Wednesday, September 30, 2009

3 Big Announcements and KC part 3

Now that I have finally taken and passed my Series 66 Exam I actually have some time to finish the 3rd chapter of Mindy and my weekend in Kansas City with a review of Benton’s Steak and Chophouse

Before I do this though I wanted to mention something that I think is really cool.

The next blog I post will be my 100th. This is pretty important to me because it signifies one of the few things I’ve actually stuck with in life over a period of time. My first post was in March of 2007 and even though it may have been infrequently, I’ve continued to post for the last 2 and a half years. With any luck, I’ll continue to do so far into the future.

To celebrate my 100th post I’m going to do something I haven’t done on this blog, I’m going to make 3 BIG ANNOUNCEMENTS. As “big” is a relative term, don’t get too excited. I’m not giving away a car (but a giveaway isn’t out of the picture.) Just check back in the next couple weeks and read my next post and you’ll figure out what it’s all about.

But enough of my rambling, on to Benton’s.

I was more apprehensive visiting this restaurant than any of the others on this trip, primarily because it was the most expensive. Despite the fact that it was our anniversary, at $33 a plate (easily the most I’ve paid for a meal), the champagne brunch needed to be spectacular. What worried me even more so was that Benton’s was located in the Westin Hotel. I’ve worked in a classy hotel before and just because the rooms are $300 or more a night does not mean the food is going to be good. Luckily, the fact that Benton’s was on our Passport Card eased my worries a little bit.

We arrived at the Westin shortly before our reservations and found the designated elevator with little problem. If nothing else, at least we would have a good view of Crown Center from the top floor of the hotel.

What we found in the brunch buffet and wait staff was a very satisfying experience.

I started my brunch with a slice of prime rib and a dish of cooked to order pasta with shrimp, asparagus and a tomato cream sauce. I’ve easily paid $20 a plate for the pasta alone at other restaurants and this was equal in quality. For good measure, I filled out the rest of my plate with several of the cheeses from the cheese platter, some amazing multi grain crackers and a croissant. When I arrived back at the table our server had brought champagne and coffee. Both were excellent as was the prime rib (though it was served more rare than I typically prefer, I realize this is how most eat prime rib so I don’t hold it against Benton’s).

Gus, our server, was amazing and acted as a concierge in addition to a server. Three separate times we asked him fairly complicated questions about the happenings in Crown Center and the facts he didn’t immediately know he sought out an answer for. If we ever return, I’m calling Benton’s and visiting when he is scheduled. He was that good.

Our meal was rounded out by several more trips to the buffet and choosing from the seemingly endless selection of breakfast, lunch and dinner fare followed closely by a trip to the dessert bar. By the time we were finished, both Mindy and I were more than adequately stuffed.

I would highly recommend Benton’s to anyone with a serious appetite looking for a semi formal but relaxed atmosphere and beautiful view. I don’t know if I could allow myself to spring for the price of the brunch without my Passport Card, but that doesn’t mean the food isn’t worth it. I’m just a bit too frugal.

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