Winter 2023

Atmospheric Allure

Words by Andrea Darr

If you dare to step out for more than takeout, go snuggle up in a corner with your spouse—or be seen solo at the bar—at some of our favorite coziest and design-forward establishments.

Plate Leawood

11655 Ash Street
Leawood, Kansas

PlateKC.com
913-730-7545

Photo above by Anna Petrow

Design by iCON Architecture + Fabrication and Odimo

Plate’s second location opened in March at the former California Pizza Kitchen location in Park Place. Soft blue-gray chairs and booths punctuate the dining room, while neutral carpeting and broad windows accentuate the space. Sheer floor-to-ceiling curtains create more intimate dining areas, while natural wood accents add warm tones and design flair near the entryway and across the ceiling. Chef Jeffrey Thomas creates modern Italian cuisine. His traditional, simple and fresh food includes Neapolitan-style pizzettes, house-made pasta and entrees from steak to scallops.

Fox and Pearl

2143 Summit Street
Kansas City, Missouri

FoxAndPearlKC.com
816-437-7001

Photos by Bonjwing Lee

With interior design by co-owner Kristine Hull and renovation by building owner Adam Jones, this comfortable bistro occupies a Westside building built in 1907. A historic corner entrance accesses the bar level—a bright, airy room with high ceilings, reclaimed marble surfaces and leather booths. There’s plenty of natural light and tropical plants. Bookshelves accentuate the kitchen level near the open-flame hearth. Here, chef Vaughn Good and his team prepare rustic plates from Smoked Beef Tongue to Tomato Greens Lasagna. An iron staircase connects to the bar level, and the lounge level features exposed stone walls and clerestory windows—plus the turntable and vinyl record collection that provides the restaurant’s soundtrack.

Afterword Tavern & Shelves

1834 Grand Boulevard
Kansas City, Missouri

AfterwordKC.com

816-299-8360

Photos by Matthew Anderson

Design by Jami Meek Designs

The casual vibe at Afterword Tavern & Shelves in the Crossroads Arts District begins with cement floors, wall-spanning windows, open ceiling beams and brass chandeliers. Dozens of chairs surround the handcrafted wood bar, while long tables facilitate meetings and social gatherings. There’s vintage-inspired art, a tall cabinet that resembles an antique library card catalog and, of course, book-lined brick walls. In addition, executive chef Sydney Montgomery has crafted a menu that beautifully complements the enormous cocktail, beer and wine menu—from turmeric hummus to a charcuterie board or mac and cheese. The tagline says it all: “A refuge for the thirsty and inquisitive of Kansas City.” 

The Town Company

1228 Baltimore Avenue
Kansas City, Missouri

hotelkc.com

816-895-0381

Photos by Michael Robinson

Design by KTGY Simeone Deary Design Group and O’Bryan Partnership Architecture

Bar seating at this Hotel Kansas City restaurant provides views of the sumptuous white oak–burning hearth, while individual tabletops made of wood and marble are flanked by tall leather booths and padded chairs. Backlit open shelving displays rustic pottery dishware near the open kitchen. Executive chef Johnny Leach and his wife, executive pastry chef Helen Jo Leach, create modern interpretations of local culinary traditions, incorporating ingredients from local farmers, ranchers and other food purveyors. Think Chile Smoked Country Pork Chop or Albacore Tuna. The wine list also emphasizes indigenous varietals.

Acre

6325 Lewis Street
Parkville, Missouri

AcreKC.com

816-321-2958

Photo by Nate Sheets

Design by Herron + Partners

Chef Andrew Longres’ Acre restaurant pays homage to a childhood full of hunting, fishing, outdoor cooking and local produce. Natural wood covers walls near the entrance, from floor to ceiling, and surrounds a well-lit dry-aging appliance. More wood is juxtaposed with black painted surfaces and chair cushioning, as a wall-spanning metalwork tree stores wine amid its spreading branches. Raw-edge wooden serving pieces contribute more rustic charm, as does the Argentine live-fire brasero-style hearth, which is fueled by Missouri oak, walnut and hickory. Changing menu items may include house-aged steak, braised rabbit or fresh Midwestern trout.

Farina

1901 Baltimore Avenue
Kansas City, Missouri

FarinaKC.com

816-768-6600

Photo by Jenny Wheat

Design by Helix Architecture + Design

Buildout by McCownGordon Construction

A massive wall of windows provides views of the nearby bustling corner of the Crossroads Arts District. Wood planks decorate wide swaths of ceiling space, contrasting with the white ceiling, walls and banquettes. Lush, warm-tone area rugs also complement the wood floors. Elevated leather seating surrounds a dining bar and a cocktail bar. Farina’s Nancy Smith—general manager, partner and wine director—has created a carefully curated wine collection that perfectly complements Farina’s modern Italian cuisine—including house-made pasta—from chef, partner and James Beard Award winner Michael Smith.

