Pour Haus, Joe’s Old Town Bar & Grill open next week

Two new watering holes are set to open in Wichita next week, and both will have versions of the Jucy Lucy on the menu.

The first is Pour Haus Restaurant & Tavern at 1021 W. Maple. It’ll open on Monday, featuring 31 beers on tap and 50 more by the bottle, plus wine and cocktails made with beer. The menu looks pretty interesting, and almost all of the dishes somehow include beer, wine or other alcohol as an ingredient. I’m enticed by the beer-battered fish and chips, the beer and cheese soup, the beer flavored cupcakes, and of course the “Lucy’s Other Brother,” a burger stuffed with cheese, bacon and  jalapenos. Hours are 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily.

I stopped in Pour Haus last week, where I found manager Patrick Shibley (one of the original Gaslamp Grille & Lounge partners) busily working on the menu. I was impressed with the interior, which has been extensively remodeled since the last time a business operated there and is very clean and inviting. I’m sort of excited that I live nearby.

Joe’s Old Town Bar & Grill also is set to open next week at 222 N. Washington, though managers aren’t sure exactly what day. They’re waiting for inspections to be completed and could get the doors open as early as Monday or as late as March 17. 

Joe’s is owned by Charlie Badeen and David Allan, the men behind Dudley’s at 8550 W. 21st. St. Joe’s general manager and executive chef is Brad Beyer, who was in charge of Mike’s Wine Dive when it first opened.

The menu will feature several bar favorites, but Beyer said he’s going to add several unexpected dishes to the menu, including shrimp ceviche, a Philly cheese steak egg roll, a fried egg sandwich, and a Juicy Lucy. It’ll offer prime rib nightly after 4 p.m. and daily blue plate lunch specials for $6.99. Joe’s also will have a big patio facing Washington. Reach Joe’s at 316-303-9885.

DiTullio’s Piano Bar won’t happen after all

We’d planned a story for last week’s Go! section about DiTullio’s Piano Bar, which was to feature the ivory tickling of local crooner Steve DiTullio. It was supposed to open on Wednesday of this week in the former Fairchild Interiors and Design space at the Waterfront, 13th and Webb.

But at the last minute, the project fell through. The owners were not able to secure financing, said Timirie Shibley, whose husband, Patrick, was to manage the bar. Patrick is a former co-owner of Gaslamp Grille and also was a manager at Ya Ya’s. He’s now looking for a local restaurant job.

Gaslamp Grille adds lunch

They’ve been talking about it for a while, and starting Monday, Gaslamp Grille and Lounge at 550 N. Rock Road will start offering lunch.

It’ll be served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and will include upscale appetizers, salads, sandwiches, burgers and pastas. You can see the full menu here. (Twice even!)

Appetizers average about $8. salads are $12-ish, and the sandwich/burger/pasta dishes  range from $9 to $12. If I were going today, I’d probably order the Dagwood, made with three meats, lettuce, tomato, pepperoncinis, pickle, Italian style vinaigrette aioli, Gruyere and fontina on a French baguette for $9.95. Yum. The brie cheese fodue appetizer ($7.95) sounds good, too.

For more information, call 316-260-1432.

Wine and beer and food

Wichitans will have three opportunities over the next week to educate themselves on wine and beer and the food that makes them sing.

The first is tonight’s Gusto Social Wine Tasting, a monthly event at Gaslamp Grille and Lounge, 550 N. Rock Road. It starts at 6:30 p.m. and is $25 a person. Participants will be able to sample four different wines and have access to some light appetizers. Credit card reservations are required in advance by calling 316-260-1432.

Then, on Tuesday, Yia Yia’s Eurobistro at 8115 W. 21st will offer a $65-a-person wine dinner featuring the wares of the Paraiso winery. It’s a four-course dinner, and each course is paired with a Paraiso wine. It starts at 6:30 p.m. Call 316-634-1000 for reservations.

Wednesday is the day for Newport Grill’s Tallgrass Beer Dinner. The restaurant at 1900 N. Rock Road will charge $50 a person for the five-course meal, which will pair Tallgrass beers with dishes such as butter-poached halibut and cocoa-glazed beef tenderloin. The dinner starts at 7 p.m. Call 316-636-9555 for reservations.

Changes at Gaslamp: Seasonal entrees, lower prices

Gaslamp Grille & Lounge, the fine dining restaurant that opened in December at 550 N. Rock Road, is launching a new menu on Monday, with several new seasonal dishes and some lower price points.

Among the new menu items: A pork belly appetizer,  citrus shrimp corn chowder, a shellfish provencal entree featuring seared scallops, a blue crab and truffle gnocchi and a roasted rack of lamb.

Prices have been lowered to be more on par with Gaslamp’s sister restaurant, Mike’s Wine Dive at 4714 E. Douglas. The blue crab and truffle gnocchi, for example, is $17.95, as is a new apple wood smoked chicken entree. In fact, most dishes — save the steaks, a duck dish and the rack of lamb — are now under $20.

Gaslamp serves food from 4 to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, from 4 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and from 3 to 10 p.m. Sundays.

Reservations are available by calling 316-260-1432.

