Category Archives: Out on the town

Manifesto: Delicious cocktails and enviable ambiance

Manifesto Kansas CityI’m a little embarrassed to confess to you that, until last night, I hadn’t yet been to Manifesto.

I know, I know … shameful, right? I can’t say what took me so long to head to this modern-day speakeasy, especially when my husband pointed out yesterday that I “talk about the place once or twice a month!”

After a busy Saturday spent running errands (and napping — duh!), the hubs and I joined the lovely Louise LeMans and her dapper husband, David, for cocktails in a belated celebration of L’s birthday.

If you haven’t yet been to Manifesto, I suggest you go — immediately! The cozy, dimly lit bar beckons from beneath The Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange (an equally fabulous place at which to start your evening with happy hour or an unforgettable dinner.) Manifesto is an intimate enclave that begs for an evening of long conversations punctuated by the most deliciously inventive cocktails.

After an informative tour of the cocktail menu led by our adorable waitress, Candy, I also solicited suggestions from Louise. I contemplated the Stay Wet, Winter in Bueno Aires or Jessie A.’s favorite, Beautiful Red Bell. After some internal debate, I opted for Anyone For Tennis?, a delightfully refreshing Pimms concoction topped with strawberry, cucumber and mint. Actually, I had three. Yes – they’re THAT good!

If an evening at Manifesto is in your near future, I suggest texting ahead to make reservations: 816.536.1325. Seating is limited, so having a reservation will ensure your party can be accommodated.

Once you’re there, sit back, relax and let the glamour of old Kansas City wash over you as you imbibe. And when you leave, prepare for a lasting craving that will persist until your next visit. I’m already dreaming of another Anyone For Tennis? and maybe, just maybe, I’ll try something new, too. Cheers!


Saturday in the City

One of my favorite things about living in the River Market is being a short walk away from the City Market. On Saturday I began my weekly tradition of stocking up on produce, bread, spices, flowers and whatever else catches my fancy–or appetite!

Combine that with one of my other favorite things, taking photos with the Instagram app for iPhone, and you’ve got the makings of a great day.

There are no words for how much I love this city. What a gorgeous skyline!

Imagine my delight when I stumbled across my favorite flower, the incredibly fragrant lilac! I told the cheerful vendor that I thought it was way too early for lilac blooms, but he said the recent warm weather had encouraged their growth. These will be on my must-purchase list until they’re out of season!

Other than that, R. and I attended an amazing wedding on Saturday night (congratulations C&J!) and spent the weekend planning–and implementing–our Great Loft Reorganization of 2011. It’s going to be a lot of work, but the results will be worth it — and we’ll have an excuse to throw a party!

Hope you had a great weekend, too – isn’t springtime in Kansas City the best?!

Where I’ve been (a pictorial recap)

So, that “write a blog post every day in 2011” thing? Yep. I rocked it out, didn’t I? Sheesh. How’s about a fresh start? We have so much to catch up on, I thought it would be easier to share some photos with you. So, without further ado, here’s what I’ve been up to (besides writing, and deadlines, and a smidge of shopping, and new hair, and bridesmaid duties and, you know …. life.)

At the end of January, I flew to Las Vegas to cover the SURFACES 2011 tradeshow for Charles & Hudson. While there, I ate some incredible surf ‘n turf sushi at Rick Moonen’s RM Seafood restaurant. Although I found him quite cranky on “Top Chef Masters,” the man is a seafood genius.

And then I came back and it was, you know, winter. It was a brutal one in KC, wasn’t it? But despite the snowstorms and cold, I found beauty in nature during a stroll on the Plaza. That being said, I’m still beyond ready for spring!

My amazingly talented husband, Rob Schamberger, exhibited his art during March First Fridays at Gallery 2010, a fantastic space in a great Crossroads location. Even better? He’s secured a solo show there in September, so mark your calendars. He’ll be featuring all-new art, and I’ll have more details in the coming months.

On to one of my favorite holidays, St. Patrick’s Day. This year I enjoyed VIP parade access thanks to the amazing Jamie Young (and her uncle, Kevin Bundy, parade co-chair.) Unfortunately, the Real World called and I had to depart early for a meeting, but it was still a fantastic day.

That weekend, I slipped on my fishnets and feathers for the bachelorette festivities of my dear friend, Dana Hill (also known as Louise LeMans.) We dined at Blue Grotto and then went on a mini bar crawl; first The Drop, then R Bar. Excellent cocktails, even better company … and how can you have a bad time when there’s a video jukebox involved? Here’s the lovely bachelorette:

And that about takes us up to today! Stay tuned for more Kansas City adventures, including my trips to Hickok’s Bar & Grill and Dog Nuvo. In the meantime, I’d love to know what you’ve been up to!