Lonnie’s Reno Club

1111 Grand Boulevard
Kansas City, Missouri

LonniesRenoClub.com

816-326-7897

Photo by Gavin Peters
Design by Gracie Turner Design

Located in the Ambassador Hotel Kansas City, a Coury Hospitality property in the financial district, this upscale jazz club and restaurant honors the original Reno Club, a Kansas City icon where Count Basie himself played. These days, living legend Lonnie McFadden lights up the stage on weekends. The club’s visual panache comes from CEO Paul Coury’s wife, Kara, and daughter, of Gracie Turner Design. Dark walls, ceiling and linens create a cozy counterpoint to the red tones of the cushioned lounge chairs, curtains and carpet. Vintage black-and-white profiles also decorate the moody, inviting space. A prix fixe menu with three courses includes either a Caesar salad or an appetizer, an entree—from Basil Tortellini to Beef Wellington—and a decadent dessert. The American Reserve Bar and Grill in the Ambassador’s hotel lobby also makes a swanky stop on date night.

Prime Social

4622 Pennsylvania Avenue
Kansas City, Missouri

PrimeSocialRooftop.com

816-400-4210

Design by Knauer Inc.
Photo courtesy of Prime Social

In its Country Club Plaza building, this rooftop cocktail lounge from Ohio-based Cameron Mitchell restaurants is full of massive windows and wood. Leather and upholstered chairs create cozy seating areas, while more than a dozen raised stools flank the polished bar top. Open shelves full of spirits glow in the surrounding light. Guests can also relax beside the firepit, amid panoramic views. Executive Chef Julio Juarez’s bold flavors, textures and presentations perfectly complement handcrafted cocktails. Enjoy savory snacks, unique pizzas and shareable plates such as a nigiri and sake pairing featuring A5 Wagyu, colorful Ahi tuna and buttery salmon.

Corvino Supper Club & Tasting Room

1830 Walnut Street
Kansas City, Missouri

Corvino.com

816-832-4564

Photo by Bonjwing Lee

Design/Build by Hufft

Subdued tones and natural elements prepare the palate for an elevated dining experience from award-winning chef Michael Corvino and his sommelier wife, Christina, at their dual-concept restaurant in the Crossroads Arts District. A stage for live music honors Kansas City’s musical heritage and incorporates a custom wood feature wall. The 110-seat supper club offers frequently changing, approachable, contemporary American cuisine. Shared plates such as the Red Snapper Tostada or Rigatoni Bolognese incorporate seasonal ingredients from local farms and niche food purveyors. The elegant 18-seat tasting room offers a three-hour prix fixe menu showcasing the chef’s focus on ingredient- and technique-driven dishes.

Chewology

900 Westport Road,
Kansas City, Missouri

ChewologyKC.com

816-325-3449

Photo by Pilsen Photo Co-op

Buildout by Straub Construction Company

Subdued tones and natural elements prepare the palate for an elevated dining experience from award-winning chef Michael Corvino and his sommelier wife, Christina, at their dual-concept restaurant in the Crossroads Arts District. A stage for live music honors Kansas City’s musical heritage and incorporates a custom wood feature wall. The 110-seat supper club offers frequently changing, approachable, contemporary American cuisine. Shared plates such as the Red Snapper Tostada or Rigatoni Bolognese incorporate seasonal ingredients from local farms and niche food purveyors. The elegant 18-seat tasting room offers a three-hour prix fixe menu showcasing the chef’s focus on ingredient- and technique-driven dishes.

Pendergast Lounge

1701 Main Street
Kansas City, Missouri

Toms-Town.com

816-541-2400

Photo by Tony Pulford

This one-time office of corrupt political boss Tom Pendergast is now the Pendergast Lounge at Tom’s Town Distilling Co. in the Crossroads Arts District. Reimagined by co-owners David Epstein and Steve Revare, it features original brick walls and a cozy fireplace. Guests—who enter on a first-come, first-served basis—appreciate the antique-inspired, laid-back ambiance. It’s full of leather couches, small chairs and glowing tabletop lamps. There’s a dark tin ceiling and Art Deco touches, including a portrait of Pendergast, a 1920s-inspired mural by Gary Wilks and period-appropriate wallpaper. Classic cocktails featuring Tom’s Town vodka, gin and bourbon can be paired with  small plates such as classic deviled eggs or the Bourbon Onion Dip from chef Tim Tuohy.

Julep Cocktail Club

4141 Pennsylvania Avenue
Kansas City, Missouri

JulepKC.com

816-216-7000

Photo by Ashley Elwell

Design by DRAW Architecture + Urban Design

The ambiance at Julep Cocktail Club offers a casual take on Art Deco–meets–mid-century modern style. Teal tones inform much of the color palette, and chandeliers have a casual Deco vibe. Round floating glass pendants decorate the space, where polished cement floors meet exposed pipes along a dark ceiling, and broad garage doors bring the outdoors in during nice weather. Behind the bar, accessing a tall wall of liquor requires a sliding ladder. Chef Les Sterling and his staff create seasonal menus offering Southern-inspired cuisine with modern flair.

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Atmospheric Allure

If you dare to step out for more than takeout, go snuggle up in a corner with your spouse—or be seen solo at the bar—at some of our favorite coziest and design-forward establishments.

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