Soirée Anita Moore

Chef Anita Moore of Soirée.

Chef Anita Moore’s success with Soirée New Orleans Bistro in Smithville, Missouri, has led to plans for a second concept. Southern Steakhouse and Oyster Bar by Soirée will open this fall in Kansas City’s 18th and Vine Jazz District.

City developers and board members from the district were drawn to chef Moore’s Southern-influenced Creole cuisine. Several had visited Soirée, dined and then contacted her about their redevelopment plans for the historic district.

“The city sought me out to come to 18th and Vine,” Moore says. “I’ve always imagined 18th and Vine as the place to open a restaurant. They really want me to come down there.”

Southern Steakhouse and Oyster Bar will occupy the 6,300-square-foot former home of The Peachtree Restaurant. With the patio, Southern Steakhouse will have an occupancy between 150 to 175 people. The venue will feature Sunday brunch, live music and a lounge with a wrap-around bar. Southern Steakhouse will highlight craft cocktails and sweet tea with pickled fruit as part of its bar program.

“I want people to feel like they are coming to my home,” Moore says. “Let’s eat and listen to good music. The bar will have an oyster-shucking station so guests can see the oyster preparation. The food will be 99 percent scratch.”

Moore, who grew up in Kansas City, spent time as a kid with her grandmother in Lafayette, Louisiana, and also has family in Arkansas, Mississippi, and Atlanta.

“We ate farm-to-table before that was a thing. We were self-sustaining,” Moore says. “We grew our own produce.”

Moore plans to bring farm-to-table cooking and Southern sensibilities to her new restaurant. She’s contacting local suppliers, such as Creekstone Farms and Barham Family Farms, for Kansas City strip, filet, ribeye, short ribs and other cuts of meat. Fresh produce and ingredients from local farmers markets and fish market will be a staple. Moore already works with Perdue Farm in Platte City, Missouri, to source ingredients for Soirée.

A few dishes from Soirée will appear on the new menu. Look for her deep-fried Southern deviled eggs with a pimento cheese filling, pastas and perhaps some po’boys. Southern Steakhouse, however, will feature less New Orleans and Creole dishes than Soirée.

Moore plans to highlight steak and seafood with Deep South flair. For example, surf and turf might appear as a flank steak laden with garlic-herb butter and charbroiled oysters. Bourbon, brown sugar and brining will be used to heighten flavor of meats. Look for side dishes such as okra, butter beans and housemade head cheese.

“It’s soul food,” Moore says. “We take old recipes that I was taught growing up and take them to another level.”

Southern Steakhouse and Oyster Bar by Soirée, 1512 E. 18th St.,

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Writer Pete Dulin is the author of Kansas City Beer: A History of Brewing in the Heartland, KC Ale Trail, and Expedition of Thirst: Exploring Breweries, Wineries and Distilleries Across Central Kansas and Missouri.

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