In 2007, it was estimated that a little over 2,067,000 people live in the greater Kansas City metropolitan area.
On any given Saturday night, it is my estimation that approximately 2,066,500 of those people will be heading out to local restaurants for dinner.
If you are losers like us, and don't have reservations, you usually have to begin your quest for a coveted table around 4:30 p.m., if you have ANY hope of getting a table somewhere.
But who the heck wants to eat dinner at 4:30 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon?
So...last night, we gambled...we headed down to the Plaza of Kansas City and found ourselves at one of our favorite dining spots, the Grand Street Cafe, arriving at the still-rather-early hour of 5:30 p.m. We were hopeful. We were hungry. And apparently, we were very naive.
We walked in, strolled up to the hostess table, where the maitre d' gave us the once over and said, "How may I help you?"
Apologetically, we answered, "We realize we don't have reservations, but we were hoping for a table for two...." and our voices trailed off with just the slightest bit of a whiny beg at the end....
The Grand Poo-bah of Tables then asked, "Do you have a reservation?"
"Uh, sorry...no. That's what we just said."
"It's Valentine's Day weekend," he pointed out.
I guess that was to impress upon us what losers we were by not having reservations on a Saturday night during Valentine's weekend. Like we didn't already know that. He didn't need to impress that upon us.
He continued, "All of our tables are booked for the night."
Our hearts sank.
"However...." he added.
Our hopes rose.
"We DO offer limited seating at what we call the 'Chef's Table.' Would you like to check it out?"
His tone implied that the Chef's Table was only one step up from eating in the gutter out the back door of the restaurant by the garbage cans.
But. We were hungry. And hungry beggars can't be choosy, right?
So, off to the Chef's Table we went. And the results?
Sitting at the Chef's Table was an experience like no other. It's like Culinary Crack for the wanna-be chef. Hubby and I think of ourselves as wanna-be chefs, so this was right up our ally.
It was the Super Bowl, the World Series, and the Stanley Cup all rolled into one for anyone even slightly interested in cooking.
Hubs and I sat at a counter overlooking the kitchen, where we watched the somewhat chaotic, but highly-synchronized choreography of a professional staff pushing out the most wonderful-looking, and probably most fantastically-tasting food....it was AWESOME!
We sat there for a good hour, enthralled, while eating the most delicious food ourselves. WHAT A SHOW!!!
And afterwards, when we went to a live theater venue, where we watched an amazing production put on by local actors, we really couldn't decide what had been the better show...the restaurant? Or the theater?
So now? We're going to go back and ON PURPOSE, request the Chef's Table at the Grand Street Cafe.
I think I just want to see the look on the maitre d's face when we do that. Hee.