Kauffman Center Dining Experience

4.4
492 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary American
Arrive ahead of the crowds and enjoy a meal freshly prepared and served in the comfortable and sophisticated Founders' Lounge. Enjoy freshly made food from our three-course menu, small plates for a quick bite or enjoy a glass of your favorite red wine, just steps away from your seats. If you are seeing a show, please plan on 1 1/2 hours for dinner service to enjoy our three course tasting menu and not be rushed to see the show. Any time less than that will not allow you enough time to enjoy the whole experience.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Contemporary American, Tapas / Small Plates, Café
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Hours of operation
Open for dinner any night there is a show at the Kauffman Center. If you are seeing a show, please plan on 1 1/2 hours for dinner service to enjoy our three course tasting menu and not be rushed to see the show. Any time less then that will not allow you enough time to enjoy the whole experience. We also offer a small plates menu for guest arriving late to enjoy a quick bite.
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Phone number
(816) 994-7222
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Executive chef
Laura Comer
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Catering
The Kauffman Center offers in house catering for your special events. For more info, please contact Lisa Voss at 816-994-9213
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Cross street
16th St.
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Parking details
Kauffman Center offers both valet service and underground parking.
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Special events & promotions
The Kauffman Center offers a great space for special events. For more info, please contact Lisa Voss at 816-994-9213
Additional
Beer, Cafe, Cocktails, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 492 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.4
service
4.4
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Quiet
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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OT
Kansas City
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 4

Beautifully presented and delicious food in a space with a fun vibe. Service started out rocky but recovered eventually.

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C
Kansas City
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Overall wonderful. Only “complaint” would be both salmon and duck were slightly too salty.

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OT
Kansas City
4 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love dining here! We came for dinner and didn’t even go to the show that night.

The food is always incredible! The orchard salad was fantastic! I also loved the Missouri apple pie dessert! Oh my goodness! I’m so excited for the winter menu! The culinary team is so talented and creative!

The service was also fantastic! Welcoming host, friendly staff and great bartender!

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BS
New York Area
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 2food 5service 1ambience 4

Food was excellent but service was not. We’ve dined there many times before performances at the Kauffman Center. When one gets a good server everything works and the experience is as good as the food. Unfortunately service is inconsistent. One can wait for a server to come to the table, then wait for the bottle of wine to arrive, have to ask for the bread basket, have servers who do not refill water glasses nor ask if people want additional drinks, and finally get dessert so late that we had to skip it to get to the performance. Unfortunately we had invited friends to join us after Telling them about the good meal we’d had; it will be a long time before we or our guests try again.

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BR
St. Louis
33 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent venue with wonderful food, great service and blue. The 3 course dinner is just the thing. Marie and the others are great servers

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j
21 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We arrived late for our reservation but the kitchen was most wonderful to prepare our 3 course dinner beautifully. We are so appreciative of their efforts on our behalf. The dinner was excellent and not the "same old things." The service was great, and the ambiance was truly outstanding. What a wonderful find in our city for fine dining!

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H
Kansas City
18 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Although there were limited selections, there was plenty of variety and each food we ordered was well prepared and visually appealing. Appreciate half carafe wine option. The weather was bad and it was great to go from dinner to the opera without going outside.

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CM
Kansas City
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

Awesome food everytime we go. Love the changing menu with the seasons.

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DD
Kansas City
3 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Check the menu online ahead of time if you have picky eaters...it is limited but the quality was beyond exceptional! I will dine here every time I attend an event at Kauffman. I'm hooked. The bar service was a little slow, I got the impression there was some training going on there. IT was the perfect setting for my father daughter outing, quiet enough for us to talk at the table which is important because my Dad doesn't hear very well anymore.

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l
San Diego
6 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I cannot say enough good things about this restaurant. The Center is an architectural beauty in itself with glorious views of the city. The cocktails are creative, and though not cheap, worth the price. The Piggly Wiggly is served “smoking” and is outstanding. Our 3 course dinners were excellent and we feel a bargain for such quality. The desserts are beautifully plated...each a work of art! Our waitress, Marie, was attentive and pleasant. All in all a definite five-star evening!

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KK
Kansas City
5 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The fries were not hot, but the rest of the meal and the service was fantastic, as usual!

