Kansas City's Top 11 New Restaurants 2017

Where to eat now in Kansas City

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Rockhill Grille Kansas City Best Restaurant


 No. 6: Rockhill Grille

   2000 Grand Boulevard, Kansas City, Mo., (816) 389-5800, therockhillgrille.com


   What a stunning addition Rockhill Grille has made to the Crossroads dining scene. When Zach Marten and Bret Springs — co-owners of the Back Napkin Restaurant Group, which also opened RND Grille in Lawrence — purchased the former two-story Cashew space at 2000 Grand Boulevard, they spared no expense in a fabulous remodel, which capitalizes on a light-filling glass garage door wall, and features a marble bar, white-and-gold accents and eye-catching chandeliers. But the decor is just the cherry on top of a well-built sundae: Rockhill’s menu features upgraded American classics, like addictive house-made tater tots stuffed with a melty jalapeño cheese, and an inventive duck confit entree with bacon lardons and hash browns. The cocktail menu, too, is cause for celebration, with craft cocktails that boast local spirits and house-made ingredients (hello, spiced chai tea pumpkin syrup). If you’re looking for a new classic, Rockhill might be the answer you’ve been waiting for.

   Must-try dishes: Tater tots, duck confit, pig wings

   No. 7: Brewery Emperial

   1829 Oak Street, Kansas City, Mo., (816) 945-9625, breweryemperial.com


Brewery Emperial


   There’s so much to like about Brewery Emperial. The Crossroads brewery-restaurant is the brainchild of a group of longtime friends, who also happen to have substantial industry resumes: Keith Thompson, a former brewmaster at McCoy’s Public House, and his wife Julie; Ted Habiger, chef-owner at Room 39; and Rich Kasyjanski, a former bartender at McCoy’s. Brewery Emperial’s vibe is both kitschy and fun, with a great wood-fired oven in full view of the dining room and a beer garden that more than doubles the restaurant’s capacity. The beer alone is worth a visit: the Biscuit Ale blends an old-school English ESB with American Pale Ale, and the house Tripel is rich and satisfying. When it comes to grub, the menu is wide-ranging and approachable. Habiger has upgraded traditional pub food, and you can trust that kitchen ingredients are sourced as locally as possible: much like Room 39, Brewery Emperial is committed to supporting local farms and economy. Not only can you feel good about dining at this joint, your tummy will thank you.

   Must-try dishes: Duck confit Scotch egg, wood-fired half chicken, rabbit molé

   No. 8: Boru Ramen Bar

   500 West 75th Street, Kansas City, Mo., (816) 541-3651, boruramen.com


Boru Ramen Bar


   When Summit Grill & Bar debuted its ramen nights on Tuesday nights in 2016, owners Domhnall Molloy and Andy Lock had no idea it would be such a hit. The feeding frenzy that ensued led Molloy, Lock and Po Wang, culinary director and partner, to talk about what a ramen bar in Waldo would look like. The idea fit easily into a plan for Summit Grill’s expansion as it took over the larger neighboring space previously occupied by 75th Street Brewery. The former Summit Grill space was revamped as Bōru Ramen Bar and opened in February. Wang took the opportunity to expand the ramen offerings he’d been experimenting with, as well as to tap into his Taiwanese background and bring in some other east Asian flavors. Bōru offers six ramen bowls, including a traditional shoyu (featuring chicken confit and soy-pickled shiitake) and a Korean-style (with pork shoulder and kimchi), as well as steamed baos (Chinese steam buns), spicy fried wings, gyoza (Chinese fried dumplings) and bibimbap — a Korean rice bowl with an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach. Just like its sister restaurant, Bōru offers a killer happy hour daily from 3 to 6 p.m., with appetizer deals under $6 and drink specials. Get your slurp on at this happy noodle joint.

