The Antler Room is ‘the place to be right now in Kansas City,’ Bon Appetit says

The Antler Room is located at 2506 Holmes St.
The Antler Room is located at 2506 Holmes St.

Bon Appetit has named 50 finalists for best new U.S. restaurant, including Kansas City’s The Antler Room.

The publication said the finalists include an “izakaya meets Texas barbecue mash-up, a chicken Parm-slinging sandwich shop, a new-school Jewish deli, a sushi joint inspired by Latin American flavors, a formal brasserie resurrecting the classics, and 45 more restaurants that blew us away this year.”

It will announce the Hot 10 winners on Aug. 15.

“We’re just really excited. I’m kind of in shock to be recognized by a national publication that we love,” said Leslie Goellner, partner with her husband, Nicholas, in The Antler Room. “A lot of restaurants that we follow and look up to also are on the list. We feel very flattered to be considered in the same category.”

Bon Appetit described The Antler Room as “Mediterranean meets Midwest”:

GO HERE: If you need convincing that some of the most exciting cooking in America is happening far from the urban centers of New York and L.A. This is what happens when a husband and wife — Nicholas and Leslie Goellner — travel around the country, (him) cooking at and (her) managing restaurants, before returning to their hometown of Kansas City, Missouri, to open the ideal neighborhood spot.

ORDER THE: Bigoli (similar to bucatini) with braised rabbit — or really, any of the pastas (maltagliati, ravioli-like doppio), all of which are made in-house and exemplary. If the large-format duck, served with flatbread and fermented honey, is on the menu, it’s irresistible.

THE VIBE IS: Convivial and cool, with wood-paneled walls and garage-style doors that open to the street. This is the place to be right now in Kansas City.

GETTING IN: All but requires a reservation to grab a table in the 32-seat dining room, but if you walk in, chances are you can snag a stool at the long bar. (Bonus: From the bar room, you can peek into the kitchen.)

HISTORY LESSON: The restaurant’s name is an homage to The Antlers Club, a raucous saloon that operated in KC’s West Bottoms neighborhood in the 1930s.

The Antler Room opened in late 2016 at 2506 Holmes Road.

Joyce Smith: 816-234-4692, @JoyceKC