Restaurant Spotlight: JJ’s Restaurant

A Kansas City institution with classic cuisine and a rebuilt wine program that’s better than ever

Restaurant Spotlight: JJ’s Restaurant
The longstanding wine program at JJ's Restaurant is supported by a cellar inventory of about 11,000 bottles. (Courtesy of JJ's Restaurant)
Dec 3, 2020

JJ's Restaurant has been an institution in Kansas City, Mo., for over 30 years. Opened in 1985 by Jimmy Frantze, the restaurant offers American cuisine and an exceptional wine selection, which earned its first Wine Spectator Restaurant Award in 1990.

After a gas explosion destroyed the original location and thousands of wine bottles in 2013, the team has been working on rebuilding and growing the wine list. In 2015, the program was upgraded to Best of Award of Excellence, and it now boasts an inventory of nearly 11,000 bottles. Managed by longtime wine director Matt Nichols, the list has over 1,200 labels, including at least 30 wines available by the glass. The list is especially focused on reds from California, Bordeaux and Burgundy, but offers strong selections from Italy, Champagne and Portugal.

The restaurant is currently operating with indoor dining and is also hosting seasonal wine dinners with pairings from chef Julio Juarez. His everyday menu emphasizes steak and seafood dishes like lobster, purses stuffed with shrimp and goat cheese, pork cheek with white-bean cassoulet and black angus ribeye.

Restaurants Restaurant Awards

You Might Also Like

8 Piping-Hot Pizza Places with Terrific Wine Lists

8 Piping-Hot Pizza Places with Terrific Wine Lists

These restaurants win no matter how you slice it

Jan 31, 2019
Restaurant Spotlight: Caputo Trattoria

Restaurant Spotlight: Caputo Trattoria

This eatery inside a Connecticut casino serves dishes that draw from Italy’s coastal …

Feb 25, 2021
Let the Good Wines Roll: 9 Top New Orleans Restaurants

Let the Good Wines Roll: 9 Top New Orleans Restaurants

These Wine Spectator Restaurant Award winners have wine programs as bold as their flavors

Mar 1, 2018
Restaurant Spotlight: Top Cut Steak House

Restaurant Spotlight: Top Cut Steak House

A throwback to the glamorous steak houses of the 1940s, with a wine list that exceeds …

Feb 11, 2021
8 Latin American Restaurants with Strong Wine Lists

8 Latin American Restaurants with Strong Wine Lists

These U.S. Restaurant Award winners pair superior wine with a range of vibrant cuisines …

Jan 28, 2021
Restaurant Spotlight: Berta’s Chateau

Restaurant Spotlight: Berta’s Chateau

What started as a summertime getaway for two Italian immigrants living in New York City is …

Jan 28, 2021