The Pitch Bite Club: Renee Kelly’s Harvest!!

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Last month, Xavier and I attended the second event of The Pitch’s Bite Club, hosted by The Pitch, FindItKC, and Renee Kelly’s Harvest. For a reminder of what the bite club is and of the first event, go here.

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The venue this time was Renee Kelly’s Harvest in Shawnee Mission, KS. Harvest is housed in the old Caenan Castle. Yes, a castle, but think a smaller scale.

As with the first event, Chris Olsen of FindItKC, that’s him up there with Xavier, was an awesome host. Dinner was presented by the very energetic chef Renee Kelly.

I started off with a drink from the cocktail menu, the chocolate pumpkin martini, which was perfect. The chocolate pumpkin combo was new to me and very glad that I tried it, even though I drank it way too fast. Xavier had the Lemon Blossom, think Black-Eyed Susan. We had a bartender on hand to explain each cocktail and make great recommendations.

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We were served a four course meal. The first was pressed duck chest that was very fresh and tender, black rice(which I’d never had before), apple slaw with huckleberry and beet sauce. The sauce was magic, and I am not a duck person, but this one was a winner.

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The second course was the tastiest carrot and ginger bisque with crystallized ginger, creme fraiche and bourbon pear balsamic vinaigrette ever, though I can’t say I’ve ever had it before.

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For the main course, we had the scotch filet with butter braised turnips, pink potatoes, and parsnips and apple puree. The puree was like whoa. I ate everythang. It was cooked perfectly for me and as farm fresh as they come.

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For dessert, we had chocolate ganache cake with candied orange peel. Xavier doesn’t even like chocolate cake, but he ate all of his and so did I 🙂

Besides the food, chef Renee was one of the highlights of the dinner. Her energy and enthusiasm was very contagious. She had everyone excited about each course. She is very passionate about her craft and it shows in each of the dish that she presented. She also gave us a little insight into what she has in store for the future and it is definitely a bright one.

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If you need a new place to grab drinks and awesome farm to table food, definitely stop by Renee Kelly’s Harvest. I know we will definitely be back! 🙂

*Bite Club logo from the pitch.com and Caenan Castle photo from reneekellyharvest.com*

*Photos taken with iphone4*

The Pitch Bite Club: Room 39 Midtown!!

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Last week, we were invited to be part of the Kansas City Bite Club, sponsored by The Pitch, Findit KC, and Room 39 Restaurant at Midtown. The Bite Club is a group of about 12 local bloggers, social media enthusiasts, and foodies hand picked by The Pitch to try out local restaurant menus and share the experience on their preferred social media outlet. The idea is to meet once a month. *Please excuse the photos, it was pretty dim in the restaurant and all we had were our iPhones. Next time we will be better prepared*

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For our first gathering, the venue was Room 39, located at midtown. Room 39 is a small, cozy establishment serving seasonal American cuisine. They also have a second restaurant in Leawood, KS. The event was hosted by Findit KC founder, Chris Olsen, who along with The Pitch came up with the idea for the Kansas City Bite Club. According to Chris, the idea came from a similar group out of Boston. Dinner was presented by the chef/owner of Room 39, Ted Habiger. Ted is an award winning chef and is very passionate about his food.

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We were served a five course meal, with wine pairings for the first 2 courses. Xavier and I decided to try their French martini during the meet and greet. Each course was presented by Chef Ted. He carefully explained each dish and the ingredients. I found the whole presentation to be very informative and insightful. I also liked Chef Ted’s little blurb about small details in a restaurant, like white table cloths. I have a thing for restaurants with white table clothes. To me, it’s inviting, and goes with his whole idea of community . It was nice learn how a dish comes together and what a dish and small details mean to the chef. At the heart of Room 39 and Chef Ted are locally grown and raised ingredients, and the community.

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The group we dined with was very enthusiastic and fun. There were foodies and bloggers of all kind, of different backgrounds, and of different personalities. Being fairly new to Kansas City, it was nice to meet some of its locals and learn about one of its hidden gems that has been serving its community since 2004.

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There was a short moment during the dinner when I thought it was kind of strange that we were actually expected to take pictures and share our experience on social media. But, seeing how excited and how everyone was having so much fun, the strange feeling quickly disappeared. We thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. The hosts were awesome and the food was excellent. The lobster gnocchi and the duroc pork chops are a must when you come out and visit Room 39! (And don’t forget to check out #pitchbiteclub on Instagram for more photos). Enjoy!!

**Thank you to The PItch, Findit KC, and Room 39 for inviting us!!** 🙂

*All photos were taken with iPhone 4 and edited with VSCO Cam*

*Bite Club logo from pitch.com*

An Obsession

If you have not already noticed, I loves me some pastries! So, I thought I would share my pastry findings from past and present. Below are my top three chain store favorites. Because I figured I needed to make recommendations from somewhere that you can find in your area, in like point 2 seconds, plus there are a million reviews out there of local and personal recipe favorites. I figured I’d go the old fashion way and give you a chain review. Ok.

3. Starbucks Pumpkin Bread. Why: This thing is perfect density, moistness, and sweetness. This used to be my number one obsession only two years ago, now it is down to #3 and I can’t remember the last time I had one since I moved. Maybe it is time to re-visit. But anyways, its rich and good and heavy enough to fill me up until way after lunch, well maybe like 2 of them.

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Photo from starbucks.com

2. Panera Bread Pumpkin Muffie. Yes, I love pumpkin flavored pastry. This one is not as dense as #3, but a little fluffier and just as moist and the sweetness is offset by whatever it is sprinkled on top with. This is also the cheapest item on this list. This obsession was a recent discovery (this past Monday), but given that I ate it for breakfast Monday-Friday this week, it qualifies and is now on the pastry obsession list.

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Photo from panerabread.com

1. Whole Foods Two Bite Brownies. No, not pumpkin flavored. And I don’t know the name of the maker, but you can find this in any Whole Foods. It is made of Belgian chocolate and to attempt to rationalize my love for this awesome goodness of a brownie is futile. It is that good. I can eat a whole box….by myself. This is mostly all that I ate when I was pregnant with Aspen, which is when I discovered them. They are not too sweet, but rich, moist, not too fudgy at all, I hate fudge brownies. They have similar versions at other grocery stores, but trust me the ones at Whole Foods are the best, I KNOW.

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Photo from theactorsdiet.com

FYI: I am so not affiliated with any of these companies/brands. I just really, really love these products that I had to share them with you 🙂 I am also not telling you to go out and try them, and then get on here and yell at me if you end up not liking them, I am just letting you know that I (me) love them! Cheers!