I've eaten some good meals in Wichita over the past couple of times that I've been to the city. My last trip, I took one of my dealers and his wife to Legends, a restaurant attached to the Hilton at Wichita's Mid-Continent Airport. It was as good as any meal I've had in the city.
Legends caters to the travelers that use the airport Hilton to stay during business trips. Most of the people who stay at the airport are connected to the air industry as a number of aviation companies are situated in the immediate area. Legends offers a full service menu with breakfast, lunch and dinner. Larry Walker, Jr. is the executive chef of the restaurant and he has some interesting dishes on the menu.
My dealer, whose business is located near the restaurant, said they'll come over for lunch from time to time. And he told me they'll come to Legends for their seafood buffet on Saturday nights. And he said their Sunday brunch is probably the best in Wichita.
We took a booth in the corner and ordered up a bottle of the Jordan 2003 Cabernet. One of the reasons why I went with it wasn't because it was the most expensive wine on the list - it was because it was the CHEAPEST Jordan Cabernet I've ever seen on a menu. They had it for $65 dollars. My dealer said, "Oh, you don't have to get that expensive of a wine."
I said, "Look, I'm not trying to impress you guys or anything. This is one helluva price on a wine that I've got for upwards of $130 bucks in restaurants before. I'm not going to let one for $65 bucks slide!"
There were many interesting things on the menu such as New Zealand lamb chops, Kansas grown venison chops, and fettuccine jambalaya.
I was particularly intrigued by the Steak au Poivre. I asked our very Greek waiter, Sami, how the Steak au Poivre was prepared. He said it was cooked in a cognac, deglaze and served in a reduced cream sauce. I asked if it was sprinkled with cracked black pepper and he said it wasn't. OK, so that was out.
I almost went with the Key West shrimp - 5 jumbo shrimp with a crabmeat stuffing served in a light cream sauce. It sounded good, but so did beef. I ended up getting the Kansas prime rib, medium rare, with a side of vegetables and sauteed mushrooms. I also ordered a Caesar's salad before the meal.
My dealer ordered the Steak Diane - two medallions of beef, butterflied and served in a wine sauce with sauteed mushrooms on top. My dealer's wife got the Legends Trio - a filet of beef, a portion of the venison chop and two of the Key West stuffed shrimp.
We finished the bottle of the Jordan cabernet and needed a second bottle of wine for dinner. So I ordered up a bottle of the Rex Goliath 2003 cabernet. Rex Goliath has a slight bite to it, sort of reminiscent of licorice, but a very smooth finish. It would go great with our meat dishes.
My prime rib came out a perfect medium rare. They had a huge dollop of ground horseradish on the fatty end of the piece - it was a pleasant surprise as I forgot to order fresh ground horseradish when I place the original order. I was flipping my dealer and his wife some good natured shit saying that Iowa raised prime rib is a lot better, but I have to admit this was very, very good.
The Steak Diane my dealer had looked great and he said it was good. And the Legends Trio was too much food for my dealer's wife. The venison bone-in chop was not small, the filet was a five ounce filet and the jumbo crab-stuffed shrimp were huge. She couldn't finish her meal.
With tip - and especially with bottle of Jordan at $65 bucks, the bill came to a bit over $210. Most of the entrees run between $17 to $29, so you can get out of Legends a little cheaper if you want. The food was very good, and the service was great (although Sami's accent made it a little tough to understand him from time to time).
I normally don't go for places that are attached to hotels, but Legends was a very pleasant surprise and a place that I would have no problem going back to.