This restaurant was always a favorite of mine, but I had not yet had an opportunity to enjoy the culinary offerings of the new owner/chef John McClure. Let's just say we were not disappointed.
Mrs. Food Snob and I began with a nice selection of Stags' Leap 'the leap' cabernet from the famous wine list. We ordered the mushroom soup with truffle oil as a first course, which was smooth, subtle, and perfect.
I followed with the Rabbit confit with puff pastry and a truffle scented cream presentation, while my wife ordered the seared foie gras with an inspiring apple butter with beignets that reminded her of apple fritters and spoke of autumn in the way that only apples can.
The foie gras was crusted with sea salt, which offset the creamy texture of the liver with a wonderful little crunch.
For the third course, I selected the rack of lamb with golden raisins and caperberries. What an interesting dish!
You often see lamb prepared with dijon mustard, a predominantly sour flavor, but I have never seen it prepared with capers. The combination was tasty and unique, and offered the rare opportunity to try something original and unprecedented. My wife had the ribeye with truffle butter (what a decadent dinner: 3 truffle courses!) which, while nice, evoked memories of the truffled veal chop that was once a staple of the menu.
The ribeye absorbed much of the butter due to its porous nature, which reduced the effect of the truffle oil somewhat. The old veal was better, I think, due to its firmer nature which better exhibited the impact of the truffle butter.
The ribeye was excellent, however, and only falls short of the king of veal chops. It was tender and well prepared, and easily bested most every other ribeye in town.
For me, desert was the cheese plate. My wife took a chocolate torte with berries and Creme Anglaise.
Both were excellent, and the french press coffee finished off a nearly perfect meal.
Starkers retains its place on my tiny list of perfect restaurants in Kansas City.
With perfect service, perfect food, and a wine list that gives me butterflies, I am very happy to see John McClure has improved, a feat I thought impossible, one of the truly great restaurants of this fair city.