Good eats at Winefest

I love Winefest. I love it so much. Look how much fun I had there last year with my friends Kim and Jill. We ate at least a pound of sushi-style ahi tuna, learned that we love SeaGlass Sauvignon Blanc,  hobnobbed with Guy Bower and Brett Harris, and went out to Chester’s for Tumbleweeds when it was all over. Ahhhh. Good times.

This year, I can’t go because I’m otherwise engaged, and I’m very unhappy about missing it. This is one fun event.

You can read my story about the Grand Tasting online tomorrow and in the Go! section on Friday, but in the meantime, I have a list of all the restaurants that will be at Saturday night’s Grand Tasting and what delicious bites they’ll be serving. Organizers secured 14 restaurants this year, including a few new ones — Newport Grill and Gaslamp Grille among them.

Tell me how it is if you go. Sniff. Sniff sniff.

Read More »

More chef shuffling

David Wirebaugh, Ben George, Terry Johnson and Jeremy Wade at this summer's Iron Chef competition at the Old Town Farmer's Market. Photo by Old Town Farmer's Market.

If you follow restaurants in Wichita, you know that our pool of local chefs is constantly shifting in and out of restaurant jobs. They work here for a while. They work there for a while. They open up their own restaurants. They go back there. They try here again. Rinse. Repeat.

Over the weekend, I found out about a few more moves in the never-ending revolving door of Wichita chefdom. Ben George, who was really turning things around at The Anchor — both in terms of food and service — left there in December after Tallgrass Country Club made him an offer he couldn’t refuse, recruiting him as their food and beverage director. Now, The Anchor is using some of Ben’s former assistants to keep the kitchen going. (I also hear that Anchor owner Schane Gross is now looking at April as a start date for her long-awaited remodel.)

I also heard over the weekend that Gaslamp Grille & Lounge has a new chef: Terry Johnson, who’s worked at restaurants such as Cibola and Yia Yia’s and regularly wins chef cookoffs around town, is heading the Gaslamp kitchen now.

Dining out on Christmas

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Kwan Court is among the restaurants open on Christmas Day.

Lots and lots of people have asked me which restaurants are open and serving on Christmas Day. And lots and lots of times I’ve promised that I’ll publish the list as soon as I have it put together. That time has arrived.

The most interesting development: The brand new Gaslamp Grille & Lounge will close on Christmas Eve but open for dinner on Christmas Day. Other than that, your choices include a whole lot of Chinese food, some hotel buffets and Denny’s. See the full list.

What’s for dinner at Gaslamp

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Wichita must have been very good this year because in the first two weeks of December, it’s received the gift of not one but TWO fancy new restaurants.

The first was Newport Grill, which opened more than a week ago in Bradley Fair. And now, Gaslamp Grille & Lounge is open at 550 N. Rock Road, in the former Shadow/The Grape space.

Gaslamp is owned by Whitney VinZant’s restaurant group, which also has Mike’s Wine Dive and Jimmy’s Egg restaurants locally. It serves high-end fare such as escargot, fresh-shucked oysters, duck, seafood and dry-aged steaks. The restaurant has been completely and lavishly remodeled, with mahogany stained wood, u-shaped booths, a marble staircase and a balcony. (See what the interior looks like by clicking through a photo gallery on the restaurant’s Facebook page.)

You can peruse the whole menu here, and you’ll see that entrees range from $18 for a chicken dish to $38 for a 24-oz. bone-in ribeye.

Gaslamp serves food from 4 to 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and from 4 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, though its lounge is open later every night.

Reservations are available by calling 316-260-1432.

Gaslamp Grille & Lounge

gaslampassembly.jpg 001I’ve been curious about what Whitney VinZant and his partner, former Yia Yia’s man Patrick Shibley, were up to at the former Shadow space at 550 N. Rock Road. As you can see at left, some pretty serious construction is going on.

I met with the duo at the construction site yesterday, where they let me climb a ladder and didn’t even make me mess up my hair with a hard hat. The restaurant they’re planning — Gaslamp Grille & Lounge — is going to be pretty spectacular, I think.

They’ve totally gutted the old Shadow space and are adding touches like mahogany stained wood, u-shaped booths, a marble staircase and a balcony. The restaurant will have a raw bar featuring all sorts of oysters, shrimp and other seafood, and another specialty will be dry-aged steaks. The two describe the menu as “classical with a French flair,” and their design concept was inspired by the high-end Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego.

It’ll have a lot of other un-Wichita-like touches, including complimentary valet service, an absinthe fountain, dramatic chandeliers, a grand piano, and a bunch of high-end, hard-to-find liquors and an all-season patio that’s a bit more casual.

Shibley and VinZant, who also owns Mike’s Wine Dive and local Jimmy’s Egg restaurants, plan to open Gaslamp  in the first week of December and initially will offer dinner only, though they may add lunch after the first of the year.  The menu should include several $20 to $30 entrees as well as some more expensive steak options, they said.

“It’s going to be surprising to a lot of people,” VinZant said. “When we open, they’re going to see a side of dining they haven’t seen in Wichita.”

Can’t wait.