So, Taste & See is a stop you really need to make if you’re passing through Wichita. It’s a restaurant co-owned and curated by Jason Febres, an award winning chef from Venezuala. Yes, all you food snobs can relax; we’re finally in a restaurant that’s actually “directed” by a “chef.” Anyway, Febres’ interest is twofold: global cuisine & fusion. So, in Taste & See, we find a myriad of dishes that mix and match ingredients and items from around the world to create a ton of really interesting stuff. Some of the stuff is fairly standard, in terms of just being more modern, fancier takes on single dishes; others take inspiration from three or four countries and end up being intriguing mash-ups. It’s a small place, in Wichita’s Old Town (Can I wax poetic about how Wichita is one of the great under-rated cities in America? No? Okay.) and it has a very hip aesthetic. The lighting and décor is clearly evoking a very modern kind of cool. But once you’ve gone, it’s the food you’ll keep going back for. Anyway, this restaurant is sort of an example of why I say Wichita is underrated, because you wouldn’t expect a restaurant like this in the middle of the Kansas plains, but here it is.
So, the first dish off my list that I gave a try to was, as noted above, the Oceanic Mac & Cheese. And I’m going to do something a little different this time. I’m going to just quote the description from the menu: “Elegant concoction of blue crab, shrimp & scallops loaded with seasonal creamy cheeses, white wine & fresh herbs; lime butter grilled French bread drums.” More than that you need? Well, okay, it’s a fantastic pasta bowl, a very creamy cheese sauce and great noodles; just that would be a delicious meal. But yes, it’s very liberally mixed with seafood and some nice herbs on top. And, yes, those are the lime butter grilled French bread drums atop the dish there. They were as delicious as “lime butter grilled French bread” sounds like it would be. In short, this was a masterpiece. No joke. After a few meals at Taste & See (I was in Wichita for almost a week on this eating project), I think it’s probably safe to say that you couldn’t really get a bad meal there, so next time you’re in Wichita’s neck of the woods, try some stuff. Actually, just check out their menu. As noted above, the descriptions for the dishes are wonderful and just perusing their menu is sure to set your mouth to watering. But make time to get the Oceanic Mac & Cheese. You’ll thank me. Highly recommended. 4 stars.
tl;dr – creamy pasta dish made better by liberal addition of seafood items and tangy herbs; chef Febres creates a masterpiece at his global fusion restaurant. 4 stars.