousse KC Oct 2009and the German apple cake, similar to carrot cake. Avenues Bistro German apple cake KC Oct 2009As we drove home, I wondered if it were responsible of me to feed my elderly father so much food. But other than an occasional complaint about how full he was, he didn’t seem to mind.


I was having trouble deciding whether to review Brio Tuscan Grille on the Plaza. I didn’t really like the food at this national chain where a high school friend took me. (Apparently there’s one in Centennial, Colorado.)

The seasonal bruschetta reminded my friend of pizza,Brio seasonal bruschetta KC Oct 2009 when it should have been more like the ceviche mentioned above. And the roasted tomato and chicken risotto with prosciutto and asparagus was to risottoBrio roasted tomato and chicken risotto KC Oct 2009 what this blurry picture is to photography. It lacked the density of risottos I’ve had, in which the rice was a match for the sauce rather than drowning in it. I did enjoy the fluffy crab and shrimp cakesBrio crab cakes KC Oct 2009 but not their too-sweet sauce, which my friend said tasted like Miracle Whip. I’ve never had that (at least, not willingly), so I don’t know how it tastes.


The presentation of food was adequate at both restaurants, though the cakes certainly took the … well, you know.

Avenues Bistro Brookside on Urbanspoon

Leave A Comment

  1. Todd Bradley October 23, 2009 at 7:55 pm - Reply

    I just ate dinner, but your description and photo of the schnitzel is making my stomach growl! And yes, it does seem like you can have subtle schnitzel. Veal in general is a very mild meat, and the breading doesn’t have to be spicy. From there, it’s all a matter of what you put on top. But I don’t know that I want a subtle schnitzel anyhow.

    Too bad the risotto wasn’t better. I’ve never made risotto, but it seems like a dish that must be easy to screw up. I’ve had mediocre risotto enough that I’m afraid to try my own hand at it.

    Oh yeah, I wanted to say something about ceviche. I suppose everyone’s expectations and tastes are different, but I personally like to taste plenty of lime. I say keep it simple, like Rick Bayless might make it: super fresh white fish, fresh lime juice, salt, chopped onion, and cilantro. Tomatoes are right out, though. What’s the point of putting tomatoes in it? It’s not supposed to be salsa plus fish.
    .-= Todd Bradley´s last blog ..Joseph Wiseman Dies: ‘Dr No’ Dead At 91 =-.

  2. Beth Partin October 24, 2009 at 11:38 am - Reply

    I don’t know the point of putting tomatoes in, but they didn’t bother me. It seems like ceviche is an anything-goes kind of dish, though I suppose there are true purists out there. I agree with you on the lime though.
    .-= Beth Partin´s last blog ..The Bistro Versus the Grill =-.

  3. Denveater October 24, 2009 at 12:59 pm - Reply

    That risotto looks downright awful. It looks like soup.

    Strangely, I’m much better at making risotto than I am at making rice. It’s not hard, it just requires a bit of time and patience.

  4. Beth Partin October 24, 2009 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    Yes, the risotto was like soup, or perhaps stew. I think I had some risotto at Il Posto in Denver that was proper risotto.
    .-= Beth Partin´s last blog ..The Bistro Versus the Grill =-.

  5. Beth Partin October 24, 2009 at 3:26 pm - Reply

    Note re the schnitzel: it was pork, not veal.
    .-= Beth Partin´s last blog ..The Bistro Versus the Grill =-.

  6. Todd Bradley October 24, 2009 at 5:22 pm - Reply

    Pork schnitzel? That’s just wrong. It’s like chicken ceviche.
    .-= Todd Bradley´s last blog ..Joseph Wiseman Dies: ‘Dr No’ Dead At 91 =-.

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