In December, chef Chad Tillman launched his restaurant concept at Strang Hall in downtown Overland Park. Norcini is a pizza, sandwich and charcuterie concept that “pays respects to traveling butchers in Italy” and fits well into the neighborhood. Tillman cures meats, serves classic Italian beef sandwiches and fashions pizza using seventy-two-hour cold-fermented dough at his fast-casual venue.
Tillman, a master butcher with twenty years of experience, previously worked in catering, cooked private dinners and prepared dishes at brewery pop-ups. He also cooked with chef Calvin Davis of Freshwater for a year, producing most of the charcuterie while there. At Norcini, Tillman applies his nose-to-tail butchering experience to steaks, roasts, charcuterie and sausages. A self-proclaimed craft beer nerd, Tillman grabs a bite at several beloved hangouts when not exploring breweries or cooking.
Breakfast: One of my all-time favorite places to eat is at El Sombrero (79 E. 69 Highway, KCMO). This restaurant has been in Claycomo for more than fifty years. My first job was washing dishes there when I was sixteen. Larry Barrera makes the absolute best breakfast burritos. Stick around for lunch and try KC’s best hand-pinned tacos.
Lunch: This is a no-brainer. I go to Kitty’s Cafe (810 1/2 E. 31st St., KCMO) for a pork tenderloin sandwich and tots. This sandwich is one of my favorites in the city without a doubt — three tempura-battered pork fillets stacked with chopped onions, tomatoes and hot sauce. It has everything going for it, including taste and texture.
Dinner: Every time I go to Waldo Thai (8431 Wornall Road, KCMO), I am always welcomed as family. The food has always been fresh and delicious. My favorite thing to do is ask them to order for me. My favorites are the pumpkin and brisket curry and crispy pork belly.