1911 Main | 816-298-6182 | affarekc.com
German-born chef Martin Heuser was close to signing a lease for a space on 135th Street when he had an epiphany: The sophisticated, elegant and romantic restaurant he envisioned simply couldn't be in the suburbs. He felt that the Crossroads District, now dominated by the soaring Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, was a better fit. It was a gamble to take over the venue at 1911 Main (three cabarets had failed in the vast space, which is nearly as big as a roller rink) and re-create it as a dining room that gives the impression of being intimate and ever so slightly dramatic. Heuser calls his cuisine German, but his collection of beautifully presented small plates really falls into the category once called — in a more formal era — cosmopolitan. No other restaurant in town is quite like Affäre, where patrons are cosseted and comforted by a marvelous, well-trained staff that is as enthusiastic about Heuser's decadently rich signature dishes (a perfectly seared scallop draped in a creamy, head-whirling hollandaise, or succulent Geschmorte bison short rib topped with a thick sliver of foie gras) as Heuser is. Going before a concert or show? Affäre is one of those rare dining rooms where a meal is a theatrical experience.