Nestled among the boutiques and specialty stores in the Village Shopping Center, Story is another jewel in Kansas City’s crown of progressive culinary offerings. Opening over the summer, this spot – perfect for lunch or dinner – has lived up to the high expectations so many had for Chef Carl Thorne-Thomsen.
Having worked under Chef Micheal Smith at 40 Sardines and most recently as his chef de cuisine at Extra Virgin, Thorne-Thomsen had a great reputation. Lucky for KC, he and his wife Susan took the plunge and decided to bring our town another great establishment.
I recently met a friend for lunch at Story, where we LOVED everything placed on the table as well as the entire experience. Found in the heart of Prairie Village’s shopping district, Story’s interior is much more modern than you might expect. It reminds me a little bit of Richard Reddington’s Redd in Napa Valley with a hint of the luxuriously simple Jean-Georges decor in NYC’s Trump International Hotel. Clean white lines, crisp table clothes, natural light and a beautiful mahogany-colored wood floor all lend to the atmosphere of contentment. There’s no fuss, just a beautifully open, contemporary space in which to enjoy the focus of your trip – the food!
My friend picked a glass of wine and I chose to start with champagne. Domaine Chandon by the glass was a pleasant surprise on the wine list! The next surprise was the value of the lunch pre fixe menu – just $18 for appetizer, entree and dessert – two choices under each course. It’s quite a steal, especially considering the generous portions. Being a great sport, my friend offered that we both get the pre fixe and between us try everything listed. How could I refuse!?
My Smoked Duck Empanadas were lovely. The small crispy pastries held tender pulled duck meat inside with just a slightly smokey flavor. I would definitely order them again. But it was the other first-course offering that truly stole the show that afternoon. The Butternut Squash Bisque was absolutely outstanding! The texture was smooth but not runny, substantive but still melted over the tongue. It had the perfect balance of bright squash with just the right touch of cream and stock. It was so fresh and had just the right spices, not overdone. Finished with bacon, this soup was gone in no time.
The Beef Tenderloin was prepared just right and topped with a nice reduction. It came with three kinds of roasted potatoes. But for this course, I was the lucky one with the stellar dish in front of me. It was two pieces of phenomenal Fried Chicken. The meat was tender and the batter rich, delicious and complex. Salted perfectly, the flour dredge seemed as though it had been browned liked a roux. Each bite was full and warm with wonderful spices, crispy but not greasy. Despite a full belly, I could have eaten another piece of this fantastic treat!
And to top it off, the service was great too. Our server, Michael, was attentive but knew we were there to catch up and take our time. We had everything we needed when we needed it.
Every piece was in place for this lunch. Just like the detail given to Chef Thorne-Thomsen’s creations. With the beautiful surroundings, solid service and delicious food, I can’t wait for my next visit!