The airy, clean design of the dining room in Mission Farms’ newest restaurant, Paros Estiatorio, feels far removed from its urban/suburban environment. It’s all intentional – for Kozeta "Cozy" Kreka’s newest restaurant (she also owns Cozy’s Café in Overland Park), she intended to evoke the glistening white architecture and coastal feel of the Greek isles (Paros is a beloved Greek vacation island; “Estiatorio” is Greek for “restaurant”). Here, Kreka and her team create dishes that are decidedly Greek in influence, and feature sustainably-sourced seafood, locally-sourced produce, and a far more contemporary, seasonal feel than KC’s Greek stalwarts.
Paros Estiatorio features a 65-seat dining room, as well as eight additional seats at a beautiful, dramatically lit bar that would be as at home in Europe as it is in Leawood. The upscale but unpretentious space features clean, with largely unadorned, white walls, muted laminate and tile flooring, and soft gray upholstered seating, as well as crisp white tablecloths on each table. Fresh olive oil and candles are placed on each table at service.
The menu is broken down into traditional courses: appetizers, salads, pastas/risottos, “Kreatika” (dishes of the land), and “Thessalonia” (dishes of the sea). Among the appetizers is a dish of char-grilled Spanish octopus ($21), crispy zucchini cakes with cucumber and mint-yogurt dressing ($13), saganaki, a dish of imported kefalograviera cheese dressed in herbs and lemon that is served to the table aflame ($16), as well as comforting Greek fare including spanakopita, keftedes (meatballs), grilled vegetables, olives, hummus and more ($15-$23). Salad options include a traditional Greek salad ($14), a salad of roasted beets marinated in olive oil and served with pistachios over watercress ($13), and a watermelon, arugula, goat cheese, walnut option that is dressed with honey and mint ($12).
Fresh pasta dishes are a mainstay of the menu here, including housemade tortellini stuffed with cheese, sage and Parmesan, served in a cream sauce with Spanish ham ($26), as well as deep-sea Maine lobster served over spaghetti in a cherry-tomato fennel sauce ($42). The risotto is also a star here, with Paros’ version reduced in Barolo wine and served with shrimp ($28).
Classic oven-baked dishes command their own section of the menu, with the standout being a traditional moussaka – a layered dish featuring ground beef, eggplant, zucchini and potatoes topped with an oven-crisped Béchamel crust, and topped with a sweet, savory lamb jus ($24). Also available are a slow-roasted trout, bell peppers stuffed with Greek rice, and a vegetable stew with pork and fava beans from Santorini ($20-22).
Lamb features prominently in the “Kreatika” (of the land) section. Braised lamb shank with Feta mashed potatoes and Colorado prime lamb chops with roasted garlic and lemon are available ($34-$42), as well as a rib eye with pan-roasted mushrooms and fig sauce ($37), among other dishes.
Perhaps where Paros Estiatorio has the most room to shine is in its seafood offerings. Opt, among other choices, for pan-seared scallops, served in a light lemon-cream sauce with capers and pomegranate seeds ($32), a Mediterranean white snapper, cooked over open flame and served whole ($32), or a filet of wild Alaskan salmon, served in a caper cream sauce with fresh herbs ($23). The seafood dishes also come with a side dish – options here range from a serving of wild mountain greens to grilled broccolini, roasted lemon potatoes, pan-roasted okra and sautéed spinach with rice.
The drink menu at Paros Estiatorio features an abundant selection of Greek and other European wines, a tidy selection of riffs on classic cocktails, craft beers and ouzo.
Paros Estiatorio adds a fresh look and feel to the lineup at Mission Farms. Its menu doesn’t necessarily challenge our perceptions of Greek cuisine, but does blend traditional notions with modern plating, fresh flavors and a perspective that is new to Kansas City – one that is certainly welcome.
Paros Estiatorio is open Tuesday through Friday from 11am to 10pm, Saturday from 9:30am to 10pm and Sunday from 9:30am to 9pm.
Paros Estiatorio, 10561 Mission Rd, Leawood, Kansas, 913.544.1262, parosleawood.com