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Grand Street: Exceptional American Cuisine Creates a Memorable Dining Experience

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One remembers a really beautiful meal. The occasion, the company, the wine. Perhaps even the music and the clinking sound of the fork on the porcelain plate. But especially the food. One remembers the flavors and textures and feelings of such a meal.

Grand Street owners Kristi and Rick Ghilardi believe that; they want their restaurant to be remembered, and thus the details are important to them. Corporate Chef Aaron Wells-Morgan and Executive Chef Mitchell Allen create menus as if they want each guest to have one of those memorable dining moments, every single time they come in. For Mitchell, as for the Ghilardis, it is personal. His signature is on every plate that leaves his kitchen, and there is great pride in that fact. For over 20 years he has been perfecting his craft, and now Grand Street is the happy benefactor of his immense talent.

Rick and Kristi, together with general manager Lori Lubin, have thought of everything to give us one of the most memorable dining experiences in the city. Whether you visit the Plaza location or the Lenexa City Center, you will enjoy a chic atmosphere reminiscent of New York sophistication, but with the warmth and congeniality of Midwestern culture. Grand Street offers high-style, innovative cuisine at a mid-level price point. The quality of the ingredients coupled with the exemplary service make it worth every single penny.

“We are so proud of our chefs and our service,” said Kristi. “We like to really know our guests; their names, what they like to drink, where they like to sit. We strive to remember the details and make people feel special.”

Ernest Hemingway, a great appreciator of food, said, “Try to learn to breathe deeply, to really taste food when you eat…Try to be alive.” Tasting the food that emerges from the imagination of Chef Mitchell and Chef Aaron makes makes you feel happy to be alive and thankful for the opportunity to have such a meal. Every menu item at Grand Street is made from scratch, from sauces and pasta to soups and beyond. And, as if we needed another reason to love him, Mitchell is a former pastry chef and his sweet tooth ensures that the Grand Street Café desserts are off the charts. Save room for dessert and order the apple pie or chocolate phyllo brownie. They are both fabulous.

Many of the entrees appeal to the Midwestern affinity for meat and potatoes, but with a contemporary flair reflective of the latest trends. The signature grilled pork chop is enormous and perfect, currently served with Baked mac and cheese, smoked bacon corn succotash, carmelized onion and spiced pork rinds. The pork chop will be updated on the new spring menu to be served with braised greens and honey apple jus. As the weather warms up, Mitchell wanted to offer some lighter, healthier options as well. The Catch of the Day, usually a sea bass or halibut, served over saffron corn sauce and garnished with blue crab pico de gallo, will certainly make your life a little happier. Seafood is flown in daily to ensure the finest quality possible. There’s a new selection of side plates, enhanced and flavorful versions of veggie favorites, all of which are hearty enough to be stand-alone meals for the waistline-conscious guest.

There is much more to Grand Street than in-house dining. Both locations offer large private dining spaces, perfect for receptions, banquets, business lunches and other special occasions. At the Lenexa location, they have held wedding ceremonies on site; it’s a beautiful venue to say vows to your loved one. Visit their website for details on booking your special event.

Don’t we all love happy hour? Enjoy great drink specials, such as $5 house wines and $3 domestic beers, Monday through Friday from 3:00 to 6:00p.m., on Saturday from open until 3:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. to close, and on Sunday from 3:00p.m. to close. Both locations have delightful patios to enjoy, and both locations have dedicated and very convenient parking.

Grand Street features other great specials throughout the week. The Lenexa location offers Wine Wednesdays, an opportunity to taste 6 wines for only $15. If you stay for dinner, you’ll receive 20 percent off your meal. Beginning in April, they will host monthly beer and wine dinners. On Thursdays and Sundays, they offer half price bottles of wine $50 and under.

Think about Grand Street the next time you head out for Sunday brunch. The menu features a large selection of decadent entrees as well as traditional favorites available a la carte. Plus, there are Bloody Marys. For $6, take advantage of their Bloody Mary bar, full of assorted fixings; it’s only $1 for replenishments.

Sometimes, living in the suburbs means sacrificing access to unique, locally owned fine dining restaurants. Thankfully, Grand Street Lenexa, located off I-435 at 87th Street, brings downtown style, sophistication and energy within easy reach of our quiet neighborhoods, so that families can eat well and enjoy a fine restaurant experience. The camaraderie and professionalism of the staff, the attention of the owners, and the ingenuity of the chefs make Grand Street a truly special place.

Visit for hours, specials, reservations and menu previews.