No. 4: P.E.I. mussels from Bluestem


Bluestem shows off its mussels.
  • Bluestem shows off its mussels.

To whet your appetite for The Pitch's annual Best of Kansas City issue, we're counting down our favorite Top 50 dishes each weekday until October 7.

The P.E.I. mussels at Bluestem make you realize that not all bowls are created equal. Two pieces of toasty baguettes rest atop a mound of mussels. Beneath those mussels is a savory broth that is good enough to sip.  

Dishes don't have to be complicated to be excellent. The broth is made from four ingredients: white wine, shallots, thyme and garlic. The result is a light, garlicky broth that is, to paraphrase a Provencal saying, "a life saver." Garlic soup is known to cure hangovers, stomach ailments and colds. This dish will simply cure your unhappiness.

"These are the best mussels I've eaten in my life," a dining companion told me over a quick bite in the restaurant's trendy lounge.

Tender and almost fluffy, the mussels are memorable. The dishwashers at Bluestem must not get a lot of work because this is one bowl that you will wipe clean to make sure you don't miss a drop of this comforting broth.

Our list so far:

No. 50: Chocolate Malt from Fox's Drug Store

No. 49: Il Parma from Bella Napoli

No. 48: Italian sausage and eggs from Cascone's Grill

No. 47: Orange Roll from Clock Tower Bakery

No. 46: Tacos de cochinita from Frida's Contemporary Mexican Cuisine

No. 45: Barbecued pork bun from 888 International Market

No. 44: Tableside fresh mozzarella from Jasper's

No. 43: Gyro Sandwich from Mr. Gyros Greek Food & Pastry

No. 42: Apple strudel from Grunauer

No. 41: Rice noodle bowl from dim sum at Bo Lings

No. 40: E-Crush from Hi-Hat Coffee

No. 39: Flight of Freshness from Fresher than Fresh Snow Cones

No. 38: Curried chicken salad from Cafe Provence

No. 37: Apple fritter from John's Space Age Donuts

No. 36: Pollo con limone e olive from Lidia's Kansas City

No. 35: Wedding-cake cookie from LattéLand

No. 34: Stroud's cinnamon rolls

No. 33: Smoked Polish from Werner's

No. 32: Burger and frites from Westport Cafe & Bar

No. 31: Paletas from Paleterias Tropicana

No. 30: Goat korma at New Cafe Tandoor

No. 29: Lemon cake from Café Europa

No. 28: Chocolate Mousse Torte from Napoleon Bakery

No. 27: Spring rolls from Vietnam Cafe 

No. 26: French fries from LC's Bar-B-Q

No. 25: Classic Cookie's herbed-potato-and-sausage casserole

No 24: Farmer greens salad at The Farmhouse

No. 23: Egg salad sandwich from You Say Tomato

No. 22: Waldorf Salad from Bloomsbury Bistro

No. 21: Pork tenderloin sandwich from Kitty's Cafe

No. 20: Root beer from Mugs Up Drive In

No. 19: Flank steak sandwich from Happy Gillis

No. 18: Chicken Picatta from the Hereford House

No. 17: Mom's Macaroni and Cheese from McCoy's Public House

No. 16: Fried green tomato salad from Café Roux

No. 15: Veggie burger from Room 39

No. 14: Onion rings from Fiorella's Jack Stack Barbecue

No. 13: Cranberry scone from Oak Street Coffee

No. 12: Chicken walnut pasta from Osteria il Centro

No. 11: Steakburger, Fifty-Fifty and a special chocolate frosty from Winstead's

No. 10: Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale from Boulevard Brewery

No. 9:: Ice cream-and-cookie sandwich from Murray's

No. 8: Autumn Cookies from Chacko's Eatery

No. 7: Crab cakes from Cafe Sebastienne

No. 6: The Matterhorn from Andre's Confiserie Suisse

No. 5: Cheese pizza from d'Bronx

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