Vagabond, what is very likely Kansas City's first pop-up restaurant, will be up and running from Wednesday, August 24, to Sunday, August 28, in the Orange event space at 1815 Grand. Chef Alex Pope, formerly of R Bar, has teamed up with Test Kitchen's Jenny Vergara to create an ambitious seven-course tasting menu with wine pairings.
"I'm excited just to be able to try a new paradigm for serving food," Pope says."This will be something fun and interesting, not stuff I can do day-to-day in a restaurant."
That stuff includes the whole pig confit — a whole hog from Windhaven Farms that Pope will be breaking down with students from the Art Institute in order to make his own sausage. The menu also features late-summer nightshades with olive oil and tofu, as well as bay scallops with truffle and popcorn.
"It's a shame when chef talent like Alex is off the market and you don't have a chance to eat his food," Vergara says.
She sees the idea for a pop-up restaurant as a natural extension of Test Kitchen KC — the roving supper club she launched three years ago with Pope working the first dinner. With pop-up restaurants trending in New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles, Vergara wants to know if Kansas City diners are ready for the concept.
"I believe it's part of the chef and food culture I want to build," Vergara says.
Vagabond will have two nightly seatings, at 5:30 and 8:30 p.m., with space for 70 people at each one. The tickets are $75, which includes tax, tip and the wine pairings. Reservations are on a first-come, first-served basis, and you will have to prepay for the event. The tickets are currently available to members of Test Kitchen KC, the roving supper club run by Vergara. It's free to join. Just a note: There are no refunds.