After more than two years of negotiations and months of remodeling, Rye restaurant is set to open for dinner on the Country Club Plaza on Nov. 27.
Colby and Megan Garrelts opened their first Rye restaurant in Leawood in late 2012. It features their versions of the classic Midwestern dishes they grew up on — banana cream pie, chicken and dumplings, smoked pork meatballs, warm Brussels sprouts with smoked ham, fried chicken with house-made pickles and ham gravy, roasted rainbow trout, and Kentucky bourbon cake with mascarpone mousse, bourbon vanilla ice cream and raspberry jam.
“It’s in homage to Midwestern cuisine — fried chicken, steaks, BBQ, pies and farm-to-table vegetables. Just what we really love about this part of the country,” Colby Garrelts said.
The couple also use some produce from their family farm, dubbed Flat Rock Field, in Parker, Kan.
Jeff and Joy Stehney of Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que are investors so the menu also includes burnt ends with sourdough toast, and peel-and-eat bourbon barbecue shrimp.
Rye also serves “after dinner cocktails” including a Chamomillionaire with mellow corn-bonded whiskey, Amaro Montenegro, Hugo Tea chamomile-honey syrup and Kopke 20 Year Old White Port.
The Garreltses also are founders of the nationally recognized Bluestem in Westport. Jeremy Lamb, who had previously been with Bluestem and then Rye in Leawood, will be general manager of the new Plaza location, and Keara Masson, Rye pastry chef, will oversee dessert production at both locations.
The menus will be similar but the executive chefs — John Brogan at the Plaza and Ryan Williams at Leawood — will create seasonal entrees and side dishes, making them unique to each location.
The Garreltses have had their eye on the Plaza space, at 4646 J.C. Nichols Parkway, for a couple of years and were first in negotiations with the former owners of the Plaza. Then the Plaza was sold to new owners for $660 million and the negotiations were put on hold for about eight months.
“They’ve done a really good job of bringing local people back into the fray here and I think it is going to be very good for the city,” said Colby Garrelts. “I’ve always considered the Plaza kind of the beachfront of Kansas City.”
M&S Grille and then Morton’s Grille previously operated in the space. It was gutted for Hammer Out Design’s “rustic refinement” decor, featuring such touches as blue Japanese tiles covering the front of a bar, an old reel-to-reel tape player providing the music, and vintage family photos. Hammer Out Design left some tile pieces in front of the bathrooms that still show indentations of the original sundry stools.
The restaurant seats 120 people. An event space can be divided for smaller groups.
It will be open for dinner only for the next few weeks, then will add lunch and brunch service, probably by the end of the year. It also will start serving breakfast in early 2018.