My birthday was last week and to celebrate we dined at one of our favorite restaurants in Kansas City, Bluestem. It's one of those spots that only the adventurous foodie dines, where you choose a 3,5 or 10 course meal and where you probably can't pronounce at least 3-5 ingredients on the menu. We love restaurants that serve an amuse bouche (a bite sized appetizer that the chef chooses) at the beginning of the meal and extra little "tastes" throughout the meal. We have eaten at Bluestem for other special occasions but the light was never good enough to take great photos, However they just completed an 8 week interior makeover on the place and it looks fabulous and much brighter so I was excited to take photos to share with you all.
The amuse bouche was a ricotta panna cotta with salmon roe and some other deliciousness that I can't remember. This is something you don't order, that just comes out in the beginning of your meal from the chef and its always a small bite of heaven. Thank you Colby Garrelts for your creativity in the kitchen, your diners are always delighted! In 2013 Chef Garrelts was given the prestigious the James Beard award for best chef in the midwest, and once you dine at Bluestem you will know why.
Matt and I did the 5 course menu and since there are only 2 items in each course to select we usually each choose a different option so we can try everything. We always eat half our plate and then swap plates, it a great way to dine! However for the first and second course we were both drawn to the same thing so we went with it, both ordering the gazpacho & tortellini with rabbit.
We always order soup at Bluestem, honestly no one knows how to do soups like Garrelts. They are always ahhhhmazing and served so uniquely- you can see the animated photo at the bottom of the post, but they bring you a dish of the accoutrements that are in the soup and then a teapot of the soup and pour it in front of you. The gazpacho was a clarified tomato gazpacho and it was beautifully flavorful, really everything I eat at Bluestem I sit there and think, how did they do this?! The house made tortellini with rabbit was quite possibly the star of the entire evening, so flavorful and perfect.
The third course was fish and we tried both options, the sockeye salmon and copia. Bother were obviously delicious but I loved the silkiness of the salmon paired with the creamy hen egg emulsion, yum.
We were served a duroc pork loin and herb roasted ribeye for the 5th course and both were wonderful. I'm not a huge fan of pork so I preferred the ribeye, however the genius of this food is the combination of flavors on your plate, they are always incredible!
Dessert is always incredible at Bluestem, the pastry chef creates unique combinations just like the other four courses. I ordered the chocolate crunch with coconut mousse and berries and Matt ordered butterscotch, peach, buttered corn ice cream and pineapple- again flavors that I would never think to pair but on a plate touched by this fabulous pastry chef was delicious. Before leaving for the evening your server brings over a plate of "last tastes" from the pastry chef and you can choose one, we were offered salted caramels, macarons, cookies and shortbread to choose from. You know I chose the macaron. :)
I love the updated look of the restaurant with the open kitchen and added light. Its always an extremely delightful experience and we love when we have an excuse to spend a lot on a dinner. :) Happy Birthday to me, indeed!