Kauffman Center’s Pre-Performance Dining Experience Offers Innovative Cuisine to Guests, Just Steps Away From Their Seats

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts has extended the arts experience past the stage by offering an artisanal symphony of flavors that complement an evening out at the theater. Visitors can enjoy a gourmet meal that is freshly prepared and conveniently requires parking downtown just once. The Kauffman Center has crafted an exclusive modern-American dining option featuring exquisite yet casual gourmet cuisine. The Dining Experience invites patrons and visitors to indulge in a three-course dinner menu crafted by Executive Chef Laura Comer, served in the comfortable and sophisticated Founders’ Lounge at the Kauffman Center.

The pre-performance Dining Experience incorporates fresh ingredients in a unique artisan culinary design. Seasonal menus highlights local flavors and meal selections will satisfy all appetites, offering a three-course dinner menu for $35 per person, as well as a selection of small plates for lighter fare.

The winter dining menu, which is available through late March, features entrees that apply classical French technique to comfort foods, with dishes highlighting hearty root vegetables and fresh citrus. Options include a cabernet-braised chicken cassoulet and beef tenderloin served with wild mushrooms and a puff pastry crisp, or vegetable lasagna. The sea-faring option is duck fat seared scallops with apple risotto. The experience begins with cheddar soup or citrus and beet salad. Desserts strike a nostalgic note, with refined takes on comforts including confetti cake, baked Alaska and a “fruitcake” verrine.

On the lighter side, an artisan cheese plate or house-cured Scottish salmon are among favorite small plates. Guests may also enjoy a seasonal craft cocktail such as a Dizzy Chata, Dante’s Inferno, or a Dirty Bottoms Martini.

To sweeten the deal even more, diners may sample the winter menu during KC Restaurant Week, Jan. 12 – 21, 2018, for $33. An exhibition of the area’s finest culinary talents, Kansas City Restaurant Week will offer a variety of mouth-watering foods from top chefs across the metro area, demonstrating why the KC dining scene is among the nation’s best. Kansas City Restaurant Week partners with local charities to raise funds for causes that help build and strengthen the community. The donations raised during the 2018 event will benefit Kansas City Community Gardens. The Kansas City Regional Destination Development Foundation and the Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association Education Foundation will receive a portion of the donations, as well. This is Kauffman Center’s third year of participation.

Executive Chef Comer infuses her cuisine with seasonal ingredients and fresh local products to create dishes that are rooted in classic French technique and embellished with modern twists. Comer brings a wealth of fine dining history to her work at the Kauffman Center. Her background includes time with well-known local establishments including Bluestem, Justus Drugstore, 40 Sardines, Trezo Mare and Trezo Vino, Treat America and more. Comer is a Kansas City native and graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. She holds an A.O.S. in Culinary Arts and Le Cordon Bleu Diploma from The California School of Culinary Arts.

“The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts created the Dining Experience as a direct response to the requests of our patrons to provide a high-quality, pre-show dining option conveniently located just steps away from their seats,” stated Paul J. Schofer, President and CEO of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

Located just within the Center’s south doors, the Founders’ Lounge offers a sweeping view of Kansas City in a sleek and sophisticated atmosphere. Arrive ahead of the crowds and indulge in a relaxing meal. Open since early January 2015, the Dining Experience is receiving favorable reviews for food, elegance and convenience.

The Dining Experience is available prior to most evening performances at the Kauffman Center. For reservations, call (816) 994-7222 or visit Open Table. Allow at least 90 minutes before performance time to enjoy the three-course dinner menu. Walk-in dining is offered depending on availability. For more information and full menus, visit kauffmancenter.org/dining.

–Megan Felling

About The Author: Contributing Writer


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