Before it closed last spring, R Bar was one of my favorite spots in Kansas City. I loved the West Bottoms location, the brick walls, the yolk-yellow banquettes and the long bar lined with golden, glowing bottles of whiskey.
So I was happy to hear that a new restaurant and bar was moving in to that scenic saloon-style space at 1617 Genessee.
Voltaire -- named after the French philosopher -- is owned and operated by Jill Myers and Wes Gartner, who also run Moxie Catering
. Voltaire officially opens today, but I stopped by yesterday afternoon to talk to Myers and Gartner and sample a few items on the menu, which is inspired by cuisines from all over the world.
Vietnamese chicken wings ($8), Moroccan braised chicken ($12) and Italian-inspired morel mushroom risotto ($11) all have a place on Gartner’s menu. I tried the warm, fragrant coriander-crusted lamb chops ($16) and the addictive Yucca fries ($6), a perfect bar snack served with spicy and sweet ketchup made with kiwi and serrano peppers.
The bar serves beer, wine and cocktails crafted by head barman Ryan Miller. It also stocks a deep selection of whiskey and bourbon picked by Gartner’s longtime friend Jamie Zoeller, who left his job atLongman Eagle
in Chicago to work at Voltaire. Zoeller’s picks include Cabin Still, Benchmark, Old Fitzgerald and J.W. Dant.
Voltaire is open from 4 p.m.-midnight Wednesday-Saturday. Happy hour (4-6 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday) features drink specials and bar snacks such as house-made pickles, beef jerky and root vegetable chips.
For more on Voltaire, check out my next dining column in the June 5 issue ofInk.
And for more info on new restaurants and bars in Kansas City, check out next week’s Ink, a double issue stuffed with our spring dining guide.
Enterprise reporter Sarah Gish helps produce dining and bar guides for Ink magazine. She also writes a monthly cooking story for The Star’s food section and tweets (mostly) about food and drinks @sarah_gish.