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Starker's Reserve [KC]

Starker's Reserve [KC]
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  • Starker's Reserve [KC]

    Post #1 - March 30th, 2007, 3:38 pm
    Post #1 - March 30th, 2007, 3:38 pm Post #1 - March 30th, 2007, 3:38 pm
    Kicking off a recent weekend trip to St. Louis, my wife and I stopped at Starker’s Reserve on the Plaza for lunch.

    The lunch menu was a little confusing to me, sort of skipping around from cuisine-to-cuisine: shrimp po’ boy, bucatini all’amatriciana, nicoise salad, steaks and burgers, etc. While I was happy to see local producers on the menu, I was hoping for a more seasonal approach and some more creatively intriguing dishes.

    I usually avoid pasta when eating out…it’s often done poorly and it’s relatively easy to make well at home, but the promise of guanciale and bucatini swayed me (I notice its now pancetta and linguine, which probably would not have). I was glad to be swayed, because the dish was really quite good, well-cooked pasta, dressed with welcome modesty. Certainly a satisfying lunch. My wife ordered pasta too, with butternut squash, greens and Scimeca sausage. She was quite satisfied, and based on a bite or two, I can see why. Neither dish was earth-shattering, but a solid bowl of pasta is a worthy accomplishment.

    We ordered the crab cake appetizer, which did show a little more creativity. I really enjoyed the dressing of seaweed salad with bits of nori. The crab cakes themselves were a little disappointing, though, as there were very few actual lumps…texturally more similar to shredded crab. This is not an unexpected complaint, as you don’t typically get good lump cakes in this part of the country. They generously split our order between two plates, and it was a satisfying start.

    Cookies were our dessert, and they were enjoyable as well. I got a cup of coffee, brought in a small French press, which was excellent.

    The wine list is massive and extremely deep.

    What was most striking to me about the whole meal, though, was the feeling I was eating at my (well, not mine, actually, but someone’s) grandma’s house. The room (which I think may have been recently updated?), menu, and clientele were surprisingly subdued and conservative. I was, for some reason, expecting something a bit more contemporary, but I certainly blame only myself for that.

    The dinner menu looks a little more interesting, but quite expensive. I’m interested in going back, but honestly, don’t have a great sense of urgency to do so.

    Starker’s Reserve
    201 West 47th Street
    Kansas City, Missouri 64112
  • Post #2 - April 4th, 2007, 5:02 pm
    Post #2 - April 4th, 2007, 5:02 pm Post #2 - April 4th, 2007, 5:02 pm

    My considered opinion is that Starker's is about a welcoming but subdued space, decent food, and one of the best wine lists in the middle of the country, bar none. You go there if you are on a quest for some serious wine that you can't get anyplace else.

    I think your review nicely reflects these points.

    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #3 - October 23rd, 2011, 8:19 pm
    Post #3 - October 23rd, 2011, 8:19 pm Post #3 - October 23rd, 2011, 8:19 pm
    Anyone who has had the pleasure of meeting the owner of Starker's Reserve in Kansas City knew just how vibrant and passionate Chef John McClure was in person.

    Kansas City lost a good soul this last week.

    During my last trip to KC in July, Chef John came out and chatted with us. He was so excited about opening his new taco-and-beer joint, Barrio...

    I know a few of you have enjoyed Chef John's efforts over the years. There are some wonderful stories and photos on his FaceBook page.

    I'm still in shock....
    “Assuredly it is a great accomplishment to be a novelist, but it is no mediocre glory to be a cook.” -- Alexandre Dumas

    "I give you Chicago. It is no London and Harvard. It is not Paris and buttermilk. It is American in every chitling and sparerib. It is alive from tail to snout." -- H.L. Mencken