Fox 4 anchor Matt Stewart’s recommendations from his book, Unique Eats and Eateries of Kansas City

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Fox 4 anchor and author Matt Stewart. // Courtesy of Matt Stewart.

You might know Matt Stewart from his job as an anchor at Fox 4, but the reporter is an author in his own right, too.

Stewart’s most recent book is Unique Eats and Eateries of Kansas City: The People and Stories Behind the Food, published by Reedy Press, a Missouri-based press known for its books about travel and history. Stewart has previously authored a murder mystery novel, The Man from KNEW News; a memoir, The Walk-On: Inside Northwestern’s Rise from Cellar Dweller to Big Ten Champ; and a sci-fi novel, Tripp in Time. You can learn more about his body of work as a writer at his website.

When he was at Channel 5, Stewart did a weekly cooking segment, so the Unique Eats project allowed him to delve further into the chefs’ stories whose food he had featured on television for years.

“I love the opportunity to tell the story behind the food, the story of the chefs, and how they got here,” says Stewart.

Stewart says all 86 restaurants in the book are unique, and each place has a different story. Many of the small businesses featured in the book are generational and have entire families pitching in to run the restaurant, Stewart says.

Unique Eats Cover

The cover of Stewart’s new book. // Courtesy Reedy Press.

Stewart says many of the eateries in the book would make great Valentine’s Day destinations.

“If you’re on a budget, you probably want to go Italian,” says Stewart. “In the book, I detail Jasper’s Italian restaurant, Garozzo’s Ristorante, Anthony’s, and Vi’s Italiano Ristorante.”

Stewart also recommends eateries that offer a unique cultural experience. For example, Affäre serves German cuisine by candlelight; Le Fou Frog cooks up authentic French food; and Piropos offers Argentinian fare.

Ultimately, though, Stewart sees the book as a love letter to the KC community and all the great locally-owned restaurants that have found a home here.

“The main reason I wrote this book is that I really want to encourage people out there to support local, go eat at local restaurants,” says Stewart. “We have so many great chefs here in Kansas City, and they need your support to stay in business.”

Categories: Culture, Editors’ Choice