Big boats and the gorgeous waters of Lake Lotawana are only the beginning of this laid-back dining experience. The lakeside dining destination has offered Prime and Prime-Plus filets, rib eyes, Kansas City Strips and Porterhouse steaks for more than 20 years, since opening where a full-service marina once operated. Sauteed mushrooms and onions (small upcharge), a bacon wrap, or steak butter enhance mesquite charcoal grilling. Filet Oscar arrives with toppers of king crab and hollandaise and nestled on a bed of asparagus. Also well-known for seafood, Marina Grog & Galley serves 8-ounce lobster tails, exceptional mahi mahi and excellent bacon-wrapped scallops. Additional specialties include rack of lamb, baby back ribs and vegetarian pasta. Servers are typically friendly and attentive and you may see the gregarious owner on the floor too. Chocolate lovers should save room for signature Molten Chocolate Cake and order theirs early.
Recommended for Steakhouses because: Sip wine or an exceptional martini on the Outer Deck for a supremely relaxing, one-of-a-kind restaurant experience in the Kansas City area.
Lisa's expert tip: Great views are a big part of dining at Marina Grog & Galley, whether you enjoy your meal in the Main Dining Room or choose the Upper Deck, full of leather upholstery and two fireplaces. Or socialize in The Sunken Bar, renowned for its 1,500-gallon salt water aquarium.
Jess & Jim's delivers classic '70s and '80s ambience alongside of their steaks. Unpretentious yet refined, Playboy magazine once named this beloved family-owned restaurant among the nation's top 12 steakhouses and Travel & Leisure christened Jess & Jim's #20 out of 32 best steakhouses across the country. Whether you choose an unseasoned, hand-cut filet, sirloin or rib eye, steaks are nicely prepared; ask for their time-tested and perfected seasoning blend as a flavor bonus. The menu also offers a tutorial about regarding whether steaks are prepared Extra Rare, Rare, Med-Rare, Med, Med Well or Well-cooked. Onion rings, enormous twice-baked potatoes, thick beef soup and generous pours from the bar are other highlights. Though not inexpensive, steaks and entrees, such as whole catfish on the bone or livers and gizzards, each come with salad, garlic toast and choice of side. This is a tried-and-true spot for prime beef and much more.
Recommended for Steakhouses because: Check out the restaurant's wall of plaques for an even greater appreciation of the culinary legacy initiated by founders, Jess Kincaid and Jim Wright.
Lisa's expert tip: From tenderloin served on a pretzel bun to beef tips and noodles, or a classic turkey melt, Jess & Jim's lunch specials are well sized and priced, and there's even a monthly calendar available to-go.
Full of statues, brass and dark woods, this huge restaurant feels like a 'gentlemen's club.' Priced over $50, seared tenderloin with butter poached lobster tails offers the 'ultimate steak and seafood experience.' Additional Chef's Suggestions with a similar price point include Gorgonzola and Truffle Crusted Dry Aged KC Strip and Porcini Rubbed Bone-In Ribeye with 15-Year Aged Balsamic. Delicious lobster mac and cheese, enormous crocks of French onion soup, roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon and thick crab cakes, are customer favorites. Seafood lovers also enjoy entrees featuring salmon, Chilean sea bass, scallops and more. Ample servings, a well-rounded appetizer menu, heavenly créme brulee and an excellent whiskey selection are also available. The highly professional staff and plenty of parking nearby make this a delightful, if pricey dining experience.
Recommended for Steakhouses because: This is a great place to enjoy upscale dining with easy access to Kansas City's legendary Country Club Plaza.
Lisa's expert tip: A dozen specialty cocktails are only the beginning of The Capital Grille's bar experience.' Miniature Lobster and Crab Burgers or Tenderloin Sandwiches, Lollipop Lamb Chops or Parmesan Truffle Fries are several delicious complements, priced at less than $20.
Don't let the name of this restaurant fool you. Although seafood is a big star here, McCormick and Schmick's also offers nicely prepared beef options. Try a 6-ounce filet, a 13-ounce strip steak, center-cut Dry Rubbed Black Angus Ribeye Steak or an American Kobe Style Burger served with mushrooms, fontina cheese and red onion aioli. Mixed Grill Selections pair premium beef with stuffed shrimp or a steamed lobster tail. With fresh seafood flown in daily, there are crab cakes, mussels, and mahi mahi, as well as Dungeness crab or salmon that are good enough to please folks from the east coast. Meal-sized salads, soups, and pastas are other possibilities, and a serving of the Chocolate Bag – served with plenty of berries – is a 'must.' Attentive servers and generous wine pours complement dark woods, crisp white tablecloths, and deep, comfortable booths, creating casual yet elegant surroundings.
Recommended for Steakhouses because: Steak and seafood accompany sandwiches and burgers on the surprisingly massive lunchtime menu. There are even a dozen dishes 'Perfect for Sharing.'
Lisa's expert tip: Available Sunday-Friday, 3:30-6 p.m., happy hour at is a great deal, with beer, wine, specialty cocktails and martinis for $7 or less. Pair a beverage with appetizers such as a New York Strip Carpaccio, hummus with pita chips or Spiced Ahi Tuna Flatbread for a tasty, inexpensive meal.
