Sunday, August 5, 2012

Extra Virgin and Glace

Extra Virgin (or Michael Smith lite, as I like to call it) is the brain child of local chef Michael Smith. You may know Michael Smith from his restaurant namesake, that is located adjacent to EV, or as the savior of The American Restaurant. Or you may not know him at all, but if you did not know him before dining at EV, you will surely not forget him after you leave. He nailed the upmarket tapas restaurant concept and gave the space an industrial semblance, the place has a big city tapas spot feel with a gritty Kansas City twist.

The menu items range from traditional Spanish tapas to items that are so daring that the inspiration could be nothing short of an ingredient basket from Chopped. From the traditional sliced meat plates, sliced cheese plates, almonds and variations of Spanish chorizo to the more adventurous duck tongue tacos, crispy pig ear salad, and fried duck gizzards, there is something for every appetite.

We started off with a couple of house cocktails from the bar, the red sangria and the Bicycling Bohemian. Let me just say that EV doesn't just employ a couple bar tenders that will pour you a glass of wine or the occasional gin and tonic, EV employs some of the most creative mixologists in KC. They make their own bitters, infuse liquors, and age their own house cocktails in charred oak barrels in the basement (see the Aged Manhattan). Mallory chose the sangria and it was amazing, not too sweet (as is the problem with some sangrias), but was still light enough to enjoy on such a hot summer day. I went with the Bicycling Bohemian, mainly because Bohemia is the name given to the neighborhood of my favorite Broadway musical Rent, but secondly because I saw Absinthe on the drink's ingredient list. The drink was very strong (but delicious) and came with an infused cherry (seed-in, don't chip your tooth thinking that it is a maraschino) in the bottom of the flute. Despite what Manet, Van Gogh, Picasso, and Oscar Wilde would have you believe, I did not hallucinate at all after drinking the Absinthe containing cocktail, much to no one's surprise. Granted: do not know how much Absinthe was actually in the cocktail (probably not much), the recipe for Absinthe has changed over the years, and I am unaware if it was poured with the appropriate Absinthiana, but the fact remains still sane (or at least it appears to me that I am still sane, I could be typing gibberish and have no idea).

Round one of tapas: The tacos. For our first plate of tacos, we ordered the Tuna Ceviche Tacos. These tacos were served with cold contents and came in small fried taco shells. The flavours that came bursting through immediately were the tuna and the smashed avocado. They come in a rack of 4, so these are great for a group of 2 or 4 (or an odd group of 5 that has a member that does not enjoy tacos, or group of three that has one taco lover, but I digress...).

Our second plate of tacos, we ordered the duck tongue tacos. Right in my wheelhouse, I know, anything with some meat that isn't your standard chicken, steak, or pork in a taco has my name written all over it. These were delicious, the highlights were the: spicy duck tongue, spicy red onions, and queso fresco. These (like the tuna tacos) are served in fried taco shells. IMHO they would be better if they came in soft corn tortillas, but are still incredible as is.

Round two of tapas: The Protein. First we ordered the Smoked Paprika Shrimp and Peaches. Let it be known that I don't really care for shrimp. I always draw scoffs when I reveal this to people, but to me, shrimp just taste like nothing (really expensive nothing). This dish proves that shrimp can have flavour, people just choose not to put the flavour in the shrimp. The smokiness of the shrimp mixed with the big bold flavour of the grilled Missouri peaches, was nearly the perfect combination! This dish was Mallory's favorite.

Our second plate of protein, we ordered the fried duck gizzards with "crossroads hot sauce". The duck gizzards are again, right up my adventurous alley. The gizzards and sauce were both delicious. If you have never had gizzards before, it is the bit of meat that is roughly located on the bird where the neck meets the breastbone. Gizzards are popular street food fair in much of the world. When fried, a gizzard is slightly chewy on the outside and very meaty and tender on the inside (the meat is much like chicken meat).

While all of the dessert that we saw floating by to other tables looked incredible, and the churros were calling my name, I had already promised to take Mallory to Glace after dinner.

Extra Virgin on Urbanspoon

Glace is this awesome little artisan ice cream joint. This was our first time, so we tried a good number of samples, only to find out how unbelievably awesome all of the flavours are (which only made the decision that much more difficult). Far and away, the Roasterie Organic Coffee was both of our favorite flavour. After Mallory stole my combination of Roasterie Organic Coffee and Christopher Elbow Dark Chocolate (two KC legends), I was forced to rethink my selection (since we have this unwritten rule that we always have to order different options, so we can try more items). I ended up going with the ROC and Bananas Foster, per the recommendation of the girl behind the counter, boy was it incredible. Mallory even liked the Bananas Foster a lot, and she usually doesn't like banana flavours outside of real bananas. Would recommend this place to anyone that is looking for a great scoop (or two) of artisan ice cream. I honestly think that it is impossible to try a bad flavour here! Perhaps next time I will give Farmer Bob's Sweet Corn a shot.

Glace Artisan Ice Cream on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. Can you please email me your contact info so that I can add you to my database of food media in KC? Thanks!