The American changes course, Third Street Social opens, and other restaurant news

The American at Crown Center has announced two big changes. First, celebrated chef Michael Corvino is leaving the restaurant in August. Second, the restaurant itself will be morphing next year into a “pop-up” space, in which, according to a press release, “guest chefs will be welcomed to the American for exclusive engagements, bringing a variety of unique culinary experiences to Kansas City.”

A spokesperson for the restaurant tells The Pitch that what form these events take is yet to be determined, and the restaurant is now entering into the planning stages for its 2017 incarnation. 

Corvino will announce his next move after he leaves the American. James Beard award-nominated pastry chef Nick Wesemann is staying on at the restaurant through the end of the year. The two are among the most respected culinary minds in our city, and diners will be eager to learn where Corvino and Wesemann end up.

Lee’s Summit residents with big appetites have a big new restaurant nearby: Third Street Social, a 7,000-square-foot space with room for 300 diners (including 30 patio seats). Sounds huge, but then, its owners know a thing or two about high demand: Andy Lock and Domhnall Molloy have made their Summit Bar and Grill restaurants — with Molloy’s impeccable burgers, steaks and other American favorites — into a local juggernaut. Molloy oversees this kitchen as well, with Third Street Social’s desserts made by pastry chef Nicolette Foster.  (We’ll have to learn the Japanese word for juggernaut before this fall, when the pair’s Waldo ramen restaurant opens.)

Third Street Social’s address comes with some history. It used to be Arnold Hall, said to be where Harry Truman announced his political career. (A 16-person table at the new restaurant is dedicated to the 33rd president.) As recently as 2014, the city of Lee’s Summit considered demolishing the long-vacant building, which Lock and Molloy rescued and have spent the past year renovating.

In other news: Visitors to Westport’s restaurant row on Pennsylvania Street may have noticed last week that Korma Sutra (4113 Pennsylvania) is, well, no longer Korma Sutra. Last week the signage somewhat abruptly changed from Korma Sutra to Moti Mahal II. (Moti Mahal I is in North KC.) A call to the restaurant confirms that the change is in name only. The menu, décor, ownership and staff remain the same. Korma Sutra in Overland Park for now keeps its sexy name.

Affliction T-shirts have been reincarnated as a restaurant. Rockstar Burgers (1611 Genessee) opened at the end of June in the West Bottoms, joining the small ranks of Kansas City’s 24-hour institutions (with alcohol until 1 a.m.). Owners Brian and Nicole Smith (whose Pole Worx business is above the restaurant) have tapped into the local-burger pedigrees of Eric McNerney, formerly of Hayes Hamburger and Chili, and a line cook who goes by the name Scratch, formerly of Town Topic. The beef for Rockstar Burgers’ namesake snacks comes from L&C Meat, which also supplies meat for Town Topic. The Smiths plan to open the restaurant’s back room as a music venue.

The fast-growing Wisconsin pizza chain Topper’s Pizza has opened its first Kansas City–area location, at 6027 Metcalf, in Mission. In addition to its make-your-own and specialty pizzas, it also serves items called Tacostix and Chocolate Baconstix, making Toppers likely to secure the patronage of area children and stoners.

Lawrence’s tasty street-food spot Taco Zone is being readied for some al fresco dining. Owner Brad Shanks plans to complete work on a small outdoor space in front of his 13 East Eighth Street location. The six or so patio seats will be counter-style, facing Eighth Street.

Also this week:

Sunday 7.10
Soil Collective, a collaboration among chefs Rick Mullins, Calvin Davis and Mickey Priolo aimed at sustainable food sourcing and reducing food waste, puts on a barn dinner at Powell Gardens tonight. Tickets are $100. Call 816-697-2600 (extension 209) to be put on the waiting list.

Learn how to make simple country wines and fruit-based vinegars today at Hoot Owl Hill, a vineyard and glamping spot at 30750 Osawatomie Road in Paola (about an hour south). Instructor Dotty Sharp will go over various techniques for making the vinegars and wines, and the $55 ticket price includes samples and items to take home. See hootowlgardens.com for more information.

Categories: Food & Drink