If you are a fan of Food Network, you may be familiar with Celebrity Chef Aarón Sanchez.  If not, you now have the chance to get to know him, or at least get a taste of the fruits of his labor.
Early in November of 2011, Chef  Aarón Sanchez debuted his new restaurant, Mestizo, at Park Place in Leawood. Mexican fare is about my favorite cuisine around and Mestizo has been on my  list to get to.
I finally had the opportunity to attend an event they were having there for some local media and was quite impressed.  The space itself it warm and inviting with high ceilings, stone wall accents and sophisticated décor.  The food is fresh, innovative and delicious.
 If you are looking for a burrito covered with fake American cheese, Mestizo is not the place for you.  Mestizo’s dishes are meant for sharing and the numerous” botanas”, or small plates are delivered in a quick fashion so that food is constantly arriving at the table.  The menu at Mestizo is one of a kind here in the metro and consists of traditional dishes and a selection of tacos all with a contemporary twist. 
The event offered a sampling of the fare including house made chips with salsa and guacamole, yucca fritters, scallop ceviche and more.
All of the dishes at Mestizo are made using fresh, sustainable and when available, many local ingredients. The masa (the dough that they make tortillas from), is delivered daily from a local supplier in KC. Enjoy watching the tortillas made right before your eyes at the on-site tortilla making station located right inside the restaurant. There is also a raw bar area where salsa, guacamole and other items are prepared fresh and even available to-go.

Mestizo’s wine and cocktail list is extensive. The cocktails are no exception when it comes to using fresh ingredients and you won’t find any of those artificially flavored mixes. Most drink ingredients are composed of just the liquor, fresh fruit, fruit juice and maybe a touch of agave nectar.  The cocktails I tried were the Sandia (Sauza Blanco and Fresh Squeezed Watermelon Juice) and the Pepino (Herradura Blanco, Agave Nectar, Fresh Cucumber Juice).  These cocktails were refreshing and light. I know we have had a mild winter but these drinks are like summer in a glass and have given me spring fever. I cannot wait to enjoy Mestizo’s fabulous patio area and spend the afternoon sipping one of these wearing a sundress and flip-flops!
This past January Mestizo participated in Kansas CityRestaurant Week and has had special events and menus for New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day.  The most recent event was a dinner at Mestizo and a meet and greet with Chef Aarón Sanchez that benefited the Boys Hope, Girls Hope of KC.  Mestizo’s next upcoming event is an Easter Brunch Sunday, April 8. Starting at 10 a.m., join Mestizo for a wonderful assortment of brunch items, including a kid’s menu. Mimosas and Bloody Mary’s will also be offered at $5 each. Reservations currently being accepted! Call 913-752-9025 to reserve your table. 
During the media event, I had the opportunity to meet Chef  Aarón Sanchez and chatted with him just a bit about the restaurant.  He is absolutely charming and says KC is one of his favorite places. I could not agree with him more.  Please visit Mestizo soon and help give him a warm welcome here to KC!
For more information on Mestizo and other events, promotions and menu items visit, mestizoleawood.com.
If you have a great food find in KC, email me.
In Good Taste,