Silo Modern Farmhouse is a bit of a hidden treasure in the Kansas City restaurant scene. It's one of those that might not stand out unless you've heard about it from someone else – a restaurant on a Lenexa golf course, far from the downtown area that many fine-dining establishments call home. However, a series of Chef's Table events over the coming year could help further solidify Silo's status as a dining destination in the metro.
Executive chef Laura Favela is excited to show off the culinary talents she's honed over the years in pairing these multi-course meals with some of her favorite wineries from around the country. Prior to Silo, she worked in Texas and Chicago in a variety of environments. She's opened casino restaurants and even worked major sporting events for teams around the country and here in Kansas City. "These events are really a chance to demonstrate the different skills I've learned in my career," she says. "Silo has been open for around three years now, and the owners here have continuously empowered me to be creative and push our dishes as far as I can take them. These events are the next step in that creativity."
Silo held its first Chef's Table in the series on Dec. 3: a four-course flavor bomb that featured some remarkable tastes and textures. Things opened up with a cheese board and delicious pickled beet dish, accented with goat cheese, candied pistachios and microgreens. A second course showed off Favela's ability to balance different ingredients: lemongrass-cured ahi tuna, pork belly and black rice each got equal billing on the plate; mixing and matching different ratios led to some truly mouth-watering bites.
A melt-in-your-mouth Wagyu short rib course and a dessert of a mini pumpkin bundt cake closed things out. Favela explained that she plans her meals for these events based on seasonal ingredients and through working with as many local partners as she can. She also made a major effort to focus on the evening's special guest: Aaron Michaelis, proprietor of Flint Knoll Winery.
Michaelis grew up in Wichita before packing his bags for California. He pays plenty of tribute to his childhood home with Flint Knoll, however, and was extremely excited to highlight the wines produced by Flint Knoll's winemaker Andy Jones. Flint Knoll produces wine in very small quantities, allowing the winery to concentrate with the utmost focus on quality control. Each of their paired wines were remarkably nuanced and enticing.
Favela hopes the Chef's Table series at Silo can treat guests to some incredible wine pairings. Each course of the first dinner was paired with a different red wine from Flint Knoll, moving from mildest to boldest. They all worked well on their own and stepped to an even more impressive flavor profile when paired with the dishes that Favela put together.
"The team at Flint Knoll worked very closely with us in planning what dishes would work well with each wine," she says. "I love being involved with this type of event; it really pushes you to be creative and, when it's done right, helps make both the foods and the wines that much better."
The Silo crew was glad to be able to have the local tie-in with Flint Knoll for their first Chef's Table, but Favela recognizes they won't always be able to go that direction with wine pairings. Instead, she hopes to be able to work with wineries that they've forged connections with over their three years of operation.
Case in point: the next Chef's Table at Silo, scheduled for Jan. 28, will feature pairings from Orin Swift Winery. Like Flint Knoll, Orin Swift is a California winery that specializes in high-quality reds. As at the first event, the goal is for the wines to enhance the dishes being served and vice versa.
The Jan. 28 dinner will have an amuse-bouche of cheese and accouterments and four courses. The first is a green salad with fennel, kale, whipped goat cheese, cured egg yolk and lemon preserves with a sherry vinaigrette. The second is a scallop and risotto course. The main course is a bone-in beef tenderloin with crusted foie gras, potatoes and mushrooms. Finally, dessert is a Black Forest chocolate cake with white chocolate toffee and amaretto cherries.
The menu can be found on Silo's website, alongside a link to make reservations. Seating for these events is extremely limited, so they encourage you to book your spot as early as possible. Amid COVID-19, the restaurant is using disposable menus and adhering to social distancing guidelines, and staff members are wearing masks.
Favela and the rest of her team hope to host a Chef's Table event every month or month and a half. The restaurant has worked on expanding its patio and outdoor dining space, so they also hope that they can host some of the events outside as the weather improves. She also encourages interested guests to follow the restaurant on social media and sign up for their email newsletter in order to learn about Chef's Table dinners and other events that they're planning.
"Our goal with Silo is to have fine dining-styled meals that are still accessible," Favela says. "We want to be a dining destination for everyone in the city, and these Chef's Table events are a great way to showcase what we can do and introduce ourselves to new and returning guests alike."
If the upcoming Chef's Table events at Silo can match the quality of the first, Favela should have no problem achieving that goal. Stay on top of their social media and sign up for their newsletter if this sounds like your style – these events are destined to be a hot ticket.
Silo Modern Farmhouse, 17501 w. 87th St. Pkwy, Lenexa, Kansas, 913.278.0910, silocanyonfarms.com