Chow Town

Design-heavy chef is a perfect complement to the decadence of Rosso at Hotel Sorella on the Plaza

As I was peeking out through the elevator, unsure of which way to go, a faint smell of decadence turned my senses left. There was a burst of light shining through the windows, leading straight into Rosso, the new rooftop restaurant featuring modern Italian cuisine at Hotel Sorella on the Country Club Plaza.

The walls are a satiny scarlet, a perfect red an Italian goddess such as Sofia Loren would delicately paint on her lips. It’s a creamy sultry red, giving the feel of perfection on the mouth. Rosso is as sexy as the red lipstick every woman glides on before an unforgettable evening.

A chef has much to live up to with this impeccably designed atmosphere.

As I absorbed the depths of my surroundings, out of the corner of my eye Chef Brian Archibald emerged from the kitchen wearing a personally designed blue denim apron. This chef is just as into designing plates as the hotel is into creating an atmosphere of elegance.

The Arizona native explains he “loves to build looks.” The great thing about designing food is all the five senses are used. Not unlike interior architecture, but with an added bonus of flavor and aroma. It is up to impeccable execution to pull together the look, feel and taste of a plate.

One of his inspirations is chef Thomas Keller of the French Laundry in Napa Valley. “I am in awe of him and his thought-out execution of the plates, service and product. Everything he does is perfect.”

Archibald’s most inspirational dinner at the French Laundry: butter poached lobster. “Every detail was seamless.”

This design-heavy chef is truly rooted when it comes to food. If he had all the money in the world he would still cook for family and friends and open a “bad-ass breakfast concept. If someone took the time to put the effort into an ‘artisanal’ breakfast as any other meal of the day, it would be great.” Crafted bacon comes to mind. Which fits perfectly, as butter, bacon and beer are always in his fridge. If it was his choice in the animal culinary kingdom, pork reigns as king.

With passion for flavor and plate composition, creativity seems to surround Archibald with the allure of cologne. His resume is full of award-winning fine dining restaurants and luxury hotel properties and peppered with awards.

This authentic, creative chef has an addiction to the design of food, flare for sophistication, and leans toward the eccentric side of life. Archibald is a perfect match for Rosso and a breath of fresh air to Kansas City.

The menu at Rosso is in simple font on bright white paper. The plates of “modern Italian” cuisine are familiar foods with an artful plating and a symphony of flavors such as “bacon and eggs,” which is pork belly, poached quail egg, chive risotto, beetroot and Brussels sprouts, accented with chianti gastrique.

Upon closure of our conversation, a last walk through of Rosso awaited.

The hand-blown glass chandeliers lured me through the dining area to the bar with opalesque mosaic floors. The entire space borders on a bit garish but is lightened with the feminine touches of bohemian design. This combination gives the same feeling as zipping up that classic black dress and wearing perfect red on your pouty lips. It’s riveting. It’s seductive. It’s Rosso, a chef-driven restaurant.

Hotel Sorella Country Club Plaza

901 W. 48th Place Kansas City, MO 64112