Chefs Colby and Megan Garrelts owners of the renowned Bluestem in Westport, recently opened Rye restaurant in Leawood. While writing their Bluestem cookbook, which is full of fabulous upscale cuisine, they realized that they also loved the foods from the Midwest and wanted a restaurant where they could showcase those dishes as well. Both chefs are proud to be from the Midwest with Colby growing up just a few blocks from Rye’s Mission Farms location. Rye is a celebration of the Midwestern foods that the chefs grew up eating and Rye gives them the opportunity to highlight dishes that they have enjoyed with several generations of their families.
If you grew up in the Midwest as the Garrelts did, the dishes are sure to take you back to your mother or grandmother’s kitchen as well. If you are not from the Midwest, then welcome home, because once you taste these dishes, you will never want to leave! Succulent smoked pork chops, cornmeal fried catfish, aged steaks, baby back ribs, fried chicken, vegetables just off the stove, hot Parker House rolls (homemade from Chef Colby’s mother’s recipe), freshly made seasonal pies, fruit cobblers and ice box cakes are just a few of the items you will find on the menu.
The food at Rye takes traditional dishes and gives them a chef’s point of view, while preserving the important heritage of the dish. The fried chicken is sous-vide first, making it unbelievably juicy. The barbecue is slow smoked for hours on end, making it melt in your mouth tender. The beef for the burgers is hand ground daily for the freshest burger around. Chef Colby is a James Beard nominated chef, so he insists that there are no shortcuts in Rye’s scratch kitchen. Chef Megan, a trained pastry chef, makes all pies and desserts in house. (No store bought crusts here!) Whole pies, cakes and other desserts will soon be available to pre-order, giving you the chance to serve a delicious homemade dessert at your next gathering without all the work.
The chefs use fresh, locally sourced ingredients and products including produce from their family farm, Flat Rock Field in Parker, Kan. The beverages served at Rye also have a local focus with a selection of wines, spirits and beers from Missouri and Kansas. There is an assortment of classic cocktails as well as regionally inspired beverages such as moonshine cocktails.
Many of the dishes at Rye come in three sizes, so guests can have a taste, a personalized portion, or enough for the whole table to share. Dishes to share are served family style with many of them served on platters, crocks and custom-made wood bowls created especially for Rye by the American company Enrico.
Prices at Rye are family friendly and range from $5 to $34. The atmosphere is relaxed and comfortable just like home and the décor consists of rustic woods and gingham check accents. Rye is available for private luncheons, evening events, and cocktail par- ties. They can also create custom menus for any occasion.
If you have had the opportunity to experience the Garrelts upscale cuisine at Bluestem, then you know when you take that talent and combine it with comfort foods everyone loves, every- thing is going to be perfect and absolutely delicious. Enjoy Rye for dinner seven days a week with brunch on Saturday and Sunday.