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OT
1 review
Dined on October 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went in for the fall menu, It was out of this world the Ravioli was to die for. The bartender told me that the bar was only a few weeks old such a beautiful concept and well thought place we were the only ones at the bar but it felt unique. Service was spectacular keep in mind we were not going to the show, But for those who are they require about 1.5 hours to enjoy everything. Jose our bartender was awesome he walked us through the procedures for the smoked Manhattan, worth the price plus you got a smoke show!

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V
Kansas City
2 reviews
Dined on October 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

I overlooked this many times when attending shows at Kauffman. I finally decided to give it a try and was very happy I did. I would put it in my top 10 food experiences in KC and I get out a lot. They do all the "little things" that make a difference. The duck and steak were great. I ordered the coffee donut with a cup of coffee for dessert and they were both top notch.

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SF
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

It was fantastic! It was obvious our waitress was pretty new so there was a few hiccups, but she was polite and the other staff picked up where she left off. Overall a nice start to a great evening at the Wizard of Oz!

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S
Kansas City
2 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had the duck and it was amazing. What a great menu. Can't wait to try the winter menu

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OT
Kansas City
37 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We got to eat at the new bar that was just installed! What a beautiful addition to the restaurant. We had great service as always and got to enjoy the conversation with the bartenders. The Steak frets was amazing and the Corey chowder was perfect! Also a great time!

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OT
Kansas City
1 review
Dined on October 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had such a wonderful meal before the show. You can’t beat the food or the value. Chef Comer always has such creative and seasonal menus to offer.

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j
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 4

Took 20 minutes to get our drinks after ordering them;when our server tried to pour from the carafe, she spilt wine. Instead of wiping the table, and replacing the wine, she took all the wine, even a glass that was intact and disappeared into the back. She never reappeared at our table. After flagging down another server we finally got our drinks. We informed the manager that we were attending a performance and were now pressed for time. He said he’d check on the status of our dinners and we informed him that our food order had never been taken. He summoned another server who was more attentive and got our order into the kitchen. We ordered more wine and it took another 15 minutes to get it despite numerous managers and staff clustered around the bar. Our food came and it was tasty, however we did not get a dessert or coffee that was ordered. We were now very pressed for time and had to ask several times for the check. When it came, it had not been divided as we had requested when we ordered. Overall a horrible experience. Such a shame, because it is a very convenient dining location for attending events at the Kauffman Center.

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DS
1 review
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 5

Service was just OK. My main course came out cold and needed to be sent back. The other entree was warm but my friend chose not to send it back. When the manager asked how our meal was and I told him about it, he blamed us, stating the server brought it out but saw we were still eating our salad, so took it back. I fail to see how that warrants serving a cold dinner. I responded “you asked, so I told you”. He apologized and walked away to chit chat with the hostess. This restaurant has some work to do before I spend another $140 for dinner.

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M
Kansas City
1 review
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We ate dinner there before the iLuminate performance. There was a preset menu with 3 or 4 choices for salad, entrée, and dessert. You could also order appetizers. We had the jalapeno deviled eggs which were excellent. I really enjoyed our dinner and would do it again.

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WM
Kansas City
2 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 2

Outstanding convenience if you're going to a concert or event at Kauffman Center - particularly on a rainy night. Most dishes were pretty good. The lavender duck and the Lidia's Lemonade cocktail were excellent. The salmon was less than fresh. Our cocktails didn't appear until just before the second course but the server was very apologetic and comped them. REMEMBER, this is not a full time restaurant.

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BP
Kansas City
2 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

This is at least the sixth time we've eaten at the Dining Experience prior to a concert. Aside from the convenience of parking early, and then walking upstairs when done without having to rush or fight traffic, the food/menu is outstanding. The manager strives to make every accommodation, has a very creative cocktail menu and is very knowledgeable.
The fixed price menu is a great value with creative and filling options to select from. We've never had a bad meal. The only issue to deal with is the service; given that at the present time the restaurant is not open all the time, it is apparently difficult to find a consistent, competent staff. The staff they have strives to do well, and generally do, but sometimes struggle with things that should not be an issue. When ordering cocktails, for example, their at times is an unfamiliarity with certain brands of spirits, not knowing what is on hand, and unsure of what an order such as 'Sapphire martini up with a twist' means. But this can be overlooked with a small amount of understanding and patience, given how good everything else is.

