Fork In Hand

Blame it on her roots: Maija Diethelm-Floyd, the daughter of a Frenchman and a Latvian mother, was born outside Paris and has always mused internationally when it comes to ambience, food and drink. Her dream of opening a French-inspired bistro in Kansas City was realized within three months, from the drawing board to turning the key in the door, back in 2001.

The inviting atmosphere and delicious quiche are Boozefish signatures.


The Boozefish experience is reminiscent of a spirited bistro in a Paris arrondissement, with a gleaming wood bar, bare floors and a perfectly shabby-chic interior, sans designer lighting. It’s a comfortable place oozing with charm and exuberant touches of whimsy—Diethelm-Floyd curates a rotating art gallery with pieces from local artists that give the place a regular makeover. But the bones of a bistro are there.


As the name suggests, Boozefish is in large part about the experience of drinking good wine, something that was part of Diethelm-Floyd’s original business plan nearly 12 years ago. By-the-glass and bottle prices are fair, and 85 percent of the wines offered are boutique and non-commercialized. “I want people to step out of their comfort zone, or learn something about wine they didn’t know,” she says. The proprietress is pleased with her single malt Scotch and international beer selections, too. Bottom line: You come to Boozefish to relax, smile, enjoy.


The Boozefish menu is a global equal-opportunity experience, with cheese and sausage platters, excellent house-made hummus and salsas, soup, salads, sandwiches and wraps. Entrees change, but the Boozefish signature food is guaranteed: quality, honest, tasty.


Diethelm-Floyd has many secret weapons in her welcoming Westport-meets-Paris establishment—not he least of which is the heavenly, buttery quiche. Eschewing tradition, Boozefish’s baked silky custard steps out of the pie-slice mold and tempts diners with a pillowy, puffy, insert-fork-and-ahhh kind of treat. Paired with a side salad of local greens lightly dressed with a tangy vinaigrette and a crisp glass of Riesling Mosel, St. Gabriel ’10, the non-cliché quiche deserves to be taken seriously.


photo: Brooke Vandever