Gather 'round these tables this holiday season! Many of Kansas City's restaurants feature beautiful, private rooms where you can enjoy some of the nation's best cuisine in a more intimate setting. Guest blogger Mary Bloch (@aroundblockkc) shares some of the best rooms to book around the city.
With its brick walls and freight house windows, Lidia’s Loft has a unique charm created by the beautifully renovated building. The large upstairs room is perfect for a gathering of 100, or it can be divided into more intimate spaces. The banquet menu has several prix fixe options, but all include Lidia’s tangy Caesar salad and those addictive spreads for the house-made breads. To defy convention and win points on the party circuit, book the wine room at the Cellar Rat in the Crossroads District. What better plan for the holidays than a wine tasting? Enhance the experience with artisan cheeses and tapas-style treats. Tannin Wine Bar, in the same neighborhood, also has a private wine room. Its kitchen regularly turns out intriguing small plates to please a variety of palates. Newcomer Novel at 17th and Summit is winning raves for its cuisine, but the rustic nature of the old house is charming as well. Up the stairs is a lovely private room for you and a dozen or so of your closest friends. Aixois in Crestwood has a private dining room adjacent to the restaurant to enjoy your favorite French dishes for a group of 50 or so. With its big windows, it would be the ideal place to watc a snowfall on a cold winter evening.
The Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange has a private wine room adjacent to the main dining room, and would be a terrific choice for up to 35 people. Order off the menu or let Chef Howard Hanna work his magic in the kitchen with a special menu. No matter the size of your group, Pierpont’s at Union Station has a room to fit your needs. If it’s a banquet you’re contemplating, the large room upstairs can hold 100 or be divided into space for 20, 30 or 50 guests. For a real treat, check out the smaller private rooms on the lower level. The mini wine cellars have sleek wood tables, comfortable chairs, and can seat from 8 to 22 guests.
Michael Smith and Extra Virgin have shared private dining rooms for 6 or up to 30 people, and either menu can be utilized to create an exciting and fun evening. Trezo Mare is in the Briarcliff Village shopping center. Overlooking the bluffs, the private wine room boasts the best view in the restaurant and can accommodate 48 people. Add some pasta or other Italian delights to the mix and you’ve got the makings of a great celebration. The Jacobson in the Crossroads is one of Kansas City’s newest, hippest dining and drinking locales. For a casual dinner that won’t break the bank, the restaurant has a room that can be curtained off to provide a level of privacy…and quiet. Princess Garden has a large room in the back of the restaurant, ideal for a large cocktail reception or a sit-down dinner. Let Sam and Robert Chang devise a multi-course Chinese dinner to wow your colleagues, friends or family. If you’re looking for a refined and elegant setting for your event, consider Webster House. Enjoy drinks in the men’s library and then move to the one of the larger rooms for a creative dinner prepared by chef Matthew Arnold. Brio Tuscan Grille on the Plaza has six surprisingly stunning Colorado-style private rooms that can seat from 8 to 120 guests. These second floor gems are serviced by a separate kitchen and offer options for a cocktail buffet or a family style menu. The floor-to-ceiling windows give guests a spectacular platform to experience the Crown Center holiday lights and Mayor’s Christmas tree.
Rye in Mission Farms would be another winner if you are looking for a family-style spread. Picture platters of fried chicken, ribs and cottage fries, with Megan Garrelts' homemade lemon meringue, banana cream and MoKan pies to complete the picture. The private room seats up to 80 people and can handle any number of configurations. Looking for something a bit non-traditional? Frida's Contemporary Mexican restaurant in Overland Park would fit the bill. The intimate private dining room is carved out of the main room, but feels completely separate. It even features a wall buffet table in case you want to go family-style. If the Friday or Saturday night of your dreams is booked, don’t fret. Simply try for a weeknight instead. For a truly novel concept, consider having your party in January, after the hectic holiday season is over. Your guests may well be delighted to have a bit of merriment during an otherwise quiet month!
Mary Bloch (@aroundblockkc) is a freelance food writer, local blogger, professional diner living in Kansas city. You can find her regularly contributing to the Kansas City Star Food section, VisitKC magazine and her personal blog aroundtheblockkc.com.