Chow Town

New west side restaurant will offer 'novel American' cuisine

Updated: 2013-06-14T03:14:33Z

By JOYCE SMITH

Locally-owned restaurant Novel (not in the literary sense but as in ‘new and not resembling something previously known’ sense) plans an official opening on July 9 in one of my favorite restaurant spaces.

Chef/owner Ryan Brazeal has taken over the two-story house (circa 1901) at 815 W. 17th St. Lill’s on 17th had formerly operated in the spot.

Brazeal graduated from the culinary program at Johnson County Community College in 2003, and then worked at top New York restaurants to hone to his skills. But always with plans to open his own venue in his hometown.

Menu items will include grilled skirt steak with artichoke, olive and Bernaise sauce; Country Rib Chop with spicy pork belly ragu, rice spaetzle, and baby bok choy, and Chicken Brick with sourdough salad, upland cress, turnip and mustard seed.

Brazeal calls it “novel American cuisine,” saying in a statement: “We have learned to use sour, bitter, sweet, salty, oily and fermented ingredients to enhance the natural taste of things rather than disguise them.”

As for beverages, the list will include about a dozen wines by the glass, Boulevard beers, and original cocktails

“This will be a place with great hospitality and a love of food,” Brazeal said.

Note: A soft opening could start in late June.

PB&J plans new Chicago restaurant

Homegrown PB&J Restaurants Inc. is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and plans to open four new operations in the next 18 months, including one in Chicago.

It previously announced operations in the Prairiefire development at 135th Street and Nall Avenue in Overland Park - Newport Grill, which specializes in seafood; Paradise Diner, a contemporary diner; and a yet to be named private dinner club and banquet space. Now the company plans to sign a lease in early July for a new restaurant concept to open in Chicago.

PB&J opened its first restaurant, a Paradise Diner, in Oak Park Mall in Overland Park in late 1987 (the new Paradise Diner will be a 2015 version). Now it has 14 restaurants in Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas and Colorado, including seven of its own concepts and seven Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, with combined sales of more than $36 million in 2012.

It also will celebrate the 20th anniversary of its YaYa’s EuroBistro in Overland Park’s Hawthorne Square this year.

Joyce’s Choice

My favorite food item of note in my travels around town this week: the Boston Creme Pie at the new Standees, at 3935 W. 69th Terrace in Prairie Village.

Standees says its their signature dish - Genoise cake, English custard, dark-chocolate ganache, and whipped cream for $10 and big enough to share. It is available in the restaurant or at the theater concession stand.

Joyce Smith is an award-winning Kansas City Star business reporter covering restaurant news — openings, closings, expansions, lawsuits, trends, new products, new menu items, health code violations and more.

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