Leave your troubles at the door

Since 2013, Red Door Grill has been known to welcome their guests with the freshest, most flavorful food and excellent service, all while feeling right at home.  

Founder Gary Zancanelli opened his first location in Leawood five years ago. Since then, his restaurant has earned the reputation for being the best little upscale neighborhood joint.

“We’re Kansas City born and braised,” says Zancanelli. “We love this town, and we’re thrilled this town has shown us love in return. People may mistake us for a big chain, but we’re as local as you can get. We want people to feel comfortable and at home. A red door means different things in different cultures, but here it means everyone is welcome, everyone should feel at home and everyone will get treated as family. Upscale means we want you to feel special in our surroundings, but joint means we don’t take ourselves too seriously, nor do our prices. Neighborhood means you’re always among friends. And best? That means if you’re not happy, we’re not happy.”

Red Door Grill serves a wide variety of woodfired favorites including burgers, fish, flatbreads and chicken—Zancanelli’s specialty. The secret to their success is what they like to call their smoky trinity.

“The first thing that hits you when you walk through our doors is the smell of fresh cut wood,” says Zancanelli. “We cook with it, so we haul it in every morning. Our signature flavor comes from a one-of-a-kind blend of pecan, oak and hickory. We call it the smoky trinity, and it gives each of our famous woodfired entrées an intoxicatingly woody taste that enhances each dish without overpowering the natural flavors of our locally sourced, scratch-kitchen ingredients. Plus, we just can’t resist the beautiful harmony of crackling wood and sizzling meat. It’s the sound of delicious, and it sounds a helluva lot better than a heat lamp, no?”

Their most popular item is their fried chicken that’s marinated for four days, hand-breaded, dipped in jalapeño juice and pressure fried to perfection.

“If you know Gary, you know he knows fried chicken,” says Johnny Rard, vice president of brand and communications. “He spent most of his career cooking it daily. Now, he only serves it one day a week, but for a very good reason—it takes nearly a week to prepare. Red Door has developed quite a following for their fried chicken. Zancanelli spent most of his career as a fried chicken franchise owner and has spent the last several years perfecting his own secret recipe.” 

“I spent most of my life cooking chicken 365 days a year,” says Zancanelli. “Now, I only cook it on Thursdays. A lot of people look forward to that one day a week.”

Other standout menu items include their famous gourmet burgers and weekly specials.

“I love the $5 burger on Mondays—you can’t get a burger this good, any cheaper, anywhere else. Our guests also love our weekend brunch and our whiskey-soaked prime rib,” Rard says.

For starters, try their fried pickles, tavern tots or sheet pan nachos. For lunch or dinner, order chorizo mac ’n’ cheese with crispy tenders, fried coconut chicken or prime rib grilled cheese. On weekends from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., enjoy their thunderbird brunch burger, pastrami hash, or Johnny be good baked blueberry French toast. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a generous slice of old-fashioned carrot cake, skillet bourbon pecan pie or biscuit beignets, which are English fritters covered in powdered sugar, strawberry-vanilla custard cream sauce and chocolate fudge. 

Dine outdoors comfortably by the fire year-round on their beautiful patio.

“We’re a woodfired grill—of course we love the outdoors. You’ll find a woodfire crackling out on the patio at any one of our three locations. They’re heated in the winter and cooled in the summer, spring and fall—they’re perfect all on their own,” says Rard.

Red Door Grill is located in Leawood, Overland Park and Brookside. For more information, visit RedDoorGrill.com