Blue Sushi Sake Grill sets a September opening, the Antler Room and Berbiglia’s Roost are rustling hires, and the Blue Koi is still under repair

Two highly anticipated and very different KC restaurants are in hiring mode and appear to be within about a month of opening. The Antler Room (2506 Holmes) focuses on a small menu centered on fresh produce, house-made pasta, and house-cured meats. And Berbiglia’s Roost (8725 Metcalf, Overland Park) aims to serve a broad, gut-busting menu, concentrating on barbecue and fried chicken.

Meanwhile, the Omaha, Nebraska, Flagship Restaurant Group has set a late-September opening for its Blue Sushi Sake Grill, in the Westwood Development at 47th Street and Rainbow in Kansas City, Kansas. As the name indicates, the place focuses on sushi, with a variety of sashimi, nigiri and maki options, in addition to dozens of sushi rolls with raw or cooked fish, shellfish and octopus.

In a press release, Flagship Restaurant Group CEO Nick Hogan says: “The Kansas City market is a perfect fit for Blue. We’re excited to bring the unique sushi offerings and fun atmosphere that Blue offers to the Kansas City area at our Woodside Village location.”

“Fun” is restaurant code these days for shared plates, and the Asian-ish such items at Blue include lettuce wraps, ceviche and tempura. Among the entrees are grilled beef tenderloin with sautéed shiitake mushrooms, sea bass with fried sticky rice, and pan-seared salmon with a sambal-yuzu marinade and a coconut-crusted shiitake mushroom sticky rice cake. The drink menu has sakes and beer alongside a vodka-centric array of martinis. No complaints, though, given the restaurant’s pledge of an all-day happy hour on Sundays.

Over in Lawrence, the appropriately named Levee Café has opened at 239 Elm Street, overlooking the levee on the Kansas River and downtown. Serving breakfast and lunch, including breakfast tacos, crepes, pancakes and other morning staples, the restaurant is a welcome addition to an area of Lawrence that, while close to downtown, is generally bereft of dining options. 

An update on the fire-damaged Blue Koi (1803 West 39th Street): Management indicated by phone last week that repairs are under way and the restaurant should reopen in late October or early November.

This week’s food events:

Thursday, September 1
This afternoon you can help plant a few trees while enjoying complimentary snacks and bourbon. Angel’s Envy Kentucky Bourbon is hosting a “Toast the Trees” party in honor of National Bourbon Heritage Month at Extra Virgin (1900 Main). From 3 to 8 p.m., sample Angel’s Envy–themed drinks and snap photos. For each photo posted to social media with the hashtag #AE4TheTrees, through the month of September, Angel’s Envy has promised to plant a white oak tree in North America.

At the Rieger (1924 Main), you can partake in a rosé-inspired late-summer dinner, organized by chef Howard Hanna and wine director Kasey Alt. The dinner showcases rosés by Rosenthal Wine Merchants. The $75 ticket (not including tax or gratuity) includes four courses, wines and a reception cocktail. Call 816-471-2177 for reservations.

Friday, September 2
Tonight’s farm-to-table dinner at Johnson County Community College’s Culinary Center is all about Kansas City food, past and future. This three-course meal, prepared by Aaron Prater (of JCCC’s hospitality program), is inspired by historical recipes and preparations native to the Kansas City region, and benefits the scholarship fund for future JCCC culinary students. The dinner also includes a brief discussion about the dinner and KC culinary history from Angela Broomfield, author of Kansas City: A Food Biography. Tickets are $55 a person or $440 for a table of eight. The scholarship you help provide may come back to you in the form of a great meal in the future.

Saturday, September 3
Port Fonda is making transplanted New Mexicans (including me) very, very happy this weekend with Saturday’s Hatch Chile Festival. (Hatch is a town in New Mexico famous for its smoky, spicy chile peppers, and yes, chile is spelled with an e.) At the restaurant’s Westport location (4141 Pennsylvania), there’ll be chile roasting (come for the aroma, if nothing else), green-chile food and drink specials and a performance by the Grisly Hand from 7 to 9 p.m., followed by DJ Keenan.

If you’re already headed to Kansas City’s Irish Festival, going on all weekend, there’s no better way to start your Saturday than with the Irish breakfast at Browne’s Irish Marketplace (3300 Pennsylvania). The meal, served from 8 to 11 a.m., includes bangers, rashers, eggs, potatoes, pudding, a fried tomato and Irish soda bread. You should probably also get a Guinness.

Wednesday, September 7
The final Urbana KC event of the season takes place from 6 to 10 tonight in the Power & Light District (14th Street, between Main and Walnut streets). The street party is Great Gatsby–themed, just because, and features DJs and performances by Quixotic aerialists. Gatsby-inspired cocktails and food from Gordon Biersch, Mema’s Bakery, Bristol Seafood Grill, Cleaver & Cork and Leinenkugel’s will be available, with prices in the $3-$6 for snacks, and drinks going for $6-$7 apiece. See for more information. 

Categories: Food & Drink