Jerk…Pheasant

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I remember eating a lot of pheasant when I was a kid. For those of you not familiar with pheasant, it’s a game bird and it happens to be the most popular game bird in Kansas. After my Dad spent the day hunting, my Mom would take these tasty birds and fry them up. That was the way we always had pheasant…until now. Every year, we get all dressed up and take the kids to a Christmas Eve Eve dinner, just the 4 of us. We try to pick somewhere new each year. This year we chose Gram & Dun located on the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri. I absolutely hate when I go to a restaurant and it’s hard to make a decision because there are too many delicious looking things on the menu. The Chef de Cuisine came out to talk with us and his insight and recommendations were great, but that made it even harder to decide. He decided to send us out some appetizers to get us started. We left ourselves at his mercy, letting him decide what to send out.

The first appetizer we received was the Asian Pig Wings, because just maybe, pigs really can fly. These were like chicken wings on steroids. Made using the ossobuco, which translates to “bone with a hole”, these “wings” were covered in a sake soy glaze and topped with cilantro. Served on the side was Sambal, which is a spicy sauce. They had the perfect combination of flavors and spice. 3 of us devoured them, but my step-daughter was not a fan. These were so good, I was still thinking about them 3 days later (ok, maybe I’m still thinking about them).

Asian Pig Wings

Asian Pig Wings

We also got to try Croque Madame Fondue. It’s ham, Gruyère cheese and a sunny side egg on top of brioche bread. It tasted like breakfast…in a good way. The flavors went well together and it was fun for us to pick at.

Croque Madame Fondue

Croque Madame Fondue

By now, I was still unsure of what I was going to order for dinner. I REALLY wanted to try the chicken and waffles. Why? Because I have never had them, this dish is infamous in the South and because, why not? My step-son wanted to try them too but he also had his eye on the Burnt End Mac & Cheese. It went a little like this: “What are you going to get?” “I’m not sure, what are you going to get?” “Well, it depends on what you are going to get.” “I don’t know, they both sound good.” “Well, if you are not going to get the chicken and waffles, then I will, but if you get them, I’m going to get the Jerk Pheasant.” And so it went like a painful tennis match, minus the grunting. Our server comes to take our order, and the pressure is on. I’m ordering last, this much I know because I’m making my decision based on what he’s going to get. Chicken and waffles, yes!…I tell our server, “I’ll have the Jerk Pheasant”, a little too loud I think…

Dinner arrives, finally because I’m so ready, even though I have plowed through 3 appetizers. Not by myself, geesh.
It goes like this: My step-daughter gets Blackened Shrimp & Grits, Jumbo Scallops for my husband, Jerk Pheasant for me and Chicken & Waffles for me, oops, I mean my step-son.

Chicken & Waffles

Chicken & Waffles

Jerk Pheasant

Jerk Pheasant

Blackened Shrimp & Grits

Blackened Shrimp & Grits

Jumbo Scallops

Jumbo Scallops

The verdict?
Blackened Shrimp & Grits with jalepeño avocado gravy: Good
Jumbo Scallops served with blackened cauliflower, swiss chard and bourbon cherry butter: Meh, I’ve had better
Chicken & Waffles served with Texas Pete’s hot sauce, maple syrup and maple butter…lots of maple butter: Excellent
Jerk Pheasant served with Southern fried rice: OMG AMAZING

It was a taste of the Caribbean meets the Midwest. The jerk seasoning was created by a member of the kitchen staff who hails from Jamaica. Well done maam, well done. I’m pretty sure I will never find anything like this on any other menu, anywhere.

What about dessert, you say? The dessert menu is small ,but that’s ok because I have already had enough trouble picking dinner. I had to try their newest creation, the Citrus Dreamsicle. It’s lemon poppy seed cake topped with vanilla bean ice cream and blood orange sorbet drizzled with orange custard and curd. It was the perfect end to a perfect meal. It was just sweet enough and not too heavy.

Citrus Dreamsicle

Citrus Dreamsicle

The kids opted for Crack Pie. I know you are probably wondering what kind of parent I am, letting them eat crack…pie. It had oatmeal in it so it’s kind of good for them, right? It’s an oat cookie crust with salted custard and topped with coconut vanilla ice cream rolled in graham crackers. Yup, it was pretty addicting.

Crack Pie

Crack Pie

The whole meal from start to finish was amazing. The restaurant itself was casual and cozy. The outdoor patio has been voted a top favorite, but we just used it for a photo opp because 1. It was cold 2. There was snow on the ground 3. We would have looked pretty silly being the only people out there (refer back to #’s 1 & 2).

Outdoor Patio at Gram & Dun

Outdoor Patio at Gram & Dun

Yes, I know some of the photos are dark because I forgot to turn on my flash. Of course I realized it after we started eating and I’m pretty sure you don’t want to see photos of my half eaten food. Just use your imagination and remember that I am human and I do make mistakes. My biggest mistake was not choosing Gram & Dun before this. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to break out of the norm and try something new.

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4 Responses to Jerk…Pheasant

  1. Wow, great article, Valerie. You’re quite good at being a restaurant critic! Based on your recommendations, the chicken and waffles sound like a delicious choice. (Still cannot figure out how that combination ever came into being!) It’s pretty cool that you have family members to assist!

  2. Shane says:

    Jerk “anything” is usually teriffic. I’ve never encountered what I would consider a bad jerk seasoning. How would you rate the overall spiciness of the seasoning here?

    • Valerie says:

      Shane,

      This was my first experience with jerk seasoning. I like a little kick to my food but not enough that I can’t feel my tongue. It thought the spiciness was just right for me. It gave me the flavors of the spice without overpowering the pheasant. I highly recommend it!

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