The Suite Life
Embassy Suites Olathe’s new restaurant concept, The J Bar, serves up global bites and kicky cocktails in a swanky Mad Men setting.
Korean Noodle Bowl with braised pork belly
A beacon of light visible from K-10 highway, the newly opened Embassy Suites by Hilton Kansas City/Olathe features a “contemporary and boutique-like ambiance” with 200 suites, art pieces that reflect KC’s railroad roots, a 25,000-square-foot conference center and South KC’s largest hotel ballroom. But perhaps its main attraction is its swanky full-service bar and restaurant, The J Bar. The dubbed “destination bar” boasts a sophisticated American fusion cuisine and a chic lounge setting for hotel guests and patrons alike. A crisp palette of white, royal blue and soothing gray; modern Italian glass-art-inspired light fixtures; and ambient music give J Bar a groovy yet chic Mad Men vibe. On the rooftop, a heated urban patio with its own bar offers craft cocktails and city views.
While the decor is slightly retro, the menu is decidedly modern and global. J Bar features a delicious chef-driven menu of seasonal dishes that draw influence from multicultural cuisines. The menu offers a global trek for your taste buds. Collect stamps on your culinary passport with offerings like the gaucho steak, the chicken saltimbocca or the braised pork belly and kimchee broth Korean noodle bowl. Prep your palate with small-bite favorites such as the sweet chili-drizzled cheesesteak eggrolls or the crispy and colorful tuna wonton tacos. The latter is an Instagram-worthy display of seared tuna, chipotle-poblano slaw and avocado housed in a perfectly fried wonton shell and kissed with sriracha. Every restaurant has its must-try dish, and at The J Bar it’s the 50/50 burger. An unbelievably juicy patty that’s made up of 50 percent beef and 50 percent bacon and served on a ciabatta bun with chipotle aioli, this two-hander is 100 percent awesome. Be sure to save room for J Bar’s signature Tequi-lime cheesecake garnished with lime zest-laced tequila cream and candied Key lime.
Craft Cocktails and WineStein’s Theory of Drink
In addition to its worldly food menu, this gastro bar mixes and pours up a world-class menu of creative cocktails; local craft brews on tap; and an extensive wine list of reds, whites, blushes and sparkling wines. Use WineStein, J Bar’s digital sommelier app accessed by one of the restaurant’s eight tablets, to find the perfect wine pairing for your plates. For example, WineStein recommends a chardonnay or a pinot noir for the 24-hour pork ribs; while the Margherita flatbread calls for a crisp riesling or sauvignon blanc.
Standouts from the mixology menu include the spicy Skinny Jeans and the masculine Smoke & Oak. The former is a refreshing concoction of vodka, lime, cucumber and cilantro. The latter is a reimagined version of the Sazerac, consisting of local Dark Horse Distillery Rye, sweet vermouth, house-made orange-infused bitters, brown sugar simple syrup, absinthe, and a billow of hickory smoke tamped down by a smoked orange slice. Removing the orange unleashes the cocktail’s smoky goodness with a dramatic effect that’s almost too cool to pass up.
The J Bar serves lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday, and brunch and dinner on Sunday. The restaurant is located within the Embassy Suites at 10401 S. Ridgeview Road, Olathe, Kan. For more information, visit the-jbar.com.