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D
Kansas City
110 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Generally I've found eating at the Dining Experience agreeable and very convenient, especially on this rainy evening. I also have appreciated being served by someone who was very knowledgeable about adapting meals so they are gluten and lactose free. This time the service was just a mess, and I don't blame it all on the server. The table was laid with a demitasse spoon in the position of a dessert spoon. My husband ordered the corn chowder. It came without a spoon so we asked for a soup spoon.At a certain point I suggested he use the demitasse spoon for the soup. When it arrived it was large enough to hold the entire bowl of soup. I had a salad. When someone took away my salad they also took my knife so I called her back. Meanwhile our wine didn't come and the bread didn't come until the first course was over. The main courses were fine. Since there was no GF-LF dessert available I was offered berries and fruit. These are usually fine with me. But when the cup of fruit arrived it consisted of a peeled orange cut in half, an apple quartered, a few whole strawberries some giant blackberries and a few grapes. Try consuming those with a demitasse spoon. I ate the grapes and asked the server to return it to the chef and explain my problem. She was sweet and embarrassed and returned with two glasses of champagne, which we declined. We were not charged for my fruit. We will surely return to the Dining Experience and I just suggest some review of the implements and the timing of the service. Thanks!
,

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LS
Kansas City
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful experience! The food was amazing, and the service was great!

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OT
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent experience! Please try the corn chowder...no regrets!

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CL
1 review
Dined on October 3, 2018
Overall 5food 2service 5ambience 5

The atmosphere was very nice. The food was ok small portions.

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S
Kansas City
3 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I had the salmon. I was perfectly cooked, well ballenced and artfully plated. My lovely date had the Hatfield Steak. It was amazing. My server Carrissa was delightful.

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A
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2018
Overall 4food 2service 3ambience 4

The space is beautiful. We ate there pre show. I had a reservation, but the hostess couldn’t find it initially so had to get a supervisor. They kept us waiting and sat parties behind us before the supervisor located our name on the list. Drinks were great but very slow service. The food was decent, beautifully plated but salmon and steak were both overcooked and lukewarm. Overall not worth the cost except for convenience before a show.

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OT
Kansas City
37 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is always our go to place when seeing a show now in downtown. So easy just to park and go eat. Their fall menu is simple and right on point. I had the butternut squash ravioli and it was amazing. Perfect size since it’s three courses! If you have not been here, you have to check it out. My recommendation is to make reservations because there have been a time or two that they were to full to let’s us do a walk in seating.

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OT
Kansas City
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dinner before theater.

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GW
1 review
Dined on September 27, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

My first visit was delightful. Only reservations left were for 7 and 7:15 for a 7:30 performance. I was able to bed seated at 6:30 so there was plenty of time for a drink and a small plate. I had a lovely view, but the best part was the servers. They were very pleasant and attentive--not just my own. I left for the performance with a smile on my face.

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JM
San Diego
16 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent food. Great service. A wonderful before theater experience!! The menu has been dramatically improved over prior years.

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NH
Kansas City
1 review
Dined on September 15, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Ate here before attending the symphony concert. Great place and good food.

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JH
Kansas City
9 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Started with corn chowder, it was Devine. Hanger steak was beautifully plated and delicious. The chocolate cheese cake was amazing

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BS
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 14, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Keeps getting better each year. Had the 3 course meal and chose salad, duck breast, and apple pie sundae; each was excellent. Knowing that duck can easily be over done I’d hesitated before ordering but it was perfectly done. Food is plated beautifully.

Dining or having small plates is an excellent option prior to performances at the Kauffman Center—the one drawback is that the seasonal menu changes only three times during the year so you may not return too often.

Definitely worth the $37 price.

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OT
Kansas City
9 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love the new menu. Duck was amazing!!

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L
Kansas City
10 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were there with friends for dinner. Amazing night! Food, drinks, and the view were all fantastic!!!

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KK
Kansas City
2 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

Request a 4-top. The 2-tops were jammed against a wall. Felt very cramped. Server was somewhat inattentive. Food was good. Nice presentation.

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TK
1 review
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

There is know no other place in town where you can get such an amazing 3 course sensational meal and then follow with an astounding show. The food is edible art and the performances are perfection! The Kauffman Center Dining Experience and Performance duo are an unforgettable experience! Don't miss it!

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L
Kansas City
10 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Tried the new fall menu-everything was lovely. We had the duck and the steak frites, and the donuts are a must for dessert. Fantasia, or server, was excellent.

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