The Majestic opened its doors in the renovated 1923 Fitzpatrick Saloon Building, during November 2009 and still retains the ambience of that era. Serving lunch and dinner daily, they're known for dry-aged Kansas City steaks among more than a dozen beef entrees – from pepper-encrusted filet mignon to bacon wrapped beef tenderloin or Hangar Steak with Red Pepper Tapenade. Not a beef fan? Fresh shrimp and seafood, pork or lamb chops and sautéed chicken breast are other choices. 'Old-school' sides include Twice Baked Potato, Rice Pilaf and Creamed Spinach, while sweet endings range from Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake to Garment District Cheesecake. There are more than 100 whiskey choices as well as specialty cocktails and an expansive wine list. The Majestic's basement Jazz Club has a 'speakeasy' quality with nightly performances by local artists, and also serves a full menu.
Recommended for Steakhouses because: Five brunch versions of 'Egg Benedictions,' with house-made hollandaise, include classic, crab cake, salmon, filet and portabella options.
Lisa's expert tip: Although there's no cover charge for listening to performers in the cozy, rock-walled Jazz Club, guests are encouraged to purchase food and beverages during the show. And making a reservation is a good idea to secure a prime table.
Serving dinner from 4-10 p.m., J. Gilbert's has become a favorite destination for wood-fired steaks. Though pricey, steaks and chop plates include two sides, from roasted Brussels sprouts with prosciutto and mustard to creamed corn with bacon. Customers also love the Maryland Crab Bisque and Lobster Risotto as well as hand-cut Maytag blue cheese potato chips, white cheddar chipotle mashed potatoes and decadent Chocolate Velvet Cake. Seared scallops arrive in a skillet, with al dente veggies, and massive burgers arrive in grilled buns. The Iced Shellfish Platter (small serves 2-3) is a decadent treat composed of oysters, shrimp cocktail, king crab legs and lobster claws. Wood plank floors, brick fireplace and dark upholstered booths make this a cozy dining room with kudos for outstanding service and live music too. Reservations are a good idea, especially on weekends.
Recommended for Steakhouses because: J. Gilbert's uses clean, seasonal and Fair Trade ingredients from local and/or artisan producers, whenever possible. The menu also lists current food partners.
Lisa's expert tip: The restaurant offers two Prix Fixe menus ($42 and $50). Entrees such as a 6- or 12-ounce steak, scallops with lobster risotto or bone-in pork chop are accompanied by Yukon mashed potatoes and green beans with choice of salad or crab bisque four dessert options.
Despite its youthful bones, this decor is reminiscent of a 1940s-era steakhouse that Harry Truman might have favored. USDA Prime beef is 801 Chophouse's claim to fame, whether you order prime rib, a Kansas City Strip, a ribeye, a Delmonico or a Porterhouse. You can also customize your beef with blue cheese, Bearnaise sauce, Black Truffle Butter and several other options. Additional entrees include Minnesota pork chops, Pan Roasted Amish Chicken and Double Cut Colorado Lamb Chops. There's plenty of 'jet-fresh' fish on the appetizer menu too, from Lobster Corn Dogs and Oysters Rockefeller to Maryland crab cakes and pancetta-wrapped shrimp. Named among Distinguished Restaurants of North America (DiRoNA), having dinner at 801 Chophouse can be expensive, with entrée prices starting at $32. Everything else is a la carte – from soup, salad and roasted Brussels sprouts or creamed peas to one pound baked potatoes or Lobster Macaroni & Cheese.
Set amid the bustling Zona Rosa shopping center, this Hereford House location combines cozy surroundings and soothing colors with cuisine perfected over five decades. Patio seating takes advantage of pleasant weather. The 12-ounce prime rib melts in your mouth, while the inventive HH Sea Hogs appetizer pairs shrimp with bacon and horseradish cocktail sauce. The "Wedge" salad offers old-fashioned flavors, with its iceberg lettuce base, grape tomatoes, house-made Maytag bleu cheese dressing, bacon and chives. While beef is king here, there are also garlic-stuffed chicken breasts, ribs, pork chops and pasta, as well. The popular grilled salmon is served over artichokes and other vegetables and then topped with Parmesan cream. Steakburgers and carrot cake are other favorites. The restaurant's large wine selection changes frequently.
Recommended for Steakhouses because: On Sundays and Mondays, there's a Prime Rib special, and 25% off select wines. Look for daily lunch and Happy Hour specials too.
Lisa's expert tip: Servers get high marks for excellent, attentive service. Hereford House Zona Rosa is a great place for group gatherings too, with three private dining rooms that can accommodate six to 60 guests.
Step back to the 1930s and 1940s amid elegant surroundings, when you dine at Pierpont's Union Station, named for legendary railroad man, John Pierpont Morgan. From the high ceilings, to the 30-foot-tall antique mahogany bar Pierpont's is the epitome of 'old school' elegance. But food remains the big draw to this steakhouse, from steaks and lamb chops to trout almondine and cioppini. Walnut and pear salad and lobster tails get high marks too. Add a signature steak enhancement for a small up-charge, from coffee and ancho chili rub to blue crab or béarnaise sauce. Garlic whipped potatoes, farro risotto or Swiss chard are several a la carte sides. Appetizers priced from $10 feature mussels, calamari, rabbit, and crab. Attentive service that moves quickly, top shelf liquor, and a large wine list with a variety of price points are other attractions. Absorb the splendor of another time as you enjoy your meal.
Recommended for Steakhouses because: Elegant surroundings elevate meals that already hit the mark for quality and variety.
Lisa's expert tip: Lunch at Pierpont's offers a lower price point. Starting at $11, entrees include duck sausage chilaquiles, seared wild salmon or Pistachio Carbonara, and premium steak orders include choice of one side. There are also eight sandwiches available. Or enjoy Happy Hour wine prices, craft cocktails and appetizers in the lounge.