Bistro booster
Already well known for its specialty pizza, Piztros draws attention to the bistro side of its business with new menu

By Dave Turner

Relatively new to the restaurant scene in Wichita and Branson, Pizza - Bistro - Bar has built a strong following over the past year and a half and expects a healthy boost in business with the rollout in 2008 of a completely redrawn menu that focuses as much on bistro classics as on its popular specialty pizza.

“We are very, very excited about the new menu program,” says Chris Tincher, vice president of operations for Piztros. “We’ve had a tremendous amount of input from our guests in addition to our chefs’ recommendations,” he says. “This is going to be our big focus in 2008.”

The new menu is anchored by strong signature items—including some popular selections that the restaurant has already introduced—in every category.

Piztros’ signature appetizer, spinach artichoke dip, has become the number one seller. The homemade dip with fresh toasted pita bread is a creamier variety than most and comes in a hearty portion diners might not expect in an appetizer.

The appetizer selection in the new menu becomes even more tempting given the new prices—all are $6.95 or less.

In the realm of soups and salads, the chicken Caesar salad is a true original served on a naked pizza with garlic herb sauce and mozzarella cheese. “Many restaurants try to totally recreate the Caesar, but we decided to take a traditional salad and pair it with one of our specialties—pizza,” says Tincher. “It’s like salad with garlic bread sticks, and people rave about it.”

Piztros’ potato soup might be a misnomer. “We’re tempted to call it chowder,” says Tincher. “We hang heavy on the cream and it gets a tremendous amount of compliments.”

Sandwich selections on the new menu include the Cuban pork. It’s on a hard, grilled French roll and combines marinated pork, Italian ham, pickles and a homemade sauce.

When it comes to entrees, the salmon dish rises to the top of the list. The chefs baste the fish in lemon-butter with capers as it roasts on a cedar plank. The cedar wood causes the salmon to retain more of its juices and infuses it with wood-smoked flavor. “It is a phenomenal way to prepare and present this dish,” says Tincher.

The new menu also adds more pasta dishes.

So for a restaurant known best for its traditional and specialty pizzas, Piztros is giving the bistro side of its business quite a bit of attention these days.

“Our pizzas are in a class of their own, and folks know that about us,” says Tincher. “What make our restaurant even more unique is that you can join us for pizza rolls, bistro burgers, pale ales and daiquiris to gather with friends or watch the ballgame, but under the same roof you have the bistro menu selection that makes us a great choice for an anniversary dinner,” he says. “From filet mignon and Cedar plank salmon to our incredible chicken and pasta, we’re here to make it a fine yet reasonably priced dining experience.”

The restaurants have location and atmosphere working in their favor, too. The Wichita location is in The Waterfront, the upscale community in northeast Wichita, and the foyer features a large glass-and-steel sculpture by Kechi-based glassblower Rollin Karg. Another restaurant, located in the elegant and upscale Branson Landing, overlooks Lake Taneycomo in Branson, MO.

“Our Las Vegas style atmosphere provides an ambiance like no other,” says Tincher. “It’s yet another quality that keeps Piztros guests coming back for more.”

 

Sidebar
Specialty treats: Daiquiris and chocolate fondue
In addition to Piztros’ focus on bistro classics and specialty pizza, the restaurant is licensed to serve Fat Tuesday-brand daiquiris and offers a comprehensive variety:

•           Cosmopolitan – orange vodka, triple sec & cranberry
•           Daiqarita – tequila, triple sec & lime juice
•           Jet Fuel – clear springs & orange juice
•           Kiwitini – vodka & kiwi puree
•           Pina Colada – rum, coconut milk & pineapple juice
•           White Russian – vodka, coffee liqueur & cream
•           Berry Breeze – strawberry & pina colada
•           Craw Gator – kiwitini & pina colada
•           Georgia Peach – pina colada & peach swirl
•           Going Bananas – pina colada & banana swirl
•           Tropical Colada – strawberry, pina colada, banana swirl & daiqarita
•           Tropical Breeze – blue raspberry & daiqarita
•           Street Car – daiqarita & strawberry swirl
•           Hula Hoop – banana, pina colada & strawberry
•           Frog Water – jet fuel & daiqarita
•           Southern Peach – daiqarita & peach swirl
•           Bayou Blast – cosmopolitan & strawberry swirl
•           Bermuda Triangle – cosmopolitan & jet fuel
•           101 Monkeys – white Russian & banana swirl
•           Muddy Water – white Russian & chocolate swirl
•           The Big Easy – white Russian, strawberry & chocolate swirl
•           Beach Bum – white Russian, pina colada & strawberry
•           Emerald Colada – pina colada & midori
•           Monkey Up A Tree – banana, white Russian & pina colada

Piztros is also renowned for its Chocolate fondue dessert made from Godiva chocolate liqueur, chocolate ganache, fresh fruit and cookies.

“The daiquiris have been a huge success for us, and the Godiva chocolate fondue is very, very popular,” says Chris Tincher, vice president of operations for the restaurants. “And when I say Fat Tuesday daiquiris, I mean that we’re licensed to serve the official brand,” he says. “So it’s a treat you can’t get just anywhere.”

 

Quick Stats
Name:
Piztros Pizza - Bistro - Bar

Years in business:
Since mid-2006

Reservations:
Accepted

Groups:
From large to small

Catering:

  • Lunch and dinner
  • For groups of 25 or more
  • Corporate functions, social events, family functions, weddings, baby showers, reunions, birthdays parties, receptions and other events
  • Full service, complete with waiters, for formal events
  • Drop-off service for work, home or small parties
  • Full service five course in-home wine dinners
  • Bar catering - liquor catering license for full bar service and bartenders

    
Keys to success:
Consistent high-quality products and service; successful integration of cuisines including Asian, Cuban, Jamaican, traditional American and Italian

What’s ahead:
Rollout of new menu items

Contact info:
Jeremy Barker  - General Manager
1720 N. Webb Road
Wichita, KS 67206
316-634-2006

 Chris Bradford – General Manager
1111 Branson Landing
Branson, MO 65616
417-348-0330

www.piztros.com