September 2nd, 2010


The American Restaurant

Location: 200 E. 25th St. at Grand Avenue, Kansas City, MO, in the Hallmark complex.

The American Restaurant is perched over the Hallmark complex in Kansas City, emcompassing wide-windowed views of downtown and the complex itself. It's a Kansas City institution, a conscious convenience for the corporation, and the culinary home of the 1999 James Beard winner of best midwestern chef. Friends recommended it, and so we stopped off for a moderately leisurely dinner in the midst of a day of driving from Little Rock to Des Moines.

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Overall, what the American Restaurant is serving seemed to me as if its root inspirations lay with highly processed, mass-market food. Don't get me wrong: I am in no way saying that this is what the restaurant is cooking. It serves refined, complex dishes made from high-quality, fresh ingredients, transforming them into plates of elegance and intelligence. So few of the dishes wholly came together for me, though. I would be entirely willing to return, but I'm more interested in checking out the other restaurants which Kansas City has to offer, should I have the opportunity.