Dining With Denise Neil

Dining with Denise Q&A: Will west Wichita ever get a Red Robin?

Every week, my mailbag is full of questions from local diners needing culinary help. They want to know where they should eat, where they can find a particular dish, what ever happened to their favorite restaurant that closed.

Perhaps some of you have had these questions, too. So I’m going to start a new feature where I answer some for all to see. Here’s my first batch of questions, which have been either e-mailed to me or messaged via my Dining with Denise Facebook page (which you should “like” if you haven’t already.)

Have your own question? Message me at Dining with Denise on Facebook or e-mail me at dneil@wichitaeagle.com.

Cafe Bel Ami deserves a look

Q: I don’t know when is the last time you've done a feature on Cafe Bel Ami, but I feel you should. They've been open for almost 20 years and have been a go-to for music theatre and any other production downtown.” – Beatrice W.

A: You’re right, Beatrice. It’s been a while since I’ve written much about this hidden downtown gem. I always wonder if people know about it. The food is so good and the dining room is so upscale, but it’s so tucked away in the building at 229 E. William, you don’t really notice it if you don’t know it’s there. I checked this week with the owners and discovered they’ll be celebrating their 20th anniversary in August. We’ve agreed that I’ll do a big feature story about them and their history then, so stay tuned.

Wanted: Red Robin for the west side

Q: Have you ever heard if Red Robin will ever open a west location ? – Julie G

A: That’s a rumor I’ve never heard, and I’ve heard a lot of rumors involving everything from Dave & Buster’s to Cheesecake Factory. If a west-side Red Robin does happen, though, you’ll know the minute we do. Wichita’s original Red Robin, for those who don’t know, is at 9990 E. 13th St. and has been operating since 2004. It’s a kid-friendly place known for its burgers, onion ring towers and bottomless fries.

Needing a new place to eat

Q: Hey, I was wondering what are some new restaurants that have popped up here lately in Wichita? I would like too try something new tonight for dinner! – Korey J.

A: There’s always, always something new opening in Wichita, so much so that if you ask me this question next week, my answer could be different. I’ve been hearing good things about a few new places in town, including the new Samurai Sushi & Steakhouse at 2330 N. Maize Road (where Las Trojas recently closed.) People also have been raving about the recently relocated Los Compadres Mexican Grill, 3827 W. 13th St. And if you’re in a seafood mood, lots of people are curious about the new Krab Kingz Seafood that just opened on West Street, specializing in crab legs, shrimp, fried lobster and more. I also can recommend the nice new Chisholm’s Beef & Ale House, which recently opened inside the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Wichita Airport.

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