Honoring Kansas City Italians! Jasper Mirabile

Nov 05, 2015 737

Today we honor Jasper Mirabile, Sr. of Jasper's Restaurant & Marco Polo's Italian Market. Please read the following hisory of Jasper's taken from www.JaspersKC.com.


In 1954, a small neighborhood Italian restaurant and bar was opened in Kansas City by Leonardo Mirabile and his son, Jasper. The restaurant, named Jasper's, quickly became a popular Kansas City dining spot. The Mirabile family's old-world recipes produced hearty and delicious dishes. From a .79 cent, three course meal, Jasper's gradually expanded its menu and remodeled the restaurant as it evolved into one of America's premiere locations for gourmet Italian food. Caesar Salad, Fettucine Alfredo, Scampi Livornese and a variety of authentic Northern Italian dishes marked Jasper's introduction of fine dining to Kansas City.


By 1978, Jasper's dedication to fine Italian cuisine and impeccable service resulted in Jasper's becoming the first Kansas City restaurant to win the coveted Mobil Four Stars for dining excellence.. .a rare honor awarded to only ninety-five restaurants in all of North America. The AAA Four Diamonds and DiRONA awards quickly followed along with every other nationally recognized award for dining excellence. These and other, often sought, but not easily won awards have been awarded to Jasper's every year since.


In 1984, joined by his sons Leonard, Salvatore, and Jasper, Jr., the Mirabiles opened Marco Polo's Groceria, an authentic Italian grocery store, delicatessen and pizzeria just around the corner from the award-winning Jasper's. Again in 1990, the Mirabiles introduced Marco Polo's Trattoria, next door to their deli, thus creating a true Italian neighborhood in the midst of Kansas City. This was Kansas City's first and only Trattoria featuring casual Italian dining. It was acclaimed as "the finest restaurant of it's kind in Kansas City."


As the year 1996 began, Jasper's received two of the restaurant industry's highest honors. That year Jasper, Sr., was inducted into the DiRONA Restaurant Hall of Fame, one of only 15 restaurateurs in all of North America to be distinguished with such rare honors. In April, Jasper Jr., was invited to cook at the James Beard House in New York, another rare honor. For the first Kansas City chef chosen to cook there, he received high acclaim and honors from NY food critics and Beard House members.


The year 1997 brought great changes to our Wornall location. Jasper and his sons decided to sell their property at 75th Street to Walgreen Drugs, thus ending 44 wonderful years at the same location.


After a year of researching restaurants in Italy and America, the Mirabiles then purchased the Watts Mill Shopping Center and moved their offices to their new 103rd Street and State Line location. A new Jasper's Restaurant and Marco Polo Italian Market was then built to begin serving Kansas Citians once again.


On October 8, 1998, the family and all of Kansas City was deeply saddened by the death of our founder and the city's eminent restaurateur and host, Jasper, Sr. Up until a week before his passing, Jasper worked diligently with his sons to bring Kansas City back its treasured restaurant.


Today, the Mirabile Family begins a new era and brings a new dimension to Italian dining in Kansas City.
We hope you enjoy the true Italian tradition of our fine food and personal impeccable service.

Source: Kansas City Italians

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