Food & Drink

You Say Tomato, I Say Tomato Dinners

We’re seeing a delicious dining trend emerge.

Tomatoes are popping up on the menu at restaurants and special events around town. Make your reservation for these upcoming dinners across the metro.

The food of the season is the star at Lidia’s annual tomato dinner, which will be held July 28 and August 4. The five-course meal of locally grown heirloom tomatoes is $55 (add $30 for wine pairings) and features heritage pork shoulder with pickled green tomato, risotto with spot prawns, sundried tomato and basil pesto, and an heirloom tomato and peach cobbler with caramelized milk ice cream and cornmeal crumble.

Chef Jasper Mirabile Jr.’s food always speaks for itself, but once you get the culinary king talking about his ingredients, his passion is even more evident. Kurlbaum’s heirlooms are ripe for the Mirabile treatment at his August 10 dinner, where guests will enjoy seven tomato courses, including summer pasta, fresh pulled mozzarella and a sweet tomato tart with basil gelato for $45.

Have an affair to remember—”A Tomato Affair,” that is. The official title of this year’s heirloom tomato dinner on August 13 at Michael Smith downplays our commitment to Kurlbaum’s heirloom tomatoes and Smith’s treatment of them. With special guest Chef Michael Kramer getting in on the action, the meal promises to be a winner. A sneak preview of the menu: Courses that include a patchwork of tomatoes, split creek farms goat cheese, radish, salsa verde and sea salt; butter poached lobster with heirloom tomato puree; and a baked tomato-cheese tart.

You’ll notice Kurlbaum keeps coming up. That’s because the tomatoes grown by Sky Kurlbaum, inspired by the ones on his family’s Illinois farm, are the gold standard in KC. See where the magic happens for yourself August 2 at Slow Food KC’s old-fashioned farmhouse dinner. It’s a win-win: You get to feast on prime rib, fresh potatoes and vegetables and a dessert featuring Kurlbaum’s prized product and ticket sales ($60 for members; $65 for nonmembers) benefit Harvesters and other Slow Food philanthropies. Mirabile will be celebrating the tomatoes once again during an August 4 dinner on the farm’s deck featuring chilled tomato soup en cappuccino, deconstructed pork shanks and more.

Get your fill and then some during Tomato Week, which kicks off August 20 at Beer Kitchen, McCoy’s, The Foundry and Char Bar, according to Kurlbaum’s Facebook page. Stay tuned for the delicious details.