Satisfy your sweet (and savory) tooth at Nica’s Cafe

Let me introduce you to a little slice of heaven called Nica’s Cafe.

The cozy, character-filled bistro seems a little out-of-place in Strip Mall Central (otherwise known as the intersection of 143rd and Metcalf in Overland Park.)

It only seems appropriate that Nica’s is planning to relocate to the Crossroads District (which means you only have a couple of weeks to dine at the current location before a brief hiatus.)

Described as a restaurant “where tradition meets fusion,” Nica’s Cafe offers a deceptively complex menu filled with flavorful, filling fare that puts an inventive spin on classic dishes.

Luckily, I was with a Nica’s regular (the lovely Dana) during my first experience, so she deftly guided me through the menu. I opted for the pan-fried lasagna noodles. The edges are crisped by a delicate bath in seasoned oil, and then topped with your choice of ingredient combinations. I chose sweet Thai (chicken breast, shiitake mushrooms, caramelized onions) topped with a subtly sweetened red sauce and freshly grated cheese.

Other flavor combos include Italian, spicy Cajun, veg-head, margarita and the Caribbean, and you can choose from several entrees (crepe, bruschette pizza, gourmet salad or an open-face Sicilian style sandwich) with which to accompany your flavor. If you’re a breakfast lover, have no fear – Nica’s also serves up beignets, pancakes and breakfast sandwiches.

The best part of the meal? Free dessert (pictured above.) We were treated to an espresso topped with an indulgent dollop of whipped cream, accompanied by a chocolate chip-coated cannoli. As we enjoyed the unexpected treat, Dana filled me in that she hasn’t yet been to Nica’s without receiving some sort of unexpected dessert or snack.

Head south while you can! Nica’s plans to open the new location in mid-March, and I’ll be counting down the minutes. If you’ll excuse me, I have an inexplicable craving for pan-fried lasagna noodles . . .

P.S. Apologies for the blurry photo quality. Apparently I was too excited by the cannoli to take a decent picture.

New Year’s Eve in Kansas City

Did this New Year’s Eve feel a little more low-key to anyone else? With many friends out of town and a depressing lack of house party invitations, R. and I decided to strike out on the Kansas City frontier for a New Year’s Eve date night.

First stop? McCoy’s Public House in Westport. Have you been there? I remember not liking this restaurant when I first moved to KC (umm, what was I thinking?!) and now it’s one of my favorites. We had a delicious dinner followed by an even better dessert.

We bee-lined out of Westport before the amateurs arrived and headed to our favorite close-to-home haunt, Harry’s Country Club. Our planned cocktail celebration ended early when we opted not to pay the $20/person cover charge for the night’s entertainment. A worthy expenditure, I’m sure, but our wallets are a little light as we head into the new year, and we had an ample supply of booze waiting at home.

And so there we were. The hubby, me, our cats and poor Dick Clark soldiering on during ABC’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve special. Was it the NYE I originally anticipated? Nope. Was it still an awesome celebration? You bet.

Plus, I decided at Harry’s that next year, we’ll ring in 2012 while on a cruise. That’s the kind of ambition that thrives as the calendar flips over onto another year.

How did you celebrate NYE? Whatever you did, I hope you had a fantastic evening that set the tone for an even better year. Cheers!

Christmas In The River Market

Have yourself a very creepy merry Christmas, courtesy of Harry’s Country Club!

Join local artist Ned Vail for a food mural + more!

A portion of Ned Vail's "Healthy Art" mural series.

Food and art are two of my favorite things, and when they come together, the result is pure magic!

A dear friend of mine, Brookside artist Ned Vail, will be out at The Shops at Boardwalk on Saturday, Oct. 9, from 1 to 3 p.m. as part of the “Let’s Move On Down The Row” celebration.

The family-friendly event is designed to get kids moving and thinking about healthy lifestyle choices. Hang out with the Kansas City Wizards, play Wii sports and Radio Disney games and participate in a food mural with Ned, whose artwork has appeared throughout Kansas City and Columbia, Mo. One of Ned’s mural series, “Healthy Art,” has appeared in school cafeterias as a way to “inspire healthy cravings in kids,” Ned says.

Food, fun, art, the Wizards — what more could you ask for on a beautiful fall weekend in Kansas City? Hope to see you at The Shops at Boardwalk on Saturday!!