When The Pitch last spoke with restaurateur Mike Bechtel last October, he was planning to open his new dining venue, Kansas Town, before the end of 2013.
The new restaurant, located in part of the space formerly occupied by the beloved Macaluso's restaurant for many years, at 1403 West 39th Street, opens to the public tomorrow at 11 a.m. Bechtel hosted a soft opening for friends and family on Saturday night.
Last Friday, the newly hired servers were tasting menu items prepared by the restaurant's executive chef, Garrett Kasper. Most of the dishes on the lunch and dinner menus were created by the venue's culinary consultant, chef Joe Shirley - creator of the Uberdine pop-up dining events - who was in the kitchen on Saturday, assisting Kasper and his crew: "Everything came out beautifully," Shirley says. "It all went pretty smoothly."
Shirley's dinner menu for Kansas Town is a combination of small plates (cured trout, beet tarte tatin) and more traditional entrees (pasta, meatloaf, risotto) in shareable portions; a featured flatbread and pasta will change weekly. The lunch menu, which will be introduced tomorrow, will be a limited selection of prix fixe dishes. Shirley was inspired by the three-item lunches that former Kansas City chef Rob Dalzell used to do at 1924 Main.
The dinner menu isn't elaborate, but it's creative - including a piece of fried chicken served on a savory biscuit with red-eye au jus and root vegetables.
There are only 14 tables in the restaurant, so Shirley suggests making reservations on weekends. Kansas Town will be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday (and closed Sundays).