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The Dish: A week of good meals in KC

More than 125 restaurants are helping good causes, and offering great deals to diners, too.

The American Restaurant is among more than 125 restaurants participating in Kansas City Restaurant Week. One of the dishes on The American’s special $33 dinner menu is squash risotto with crispy pork, brown butter granola and pickled apple.

Diners at Manny’s, 207 Southwest Blvd., can choose between the signature steak and chicken fajitas, above, and a burrito for their entree in a three-course dinner. The $33 dinner also comes with an appetizer and dessert.

Top sirloin steak and grilled shrimp are among the entrees on M&S Grill’s three-course Restaurant Week dinner menu, which costs $33 before tax and gratuity.

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If your New Year’s resolution was to explore Kansas City’s restaurant scene, you’re in luck — Kansas City Restaurant Week begins Friday.

More than 125 local restaurants have signed on for the annual 10-day event, which goes through Jan. 26 and benefits three causes: Harvesters, Kansas City Regional Destination Development Foundation, and the Greater Kansas City Restaurant Assocation’s Educational Foundation.

Restaurant Week, launched in 2010, raised $173,000 last year. Here’s how it works: Local eateries offer special $15 lunch menus and/or $33 multi-course dinners (those prices are before tax and gratuity).

Diners make reservations by calling the restaurant or using Open Table, which has agreed to donate 80 cents per reservation to the three Restaurant Week causes.

Because participating restaurants are serving discounted meals, Restaurant Week is a good time for diners to venture out in the city and try something new. If you have no idea where to go, skim through kcrestaurantweek.com. There, you can search participating restaurants by name and narrow down your options by cuisine and location.

You can also drool over menus — here are a few that I found particularly appetizing.

Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue, 4747 Wyandotte St., is offering a $33 multi-course dinner. I’d pick the “colossal” onion rings and the 12-ounce prime rib, then finish the meal with a slice of what Jack Stack calls “Mom’s carrot cake.” (FYI, the other Jack Stack locations are participating in Restaurant Week, too).

The Jacobson, 2050 Central St., has plenty to pick from on its lengthy $33 Restaurant Week dinner menu. I’d start with the corn chowder before diving in to the grilled Scottish salmon and salted butterscotch pudding.

Louie’s Wine Dive, 7100 Wornall Road, is serving a $15 two-course lunch that lets diners pick a starter and entree. The French Onion soup and Reuben sandwich seem like solid bets to me. It couldn’t hurt to add a glass of wine — USA Today recently dubbed Louie’s wine list “stellar.”

I’ve never been to The Melting Pot, 450 Ward Parkway, and have always wondered what it would be like to make a meal of fondue. Maybe I’ll go for lunch during Restaurant Week: The Melting Pot is serving a $15 lunch special that starts with cheese fondue and ends with chocolate fondue. Good thing the second course is a salad.

A salad also starts the three-course dinner at Jess & Jim’s Steakhouse, 517 E. 135th St., which The Daily Meal named to its list of America’s 20 Best Steakhouses last year. I’d follow the salad with a 10-ounce strip, plated up with fried shrimp and a twice baked potato. Just don’t make me decide between white champagne cake and chocolate volcano cake for dessert.

OK, I’ll take the volcano cake.

Enterprise reporter Sarah Gish writes about dining and drinks every first and third week of the month. Contact her via email at sgish@kcstar.com or tweet @sarah_gish.

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