Kansas City: Dinner at the Rieger Hotel Grill and Exchange
In all the years I’ve been following the food and drink scene in Kansas City, I knew one of my stops had to be The Rieger Hotel Grill and Exchange. It opened after the speakeasy Manifesto opened and the bar has its own drinks list. It was full so we grabbed a nearby table but otherwise I would have been having a drink or three from a barstool.
I started with the Risky Colada. I’m into tiki and tropical drinks and this one was intriguing with the use of hard cider. Plus I was in KCMO so of course I had to try out the local spirits made by J. Rieger & Co (the founder of the hotel is the son of the Rieger that started the distillery– both the restaurant and distillery were resurrected in part by whom I’m calling the Godfather of Cocktails in KC, Ryan Maybee– however Andy Rieger, a direct descendant and partner in the distillery says he and his family don’t own the restaurant anymore).
Risky Colada – J. Rieger & Co whiskey, Plantation 3 Stars rum, Ciderboys Pineapple Hula hard cider, Coco Lopez, No. 22 toasted coconut bitters
Besides tomato soup, I was chasing corn soup all over KCMO. The Rieger had a very fine one and I’m glad I ordered it even though Rieger pork soup sounded amazing. Our server said corn was going out of season fast so I could get the pork anytime. I should have gotten both since I was only there a week.
I loved the jardinere salad with raw, pickled and roasted vegetables. It came with a great Green Goddess dressing and grated botarga.
I was really intrigued by the cured trout “sardines. As it turns out I was more into the caviar and the deviled egg puree. Still, it was a fun dish and I’m glad I tried it. I just found the fish to be a bit dense. I expected it to be flakier like sardines but trout is a pretty firm fish.
I order anything with goat and knew I had to get the goat tortellini. Great sauce! I only wanted the tortellini to be a bit softer. These were very al dente.
Time to plan another trip to KC to eat the rest of the menu.