McLain’s Market to open in Lawrence, plus wine dinners, beer festivals, and more: KC’s food and drink events for April 2-8

Tuesday, April 3

Port Fonda (4141 Pennsylvania Avenue) is debuting its mezcal dinner series tonight beginning at 6 p.m. The meal is a six-course paired dinner featuring Bozal mezcal, a spirit made with wild varietals of agave. Cocktails and tasters of mezcal will be served alongside dishes including flash-seared tuna carpaccio with mango, marinated olives and toasted chile oil; and fajitas made with cactus, mushroom, and grilled skirt steak with avocado, seared panela and a tomatillo salsa. The dinner is $55 a person; call 816-216-6462 or email for reservations.

Down the street from Port Fonda, Char Bar (4050 Pennsylvania) is celebrating the release of New Belgium’s The Hemperor beer. Cheap pints, yard games, and Char Bar PLINKO are planned from 5 to 7 p.m.

In the Crossroads, Tannin Wine Bar & Kitchen (1526 Walnut Street) has designed a wine dinner around a house favorite label, California’s Dashe Cellars. The impressive menu features poached haddock, duck with kohlrabi and a mole sauce, short ribs with butternut squash and grilled cactus, a KC strip served with caramelized cabbage and fingerling potatoes, and spaetzele with blueberry syrup and dark chocolate. The dinner is $85 a person exclusive of tax and gratuity; email for reservations. 

EJ’s Urban Eatery (1414 9th Street) is also hosting a local beer dinner this week, this one featuring the Torn Label Brewing Company. The dinner is $50 a person, and runs four courses, including an ancho-rubbed short ribs with sweet potato aligot and braised collard greens (paired with Torn Label’s Mansion Brew Imperial Coffee Stout). Call 816-491-8262 or email to make reservations. 

Wednesday, April 4

Learn how to make French macarons tonight during a two-hour demonstration class at Annedore’s Fine Chocolates (5000 State Line Road). The class is $40 and includes instruction as well as macaron samples to take home. Visit the shop’s website to register. 

Chef Carlos Falcon at Jarocho South (13145 State Line Road) is collaborating with Bill Kniep of Pinnacle Imports on a rare wine dinner that celebrates the wines of Champagne and Burgundy. Falcon is preparing a seven-course dinner to accompany the wines. Among the courses is a lobster and shrimp salpicon with mint, toasted rice and a cebolla cimarrona, paired with the Benjamin Leroux Chassagne Montrachet Abbaye Morgeot (2015). This dinner is $150 a person. Call 816-492-7118 for reservations. 

Thursday, April 5

The former Jayhawk bookstore in Lawrence has been entirely transformed from its former days of selling overpriced textbooks and KU sweatshirts; today Lawrencians can finally check out McLain’s Market at 1420 Crescent Road. The Lawrence shop is the third location in the McLain’s family, which includes McLain’s Bakery in Waldo and McLain’s Market in Overland Park. Expect classic baked goods, salads, and sandwiches, among other offerings.

Saturday, April 7

The Missouri Mashers Brew Club and KC’s Northland Homebrew Club are collaborating to put on the second annual Spring Fling Homebrew Festival at iWerx Enterprise and Entrepreneurial Center (1520 Clay Street). The event (which benefits the North Kansas City Rotary Club Charitable Fund) features over 30 homebrewers as well as homebrewers “gone pro.” Tickets range from $10-$40; visit the festival’s website for tickets and more information.  

Lifted Spirits Distillery (1734 Cherry Street)  is debuting its own locally distilled absinthe beginning at 4 p.m. Sample the Lifted Spirits Absinthe for free; limited-edition bottles will be available for purchase. 

In Bonner Springs, the fourth annual Kegs ‘N Eggs Beer Festival kicks off at the Renaissance Fair grounds (628 N 126th Street). Over 50 breweries will be represented, many of them local. The eggs part refers to $5,000 cash inside Easter eggs hidden at the festival. Tickets start at $45 (designated driver tickets are $15). More information and advance tickets are available at the festival’s website