Brunch is one of my favorite things. Breakfast is great, lunch definitely has it’s place in the world, but for some reason brunch is just one of those things that when it’s done right is almost an unparalleled pleasure. This year for Easter brunch we got the pleasure of heading down to Lidia’s with the family to enjoy what I have always considered one of the best brunches in Kansas City. Packed to the hilt with people adorned in pastel colors, Lidia’s was full of patrons enjoying a gorgeous springtime Sunday.
Our group of 18 arrived a little early and checked in for our 12:45pm reservation. Our reservation was during the height of the rush and we ended up getting seated about 10 minutes late as we had to wait for a group to finish up before our table could be setup. This was no problem as the wonderful bartenders set us up with a round of fantastic Bloody Mary’s that were a perfect balance of spiciness, tomato, and seasoning. While we sipped on our drinks I looked around this former train yard feighthouse and took in the amazing blown glass grape cluster chandeliers and wonderful decor.
In my opinion one of the true tests of a quality restaurant is how they deal with the circus side show that is some of the major restaurant holidays like Easter, Valentines Day, and Mother’s Day. Even a place known for it’s tremendous food and service can watch both of them suffer on these madhouse days that see as many as 10 times the typical number of people come through the doors.
After being seated and looking over the three course prix fix brunch I settled on the ossobuco as my main course while my better half went with the house specialty pasta trio. The first course, or primo, was brought out and served family style at the table. Consisting of their house-made Cesar salad, hand breaded and lightly pan-fried shrimp, roasted beet and apple salad with goat cheese, spinach & cheese quiche and finally a fresh fruit salad the primo course was almost a meal in and of itself. The shrimps and quiche didn’t last long at our table and were small bites of heaven and perfectly complemented the trio of salads on the table.
When our main course came out I was presented with a beautiful pork shank served over a barley risotto with spring vegetables. My ossobuco was packed full of flavor and had been braised to the point a knife was not even necessary to cut it into pieces. Both flavor and tenderness of the meat combined to create a dish I would recommend to anyone. The barley risotto was creamy and well seasoned and just melted in your mouth. Of course I also couldn’t keep my fork out of the pasta trio being served next to me. The selection included a spinach ricotta ravioli in a thyme infused butter sauce, farfalle (bow-tie) pasta with a house-made pesto sauce and rock shrimp, and finally pappardelle with a beef ragu. The raviolis were delicate and the filling was amazing in its balance and flavor. The beef ragu and pappardelle pasta was absolutely tremendous. The ragu was amazingly flavorful and tender and when tossed with wide noodled pasta they made for a dish I would have eaten plate after plate of alone. Finally, the pesto on the farfalle was a little heavier on the pine nuts than it should have been and they almost overpowered the pesto, but this is a very minor complaint as overall the dish definitely worked with the fresh herbs promising of warmer weather and summer produce to come.
Even though we were absolutely stuffed (yet still not wanting to stop) it was time to move on to the final course. Dessert, like the primo course, was served family-style. A selection of sorbetto, cookies, and other sweets were brought out to our table. Even though everyone was moaning and groaning about how much they’d just eaten (all the while raving about the food) our dessert plate didn’t last long. It was the perfect ending to an amazing meal.
Once again Lidia’s did not disappoint. Time after time the service is impeccable, the food is flawless and overall it continues to solidify itself as the premier Italian restaurant in Kansas City and this trip did nothing but fortify that opinion. I already am starting to think of my next trip back and the dishes I didn’t get to enjoy this last time. If you haven’t been to Lidia’s Italy, I strongly recommend it.
5 out of 5 cows
4 out of 5 cows
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