Food & Drink International - Winter 2017, Volume 2 - 103
Inspired by the migratory patterns and flight paths of indigenous Monarch butterflies from around the globe, cocktails at <<
The Monarch echo the regional flight paths from which the spirits, modifiers and ingredients of each drink derive.
crosses so many countries that we
have free reign to combine just about
any ingredient we want - including
cupcakes on cocktails!" Chef Ota enthuses. "We are also blessed to have
an extremely knowledgeable staff that
helps us push the envelope and find
new connections that cross cultures
and other boundaries."
To keep making those connections
and experiment with global influences, Chef Ota explained that menus at
The Monarch rotate (in a variety of
ways) on a seasonal basis. "Even the
cocktails and food that are not 'changing' must be at the very least sourced
differently from season to season,"
she explains. "Most of the favorites
are getting seasonal adjustments. The
lobster summer roll filling will go from
watermelon and cucumber to Asian
pear and pickled butternut squash (for
fall), and Brock is currently working
on a persimmon cocktail."
first of its kind brought to Kansas City.
"For food and cocktail pairings, you
can't ever go wrong with a Negroni -
we offer six variations - and the Negroni-cured lox. Our favorite Negroni
to pair with the lox is the Vecchio Amico," notes Chef Ota. "It means 'old pal'
in Italian, and it is a riff on an Old Pal
cocktail, which is itself a play on a Negroni. It's made with Rittenhouse Rye,
Braulio, Montenarro Barolo Chinato
and Yzaquirre Blanco."
These cocktails also come complete
with signature ice cubes that feature
a stamp of the bar's logo. One of Chef
Ota's other favorite food and drink
combinations, and certainly one of the
most unique pairings she has helped
create, is luxurious in both ingredients
and flavor. "For food and wine pairings,
we all love the Vintage Veuve Clicquot
2008 and Osetra Caviar with Smoked
Brioche, Truffled Egg Salad and Elderflower Crème Fraîche," she says.
Paired to Perfection
As far as some of Chef Ota's favorite
pairings, she turns to The Monarch's
signature drink specialty, the Negroni,
which is created (along with other
stirred classics) tableside for guests by
the bartending team via a custom bar
cart. Inspired by the West London-style
of bespoke drinks, this service is the
In addition to the cocktails and the
food, the space of The Monarch Bar is
beautifully innovative as well. Designed
by world-renowned architect David
Manica of Manica Architecture (the
Lead Design Architect for Chase Center, the new home of the NBA Golden
State Warriors in San Francisco as well
as the new NFL stadium for the Raiders
in Las Vegas), the idea for The Monarch Bar was based on Manica's global
travels and his love of cocktails.
Manica decided to bring all the inspiration he found home to Kansas
City and open his own cocktail lounge
with some unique twists. The venue
includes the chic, al fresco Monarch
Terrace with outdoor seating for up to
60. The Main Bar features a center bar,
approachable from all sides and sculpted from fine Italian stone, decorated
with 1000 sculpted monarch butterflies
taking flight from a one-of-a-kind art
installation overhead. It has room for
24 seats with two dedicated bartenders. With no back bar, there is nothing
to obstruct the perfect sight lines of
the room, which allows for eye contact
from all vantage points for all guests.
The bartenders work from an ingenious under-bar, engineered for high
performance and service with every
ingredient within reach. There are an
additional 50 seats on intimate banquettes that encircle the room with a
fireplace on one wall, flanked by two
lounge spaces. The Parlour Room lies
behind closed doors - it's an inner bar
open by invitation-only. Reservations
are required for this private experience, featuring the rarest spirits and
fine wines. Find additional details
about The Monarch Bar, as well as
current menus for both food and beverages at www.themonarchbar.com.
A born and bred New Yorker, Stef
Schwalb's love of everything culinary
knows no bounds. She has written about
food and beverages for several years,
covering everything from how to make
goat cheese to pairing oysters and Chablis.
Schwalb is the senior content manager at
Gregory White PR where she writes about
enticing food and wine experiences at
restaurants, bars & lounges, wineries and
wine regions across the globe.
food & drink international * winter 2017 volume 2 * www.fooddrink-magazine.com