Since opening in 2012, Leawood’s Tavern at Mission Farms has developed a loyal following for its weekend brunch, which features decadent, made-to-order dishes such as crab cake Benedicts, crème brûlée French toast and sugar-dusted beignets.
The Tavern — which shares a menu with its Prairie Village sister restaurant, Tavern in the Village — expanded its brunch offerings in March by adding six new dishes and seven cocktails that go beyond your basic Bloody Mary and mimosa.
Among the new menu items: Short-rib hash, cinnamon and sugar quinoa, breakfast nachos loaded with black beans, scrambled eggs and pico de gallo and vanilla berry smoothies spiked with vanilla vodka and banana liqueur.
A spiked smoothie? I had to try it on a recent Saturday when I met a friend at Tavern at Mission Farms for brunch. The drink ($9.75), which blends orange juice with blueberries, strawberries and vanilla yogurt, goes down sweet and easy.
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I also tried the ginger bellini ($9.75), which tops a flute of sparkling Zonin prosecco with premium French ginger liqueur and syrupy peach nectar. It tasted like a spicy mimosa, with a kiss of peach flavor.
The Tavern restaurants are known for their scratch-made cocktails and their comfy, yet upscale vibe.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re dressed in workout clothes or business attire,” says owner Kelly Manning.
Manning, who grew up in Prairie Village, opened Tavern in the Village with business partner Anthony Zarate five years ago.
Before opening restaurants on his home turf, Manning worked as regional director of operations at Morton’s The Steakhouse and lived in Atlanta, Dallas and West Palm Beach, Fla.
“I always wanted to open a restaurant in the neighborhood where I grew up,” he says.
His vision for the Tavern restaurants: Excellent service, fresh ingredients and a made-from-scratch menu of “familiar food with a twist.”
Longtime customer favorites include a beef stroganoff ($22) made with tenderloin, mushrooms and burgundy wine, and a Santa Fe chicken salad ($13) loaded with charred corn salsa, queso fresco, bacon, avocado and chili-lime vinaigrette.
But back to brunch. When I went, I ordered the Caprese Benedict ($10) — two halves of a toasted English muffin layered with house-made mozzarella, tomato, spinach, poached eggs and golden hollandaise sauce. It was rich, savory and served with a heaping plate of breakfast potatoes.
I celebrated inside when my friend picked the crème brûlée French toast ($9), because it was my second choice, and I knew she’d share. The sweet entree is made by dipping Texas toast in creamy crème brûlée batter, then searing the saturated slices until golden. The dessert-like dish comes with crispy slices of bacon.
If you brunch at Tavern, don’t skip the cinnamon sugar doughnuts ($5), which are fried fresh to order and rolled in cinnamon sugar before they’re served piping hot with cool vanilla custard sauce.
What a sweet way to start a Saturday or Sunday.
Tavern at Mission Farms
Location: 10681 Mission Road in Leawood
Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday. Brunch is served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.
Credit cards: Yes
Parking: Free lot
Don’t miss: The recently revamped brunch menu, which features a Caprese Benedict ($10), toasted English muffin slices topped with house-pulled mozzarella, tomato, spinach, two poached eggs and hollandaise sauce. A hefty portion of breakfast potatoes is served on the side. For something sweet, try the cinnamon sugar doughnuts ($5), which are made to order and served hot with a dreamy vanilla custard dipping sauce.
Vegetarian: Indulge in the Crème Brûlée French toast ($9), but skip the bacon that comes on the side. The rich brunch dish is made by dipping Texas toast in crème brûlée batter, then searing the thick slices until they’re golden.