EJ’s Urban Eatery, Lenexa Public Market and Colony Handcrafted Ales open this week, and the rest of your food and drink events this week

Tuesday, August 29

EJ’s Urban Eatery (1414 West Ninth Street) opens its doors for lunch for the first time today, serving Southern-inspired comfort fare in a “meat and three” style. Chef John Cedric Smith, whose talents were honed in Europe as well as at Tom Colicchio’s Craft in New York, was inspired to bring this style of fast-casual to Kansas City after a trip to Nashville. The restaurant will be open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Dinner on Friday and Saturday nights will be coming this fall. Learn more about Smith and his endeavor (as well as other fall openings, including that of Lenexa Public Market) in the September issue of the Pitch, out Friday, September 1. 

Pierpont’s at Union Station (30 West Pershing Road) is hosting a Bordeaux wine dinner at 6:30 p.m., featuring celebrated wines and foods from the winemaking region of Southwest France. The meal begins with a chilled mussels salad, with caviar, radishes, grapefruit and a crepe, in a peach vinaigrette. Next: a cassoulet d’ escargot with ham and shallots, served with grilled bread. The third course includes a seared lamb loin with walnut crisp, quail egg and a cassis reduction. This is followed by an entrecote Bordelaise (steak in red wine with shallots), served with Dauphine potatoes. Finally, the dessert course features a creme fraiche tart served with brown-butter caramel and apricot. The meal is $125 a person, excluding tax and gratuity. Reservations: 816-221-5111.

On the other end of the coursed meal spectrum today: Boulevard Brewing’s taco-themed dinner at HopCat (401 Westport Road). This meal is $30 a person (plus tax and tip). The meal starts off with a welcoming lager (KC Pils), and is followed by a shrimp taquito with avocado salsa (Tequila BA Lime Gose). The second course includes a chicken taco salad with mango jalapeño salsa (Zon), followed by a beef barbacoa dish with mole sauce (Love Child No. 8). House-made choco tacos with espresso ice cream and caramel sauce make up dessert (Bully Porter). See this link for tickets.  

Thursday, August 31

The new, Italian-leaning menu has gone live at Michael Smith (1900 Main). Among other dishes, that means rabbit gnocchi, served with shiitake, leeks and panagratto; and a radiatori neri made with squid ink and served with shrimp in a sauce of garlic, Calabiran chile and lemon sauce (pictured above). There’s no better night to give this new menu a shot than Thursdays, when bottles of Italian wine are half-off.

The Taproom at Crane Brewing Company (6515 Raytown Road, Raytown) is tapping two interesting seasonal selections at 4 p.m., including the Jalapiña Saison and the Hatch Chile Ale. The first is a saison flavored with pineapple and jalapeño. The Hatch Chile Ale is a Farmhouse IPA, which, Crane says, is blended with the Kumquat Weiss and Hatch green chile. The American Fusion food truck will also be on hand.

Friday, September 1

Lenexa Public Market, the metro’s first food hall, opens its doors today at 10 a.m. at 8750 Penrose Lane. Food vendors include Chewology (Asian-inspired bao, noodles and more), the Roasterie, Topp’d Pizza and Salads, Foo’s Fabulous Café and Marilyn’s Mad Treats, which combines a classic soda fountain with a dessert shop. 

Saturday, September 2

Get a traditional Irish breakfast (rashers, bangers, eggs, tomatoes, the whole lot) at Browne’s Irish Marketplace (3300 Pennsylvania) from 8 to 11 a.m. today. The shop is celebrating its 130th anniversary this year, on the eve of Irish Fest.

Port Fonda (4141 Pennsylvania) hosts its annual Hatch green chile festival today and tomorrow (always sweet music to the ears of this born-and-raised New Mexican). Starting at 9 a.m., get your green-chile fix via a number of specialty dishes and drinks, available all day and night, first-come, first-served. This afternoon and evening also brings live music.

One more grand opening: Colony Handcrafted Ales (312 Armour Road) officially begins service today at 1 p.m. The first 50 people in line will receive a limited-edition refillable growler. Live music and other giveaways and surprises are also promised.