Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Restaurant Review: Webster House, Kansas City, MO

Webster House - visited for dinner on August 3, 2013
I was in Kansas City, MO earlier this month for a Hallmark ornament convention (why, yes, my freak flag did just hoist itself).  It's held every 2 years and I've gone to at least 6-7 of these events. Probably more but that's all I can remember to admit to.  Recently, they've been held in Kansas City which is Hallmark's headquarters.  I usually have a good time although my obsession interest in Hallmark ornaments has waned in the last few years.  This year though, the highlight of the trip for me ironically had nothing to do with ornaments.  Instead, I met two people I've gotten to know from my online fitness board but had previously interacted with just virtually.  One of them, Debbie, I had met two years earlier, the last time I was in Kansas City and the other, Mel, both Debbie and I finally met in person a few weeks ago.
Pretzel Rolls
Mel was able to get us reservations at Webster House in Kansas City and off we went.  Webster House is on the National Register of Historic Places so it was really cool to go somewhere a little different for dinner.  I wish I had thought to take pictures of the inside because I don't have the right words to describe it sufficiently.  The restaurant is located in a big brick building which also houses antique shops.  It's on the second floor and you go through rooms that look like they could be libraries or parlors of stately homes in times gone by.  Classy all the way and not your average eatery.
Fresh Basil and Tomato Campanelle Pasta with Shrimp
Our very nice wait person, Sarah, brought us a basket of pretzel rolls that were still warm and were delicious.  Despite a reasonable amount of menu selections, all three of us decided we wanted the pasta and added shrimp.  Being from a coastal state, I made a wisecrack about whether I could trust shrimp so far inland and Debbie came back with: "We do."  Ha, fair point.  Considering I once had great barramundi fish and chips in the Australian Outback many miles away from the ocean, shrimp in Kansas City at a good restaurant didn't seem like a big risk.  And it turned out to be a good choice because the pasta was amazing.  From the menu, the description read: "sliced garlic, white wine, pepperoncini and shaved Grana Padana."  What it didn't say it was the light broth the pasta came in had an excellent flavor and you can tell it was freshly made with quality ingredients.  The shrimp was also excellent and the pasta was cooked perfectly.
Chocolate Creme Brulee
Needless to say, you can't get together three women who exercise regularly and not have dessert.  I don't know about the other two but I know I workout as much as I do because I eat dessert.  Debbie and I went with the Chocolate Creme Brulee (Silky Chocolate Custard infused with Meyers Rum) and it was pure smooth creamy chocolate goodness.  Again, you can tell they used "the good chocolate". It's something meant to be savored slowly in small bites; otherwise it might be a little too rich to consume all at once.  I didn't finish all of it but I gave it my best shot and came close, except for the part under the whipped cream. At least the whipped cream gave me a reason not to lick the dish; otherwise, you never know how much I was willing to embarrass myself in pursuit of good chocolate.
Key Lime "Pie"
Mel, whose kryptonite is cheese rather than chocolate (we like her anyway), opted for the Key Lime "Pie" (menu decription: Semifreddo of Key Lime Curd, Vanilla Bean Mousse & Graham Cracker Crust, Served with a Raspberry Coulis & Candied Lime Slices).  I'm not a big fan of key lime but I had a taste of her dessert and had to admit it was quite good - perfect blend of tartness and sweetness.  But I was quite happy to stay focused on my chocolate creme brulee.
Speaking of chocolate, I have to give a shout out to Mel who also brought me a box of Christopher Elbow fancy artisanal chocolates: a sweet collection of uppity chocolate truffles with all sorts of exotic fillings. Christopher Elbow is a local Kansas City chocolatier so it was the perfect gift for this small-business chocoholic supporter. The chocolate creme brulee fulfilled my chocolate quotient that night but I will confess that I broke into the box of chocolates on my plane ride home the next day.  Two of them didn't land at the airport with me, at least not in their original form in the pretty little box. Mmmm, they were good, smooth, creamy, beautifully decorated and presented and, rest assured, they went down easy.  Now that's the good chocolate.


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