   Must-try dishes: Shoyu ramen, pork belly steamed bao, bibimbap (bulgogi ribeye with farm-fresh egg yolk and veggies)

   No. 9: Stock Hill Grill

   4800 Main Street, Kansas City, Mo., (816) 895-8400, stockhillkc.com


Stock Hill Grill Kansas City MO


   Recently lauded on Thrillist as one of the Best Steakhouses in America. Stock Hill Grill is designed to impress. The grand marble bar in the center of the glitzy lounge, with its emerald green upholstery and gold accents, gives off a purposeful Great Gatsby vibe — and the plush dining room seems specifically decorated with Kansas City’s business elite in mind. The menu — which, until September, was directed by chef Joe West — focuses on steak, and not in a small way. There are 11 different beef cuts, all 14 ounces and up (unless you count the two filet mignons, which are 7 and 10 ounces, respectively), all dry- or wet-aged for at least 30 days. There is an astounding 42-ounce wet-aged porterhouse, and while it’ll set you back around $120, at least you won’t need to eat for the rest of the month. The meat parade doesn’t end at the wood-burning grill, either: there is a wagyu steak tartare, smoked short ribs, sweet and sour braised pork belly, lamb two ways — and, for the pescatarians, a host of seafood options. If it’s an evening of decadence that you’re seeking, don’t hesitate to put on your finest fur and live your best life.

   Must-try dishes: Any of the steaks are a safe bet (try the wasabi-yuzi chimichurri sauce), hamachi crudo

   No. 10: Redrock Canyon Grill

   West 135th Street and Metcalf Avenue, Overland Park, Ks., (913) 239-0202, redrockcanyongrill.com


Redrock Canyon Grill


   Oklahoma-based Hal Smith Restaurants has five locations for their steakhouse chain Redrock Canyon Grill, with the Corbin Park outpost in Overland Park serving as the group’s first entry into the Kansas City market (Charleston’s and The Garage, which opened in the new Ward Parkway Center in October, are the latest metro offerings from Hal Smith Restaurants). Overland Park’s Redrock is a sprawling, Southwestern-themed venue, with around 230 seats, an open kitchen format and some tasteful potted cacti. In fact, everything at Redrock is tasteful, from the stuffed poblano start with the chipotle sour cream to the meatloaf entree to the steak and enchilada combo platter — and yes, we know none of those dishes sound exceptionally classy, but trust us on this one. Portions are generous, the plates look beautiful and you can enjoy it all — even a shrimp-garnished house bloody Mary — from Redrock’s al fresco dining area, complete with a fire pit. Get cozy and tuck in.

   Must-try dishes: Stuffed poblano, Persimmon Hill meatloaf, steak & enchilada platter

   No. 11: Mesob

   3600 Broadway Boulevard, Kansas City, Mo., (816) 492-5099, mesobkc.com


Mesob Ethiopian food


   It’s easy to overlook and miscast strip mall restaurants as afterthoughts and last-resort destinations. In Midtown, Mesob is slowly changing that perception: The Caribbean and Ethiopian restaurant, nestled into the corner of a strip mall that also features a GymKC location, a Papa Murphy’s and a comedy club, offers fusion dining in a funky atmosphere (think white tablecloths meets lime-green walls and tropical potted plants). This is the second restaurant from Haitian-born chef Cherven Desauguste and Eritrean-born chef Mehret Tesfamariam. (The duo’s first restaurant, Mesob Pikliz, located on Independence Avenue, closed in 2014.) Perhaps “fusion” isn’t the right word: The menu hopscotches between the two partners’ backgrounds, featuring Caribbean entrees — smoked jerk ribs, tassot cabaret (braised goat with plantains), coconut curry shrimp — alongside traditional Ethiopian dishes like shekla beg tibs (lamb sautéed with house spices, garlic and tomatoes) and qwanta firfir (beef jerky in berbere sauce), all served with injera, a spongelike flatbread. The effect is two entirely disparate restaurants living in harmony under one roof. If you’re bitten by wanderlust but unable to traverse the 7,246 or so miles between Haiti and Eritrea, pop into Mesob for a burst of flavor and adventure — you’ll like what you find.

   Must-try dishes: Caribbean fritters (fried taro root with cilantro sauce), snapper boukannen (marinated and grilled whole snapper), shekla beg tibs

Read Day in the Life: Mesob vs. Beauty and the Bistro

Read Faces of the Kansas City Food Industry