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Rye toasts summer flavors with a cocktail dinner Tuesday

08/08/2014 6:00 AM

08/08/2014 11:25 AM

August is arguably one of the best food months of the year — tomatoes hang heavy on the vine, melons and peaches burst with flavor and herb gardens overflow with basil and thyme.

Leawood’s Rye restaurant, at 10551 Mission Road, is celebrating the season’s bounty with a cocktail dinner on Tuesday, Aug. 12. On the menu: Food by Rye’s owners and chefs Colby and Megan Garrelts paired with complementing cocktails devised by Rye bar manager Van Zarr.

The five-course meal begins on a bright note, with heirloom tomato and melon gazpacho served alongside a Citadelle gin cocktail spiked with ginger and lemon balm syrup. The second course consists of a charred beet and arugula salad paired with a spiced beet and tequila drink.

The main event is a smoked Duroc pork chop served with peach barbecue sauce, fresh corn and heirloom squash. Zarr will mimic the flavors in the sauce with his cocktail, which consists of peach-infused bourbon, brown sugar syrup and smoke flavor.

For dessert, Megan Garrelts is serving one of the dishes she’s best known for — pie. Picture a slice of blueberry topped with lemon sherbet, paired with a blueberry-infused white whiskey cocktail that gets an herbal kick from homemade creme de menthe and lemon-thyme soda.

Tickets to Rye’s dinner, which starts at 7 p.m., cost $75 per person plus tax and gratuity. To make reservations, call the restaurant at 913-642-5800.

Can’t go to the dinner? Try one of Rye’s summer cocktails. The Pimm’s Cup ($8), a gin-based cocktail with flavors of lemon, caramel and cucumber, is a fresh summer pick. Looking for something to sip slowly? Try the Barrel-Aged Boulevardier ($10), a rye whiskey drink flavored with warm spices and a twist of orange.

Enterprise reporter Sarah Gish writes about Johnson County restaurants for 913. Contact her via email at sgish@kcstar.com or tweet @sarah_gish.

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