According to Saveur Magazine, Kansas City is on the rise as the place to watch with regards to food. No longer seen as a just a steak and barbeque city, KC is now a gastronome’s delight and having visited this wonderful city on many many occasions I can concur and defend this statement.
Whenever I visit Kansas City, MO, my friends always try to find a new and usually fabulous restaurant for us to try. This trip did not disappoint on the fabulous front.
Our destination was a relatively new restaurant called Story just slightly over the Missouri border in Prairie Village, Kansas. Chef Carl Thorne-Thornsen who hails from CT opened Story earlier this year with a concept of bringing fresh ingredients and interesting pairings to tell a “story” with every dish.
Our reservation was for 7.00pm. Upon arrival we were greeted by the friendly host and escorted to our round table for five; a perfect table for viewing the entire restaurant. Left with menus and immediately served with water, we took a look around.
Story is a beautiful, sleek, clean looking open space with white-washed walls, curved lines and an overall monochromatic, minimalist look. I instantly felt like I was in a swanky restaurant in New York. The place offers a number of ways to dine. A small(ish) dining room seating 66 people, a bar area with high-top more casual seating and an outdoor patio for nice weather dining.
The waitstaff calmly milled around the restaurant but no-one was coming over to us. It actually took about 10 minutes before we were acknowledged beyond water. I am not sure if this was intentional and to give patrons time to peruse the menu or they were just a little busy that night. As soon as we were waited upon the services was impeccable and as stylish as the restaurant itself.
The menu is very exciting and we all couldn’t wait to try many of their items from the hot and cold appetizers to the fresh offerings of the entrée list.
Appetizers were ordered of Smoked Duck Empanadas, Ravioli and Ceviche.
My appetizer of the Smoked Duck Empanadas was superb. Soft flaky pastry stuffed with shredded sweet duck and laying on a creamy avocado and black bean puree with just a hint of jicama that only enhanced and didn’t overwhelm the dish.
We all tried each other’s dishes and I believe all echoed a sentiment of “superb” with everything. The aldente Ravioli full with creamy truffled cheese was almost immoral in heavenly flavor.
The ceviche had a brilliant tangy freshness to it that tantalized the palate and beckoned “more more.” An incredible dish.
Onto our mains and the excitement around the table was mounting with what was to come. Pork Tenderloin, Lamb “Crepinette”, Sautéed Flounder, Braised Beef Short Ribs and Triggerfish. Doesn’t the mouth just water at reading these entrees?
I was torn between the Pork and the Lamb but knowing someone at our table would order whatever I didn’t, I decided on the Pork Tenderloin. Succulent perfectly cooked Pork over sweet roasted carrots and resting on a mildly crunchy, savory barley risotto.
The lamb, which I had to try, was probably my favorite of the entrees. Tender slow cooked chunks of lamb sitting on a gently spiced mole sauce just melted under the fork and then in the mouth. The crunchy artichokes and zucchini gave this dish a satisfying combination of textures.
Again, we all tried everything and everything was good. I even tried the Beef Short Ribs. I have not had beef in almost 30 years so this was a big deal. I have to say they were incredibly rich and full of juicy meaty flavor. I am not sure I am ready to go back into the beef world but with baby steps of tasting other people’s dishes that are as good as this one you can never know.
Finally, we were onto dessert and with a list of just five items, we wanted everything so did exactly that – ordered everything (except the cheese dish). For me there were two things that stood out. The Doughnuts and the German Chocolate Cake.
The Doughnuts were a delight to behold. So pretty on the plate laced with hard salted caramel and perfectly bit-sized. Sticky and sweet on the outside and outlandishly scrumptious, warm and soft on the inside.
The German Chocolate was a piece of art on a plate. Moist, silky, dark, rich chocolate sandwiching soft, light coconut that just danced on the tastebuds with sweetness. The true winner of the night as far as desserts went.
For a Kansas City restaurant this menu is a little pricey but I would say spend the money, celebrate your night and enjoy a wonderful Story of food, atmosphere and service.