Some students are familiar with the routine of going to class all day then tying up hideous non-slip black shoes to make an extra few bucks by serving at a restaurant. Slinging drinks and running food may not be the most glamorous of jobs, but if it means sealing up an envelope filled with one dollar bills at the end of the month, then some do it. It seems like an endless cycle of making money serving, only to spend it on expensive food and drinks at another restaurant or bar.
But for those of you hard working waiters and waitresses, Extra Virgin, a Mediterranean gastro-pub located in the Crossroads, rewards that hard work with service industry night every Wednesday. This means half price everything with proof of employment.
Extra Virgin is a place to indulge in small plates and tapas. However, be forewarned, the menu isn’t for modest tastebuds. A newbie might be intimidated by the option to order roasted bone marrows or duck tongue tacos. My advice to you brave ones: put your trust in Michael Smith, chef and owner, and his James Beard awards by trying it all. If you’re too stubborn to test your palate, savory dishes such as Spanish meatballs or warm pita with hummus is available half-priced as well.
After a few 10-hour shifts, a couple of stiff ones may be in order. The cocktail menu at Extra Virgin is brilliant, and who better to serve your concoctions than one of Kansas City’s best, Berto Santoro? No, really, he is one of the best, according to KC Magazine. Branch out and try the “Serrano Pepper Celery Gimlet.” The lime and celery are refreshing, but the added bite with the pepper gives it the kick it needs without being too spicy or overpowering. If you’re a traditional drinker, “The Hug Life” is a unique, yet simple take on a cinnamon and bourbon drink. My personal favorite is “Old Souls and Zoo Animals.” Funny name, delicious cocktail. Made with Plantation rum, lime juice and cinnamon syrup, every sip makes you feel a little closer to summertime.
The colorful drink and tapas menu accents the bright atmosphere of Extra Virgin. The friendly staff will gladly seat you at a table for a more formal experience, but I suggest finding a spot at Santoro’s bar and allowing him to work his magic in front of your eyes. The bone marrow, duck tongue tacos and “Old Souls and Zoo Animals” are must tries, but if you pop in on a Wednesday night and you work in the industry, don’t just stop at those three. Extra Virgin is located on 17th and Main Streets. Parking is available for patrons with no charge.