Movers and Shakers: Percheron Rooftop Bar’s spring opening is the who’s who of KC
I’ve faced a lot of imposter syndrome in my life, but never when entering a restaurant. If I’m going somewhere new for dinner, then I’ll pick out what I want on the menu before even setting foot in the venue. I’ll research the dress code, the parking situation, and the cocktails. When it comes to dining out, I’m in my element. This time should have been no different. I’ve been to dinner at the Crossroads Hotel before. I know the layout.
Upon stepping off the elevator and out to Percheron Rooftop Bar, I started sweating, and not just because of the gorgeous 75-degree weather.
Is everyone here cooler than me? Is everyone here hotter than me?
It seemed that for their pre-opening party, Percheron had pulled out all the stops and only invited the most stunning, best-dressed Kansas Citians. I have never seen so many Midwestern influencers in one place.
At one point, Mayor Quinton Lucas even made an appearance—by this point, I was tipsy, so of course I introduced myself. But I wouldn’t have had the liquid courage to do so without our server, Scott.
With a backdrop of the Kansas City skyline and a soundtrack supplied by DJs Marvin Gardens and Mr. Bungalow, we embarked on a culinary adventure. Scott promised to give my table an experience, and he did not disappoint.
We started with the Pork Belly Lettuce Wraps ($17). The meat is marinated overnight, resulting in a tender inner texture with a slightly crispy outside. On its own, this would already be delicious, but the tamarind glaze takes the dish to the next level.
The Mezze Platter ($10) was next. It’s basically a plate of crunchy raw vegetables, with pieces of turmeric-spiced cauliflower, “sour cucumbers” (read: pickles), and radishes. I have never eaten radishes on purpose before, but if my veggies were always dressed as well as these, then I would reconsider. We cleared this plate easily.
The Party Pressure, a guest favorite returning from last season, quenched my thirst. Actually, the alcohol made me more thirsty, but it was much appreciated anyway. Scott set me up with the gin option to mix with the matcha St. Germain, lime, and sparkling lemon soda.
The flank steak ($22) is drizzled with an herby green sauce called schug, which is originally from Yemen. I’ve rarely had a better-cooked steak, but compared with the other dishes, its “wow” factor fell short. Though heartier, the flavor profile was less compelling.
At this point, Scott brought us two more drinks: the Strawberry Negroni ($14) and the Za’atar Paloma ($14). The Negroni was smooth, strong, and well-blended. The Paloma was beautiful to look at, but I found the grapefruit flavor to be overly astringent.
The Crispy Halloumi ($15) was my companion’s favorite. The plating is reminiscent of the best and warmest Kansas City sunsets. The roasted peppers are sweet, especially when paired with the Muhammara (roasted red pepper dip). The halloumi itself has a smoky flavoring.
Last but certainly not least, we devoured the Bay Scallop Ceviche ($17). It looks more like a fancy West Coast salad with the dressing underneath, but the flavor is divine. Avocado mousse and cucumber tomatillo purée are topped with crunchy veggies, jalapeños, cilantro, and the freshest scallops I’ve had in the Midwest.
After a few hours of gazing at the Western Auto sign, outfit-stalking my fellow restaurant-goers, and several drinks, my imposter syndrome had dissipated entirely.
Percheron is the upscale side of Kansas City that I don’t often get to experience. If you have the time and the means, embrace your inner influencer and go take silly photos of your expensive food. It might heal you.
Percheron is now open for the season with a Mediterranean-inspired menu. It is located at 2101 Central Street, Kansas City, MO 64108. (Ask for Scott.)