Two writers from The New York Times were kiicking around the Kansas City area this week. One took in a stage production of The Wizard of Oz in Pittsburg. Because what else are you going to do when you're visiting Kansas from Manhattan? Right? The other, wisely dropped by Anton's Taproom at 1610 Main to check out the tilapia farm in the basement and the steaks behind the butcher counter.
The Times gives Anton's, open since last October, a rave review, especially for its steaks. "A recent tasting evoked these adjectives: crisp, soft, perfectly seasoned and juicy. It is arguably the finest steak in this cow town," writer John Eligon gushed. That kind of praise isn't going to spark a war of words like naming a best barbecue joint would, but plenty of KC natives are bound to disagree with the Gray Lady on that point. The smashing write-up will certainly comfort new executive chef Brian Bromwell, who took over the kitchen a few months ago.
The review also touts the 67 beers and six wines on tap and the cosmopolitan feel of the two-story space. Strangely (or perhaps very intentionally), Eligon notes that the building used to house a Nabisco office, but he doesn't mention the space's more well-known history as a gay "bear" bar called Daddy's Lounge.
Despite the steak praise, the restaurant's owner, Anton Kotar, told the paper of record that he doesn't want his place to be considered a steakhouse. "If you call yourself a steakhouse, you kind of set them on a path of what it used to be like, what they remember from the steaks they've eaten," he told the paper.