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The Town Company: A Merger of Elegance and Inventiveness

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One of my all-time favorite things about eating out is trying new places. I love walking into an eatery for the first time and soaking in everything about it. If that describes you too, the casual-meets-fine-dining restaurant inside the brand-spanking-new Hotel Kansas City is a must try. And then I promise you, you’ll want to go back again and again. 

The hotel and restaurant opened in October 2020 in the well-known, historic Kansas City Club building at 1228 Baltimore Avenue, Kansas City, Missouri. A visit to this perfectly renovated hotel lobby is worth the trip alone because the designers have captured the elegance of a modern hotel and combined it with the nostalgia of all things Kansas City.

Even the name of the restaurant, The Town Company, was a name considered among a long list of names for the city of Kansas City in the early days before it had a name, or so they say. Hand-selected for The Town Company from a top chef position in Seattle, Executive Chef Johnny Leach has a long list of prestigious restaurants under his belt including Del Posto, a Lidia Bastianich restaurant and Momofuku, both of New York City. Johnny’s wife, executive pastry chef Helen Jo Leach, brings her pastry talents to The Town Company and often partners with Johnny on menu item creations.

The fresh new space is gorgeous. While most of the hotel has a hint of feminine feel, the restaurant is all masculine with the sense of an upscale, traditional law office. Navy walls, leather accents, velvet curtains, wood tones and cowhide textures merge to create a “more casual than fine” dining experience in two intimate dining rooms facing the centerpiece of the restaurant, an open kitchen with a beautiful white oak burning hearth. Displayed jars of ingredients, hanging produce in the kitchen, and other special touches including the glassware, napkins and plate ware leave no detail to chance.

The fare is a modern twist on a Midwestern table, centered on the white oak burning hearth. What we heard repeatedly from Chef Leach is that his menu items are simple, straight-forward and feature excellent ingredients. Since he’s been in the Midwest, he’s spent his time researching, visiting and learning about local farmers, ranchers and fishermen.

“We like to have fun here, but we take our food seriously,” Chef Leach said. “We aren’t looking to puff out our chests and serve food that is pretentious. We focus on seasonality with local products to create inventive, simple menu items. And we take our inspiration from what’s available from the local farmers and see what we can do with it.”

When the tasting started, we immediately fell in love with the Sweet Potato Dumplings. We were assured there will always be a dumpling on the menu just as delicious as this menu item. We were fortunate to enjoy the roasted sweet potato dumplings with maitake mushrooms, mimolette and pine nuts. If it were polite, we would have licked the bowl clean of the white wine and brown butter sauce! So if the dumplings get better than this one, I’ll be back every single week.

Although Chef Leach specializes in the simplicity of foods, the Trout Croquettes didn’t sound simple to prepare. However, the taste was simply delicious. In all, this menu item takes three days to complete. The trout is smoked gradually over embers for a full day. The perfectly paired aioli is made from slow-roasted lemons and then each small croquette is hand rolled, individually breaded and allowed time to rest.

When I laid my eyes on the Pork Shoulder, I knew it was something my husband should order; it’s the perfect menu item for a hearty eater. I loved every bite; I just couldn’t finish it! Procured from a nearby pork farm, Newman Farms in Myrtle, Missouri, the cut is rubbed with coffee and served over winter squash, purple kale and wheat berries.

We finished our tasting with the unique Angel Food Cheesecake, unlike any dessert I’d had before. Served with a light pear sorbet atop the fluffy cake and garnished with lemon crisp and black sesame ganache, this was just the right sweetness to finish this casual but fine dining experience.

Even though Chef Leach hadn’t used a hearth with live fire before coming to Kansas City, it appeared that he was an incredibly quick study. In fact, the best seats in the house are the chef’s table, which is really more like a bar, overlooking the hearth where guests can engage with the chefs and enjoy a view of the bustling activity in the open cooking environment.

Although I love walking into a restaurant for the first time, The Town Company will be one that I will enjoy returning to time and time again.

Visit for menu previews and reservations. Make reservations for the Starlight Snow Globes at

Starlight Snow Globes
If you can get a reservation before it’s too late, you don’t want to miss the opportunity to visit the very special, unique winter experience on the Hotel Kansas City’s rooftop, Starlight Snow Globes.

Each of the three snow globes can hold up to six people in the same party and are themed to a specific spirit, including Reyka Vodka, Glenfiddich Scotch and Hendrick’s Gin. The carefully chosen experience for each snow globe includes specifically decorated themed décor, four cocktails incorporating the snow globe’s assigned spirit and small plates to accompany them. And no need to worry about the Kansas City weather! Each snow globe is heated inside with space heaters and, best of all, is positioned on the rooftop for beautiful, sweeping Kansas City skyline views.

Cocktail offerings include the Icelandic Martini, with Reyka vodka, pear liqueur, elderflower liqueur, dry vermouth, chamomile tea, cinnamon; a Hot Scotch Toddy of Glenfiddich Fire & Cane, winter tincture, lemon sherbet, apricot liqueur, honey bitters, nutmeg; and a Warm Gin Punch of Hendrick’s, Madeira wine, pineapple, honey, lemon, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar.

Open Wednesday through Sunday evenings, the experience costs $100 plus tip per person and must be pre-purchased on Tock, an online booking software, Depending on demand, the snow globes may remain open into March.

In addition, Hotel Kansas City is offering a special promotion for snow globe participants. For $99, guests can add an overnight stay when they book the snow globe experience.

Written by: Megan Neher

Journalist-turned-PR-professional Megan Neher has never forgotten her true first love: writing. Today, Megan owns her own PR firm, Megan Neher Public Relations; she’s a wife, mom, marketer, student and spends a lot of time cleaning up after her four pets and two teenagers. Her dream is to live on a tropical beach somewhere where she can stroll barefoot to a nearby grass hut for a fish taco and margarita.