The annual Wichita Restaurant Week starts on Friday and looks to build upon the success of the inaugural 2013 event. With over 20 restaurants and specialty food stores participating, there is a wide range of opportunities to get out and experience some great local food and support a worthy cause as well.
Restaurant Week will run from October 10th through the 19th and features prix fixe meals of $10, $20, and $40. Each restaurant has a specific menu or special that they will be serving throughout the week. All you have to do is go to a participating business and ask for the Restaurant Week special. As an added bonus 10% of sales will be donated to the Boys and Girls Club of South Central Kansas. Last year the event helped to raise over $7,000 and this year organizers are confident that much more will be raised. For a complete list of participating restaurants and specialty stores as well as their menus check out this site:
This week I was treated to a special preview of Reverie Coffee Roasters courtesy of Go Wichita. In the interest of full disclosure, I am not a coffee drinker and I know very little about the process of producing a good brew, but after my experience at Reverie that may change. This coffee shop opened up on Douglas just east of Grove in the summer of 2013 and has developed a passionate fan base one mug at a time. Calling Reverie a “coffee shop” seems a bit misleading though, it’s more like a craft coffee shop/classroom/community center. They roast their own beans that are sourced from all over the world, sell their own specialty blends, distribute coffee all over the state, and offer live music and other events throughout the week. For someone not familiar with the coffee world this is a perfect place to go and learn, from the eager employees, the steps that are involved in a top notch brew.
During restaurant week Reverie is offering a $10 Solo or a $20 Dopio experience. The Solo is designed for 1 person, while the Dopio is for 2. Both offer a complete coffee experience that includes a 2 oz shot of espresso, a handmade pour over featuring their newest Honduran coffee variety, sparkling mineral water for palate cleansing, and a locally baked pastry. The added bonus is getting to watch the barista make your cup of coffee. It was after this I understood these guys are like the Walter White of the coffee world. A large beaker was procured, beans were ground, words like “chemex” were thrown around, there was taring involved, and 10 minutes later we had an impressive cup of coffee.
We started our tasting out with the shot of espresso. The flavors were complex, much like a good beer. It started out with a strong roasted flavor with hints of tartness that gave way to an almost citrusy finish. Paired with a pumpkin spice pastry from Twisted Confections, additional flavor depth was reached by alternating bites of pastry and sips of espresso. The sparkling mineral water did an impressive job of resetting the palate between sips of espresso. The Honduran coffee was much smoother, yet proved to have just as complex of flavors. It was interesting to note how much the flavor profile changed as the coffee cooled. There was also a slight peat/earthy flavor to the finish of the Honduran beans. The cranberry scone was a nice complement as it was not overly sweet. It was clear, even to a rookie such as myself, that this coffee was top notch.
I found Reverie to be a very unique establishment that is welcoming to both hardcore caffeine addicts and relative newbies alike. The baristas are there to help you find your unique coffee of choice and educate you along the way. With Reverie, the slow coffee or third wave movement is alive and well in Wichita.