Chef Howard Hanna and his team at The Rieger spent most of this summer feeding the hungry in Kansas City, proudly serving over 84,000 meals during their time as the Crossroads Community Kitchen.
Inspired by World Central Kitchen, Howard Hanna decided to change his restaurant practically overnight.
As of this week, the popular restaurant has reopened for business in the Crossroads Arts District, offering a brand-new summer dinner menu, bottles of well-priced wine and award-winning bottled cocktails from its downstairs speakeasy, Manifesto.
Hanna made the decision to offer carryout meals only via The Rieger's website, choosing to keep the dining room closed for the time being in an effort to operate profitably while doing his best to protect his staff and guests as cases are still spiking.
The carefully curated offerings include plenty of fresh summer produce like tomatoes, watermelon, eggplant, corn and long beans to satisfy any vegetable-lover. There also seems to be a simplicity to how things are prepared. It all reads like delicious comfort food, but you can tell these dishes were created to ensure the food will travel well.
To start, the chilled tomato soup with cucumbers, sweet onions, fennel and dill sounds like summer in a bowl with the watermelon salad running a close second. A healthy variety of tempting small plates are also on the menu.
A KC Strip, smoked pork chop, whole trout and half a chicken along with a twice-baked eggplant dish round out the entrées, with a host of sides to add on like buttered corn on the cob; crispy rice with saffron, mushrooms, peas and herbs; and Tuscan fries, just to name a few.
For dessert, consider the blackberry crostata or a pint of the cinnamon malt ice cream, or perhaps just get them both and pair them on your plate at home.
The drink offerings from Manifesto include beloved favorites that are bottled and just ready to be poured over ice at home, like their evergreen menu item, Smokin’ Choke. Two boozy jello shots are also on the menu based on classic Manifesto cocktails like the gin-based Girl from Cadiz and the tiki-inspired Stiggins Cure. There are also some great cocktail kits available to make drinks using your own booze at home.
The wine list sits around $25 per bottle for most of the international red, white and sparkling selections, with a few that go a bit higher for those wanting to splurge.
Finally, the team has also come together to assemble a Charcuterie & Chill Date Night Package for $70 that includes The Rieger's famous charcuterie, a blackberry crostata, a bottle of bubbles (limited choice options) and a shaken cocktail kit (does not include booze).
The Rieger's dinner menu is available for pickup Monday through Saturday from 5 to 8pm.
The Rieger, 1924 Main St., Crossroads Arts District, Kansas City, Missouri, 816.471.2177, theriegerkc.com