photo by Paul Ingold
Talented chefs all too frequently leave Kansas City; increasingly, they return home soon thereafter. Nick and Leslie Goellner hit the culinary trail, working in New York, San Francisco and even Copenhagen, at Noma. They came home last fall, opening the Antler Room in an area of town called Hospital Hill, a neighborhood notable these days for small, clever restaurants like Succotash and You Say Tomato, and only a few blocks from the bar bustle of Martini Corner. Given its name (an ode to a long-gone KC restaurant), the menu is surprisingly light on meats. A dish like onion-ash tajarin with basil and parmesan, or the parsnip-chestnut raviolini with apple, bacon and parsnip chips, epitomizes the eclectic menu. The wine list travels the globe, from Spanish godello to Valle d’Aosta’s Blanc de Morgex to Sicilian reds and bubbles. It’s strikingly short on American wines, but with multiple trousseaus, tempranillos, Burgundies and Piedmontese pours, it shows off the adventurous side of the couple that created it.