It is always tough to have to choose between two children that you love equally.
But that is exactly what Christian and Andrea Morrow Joseph, owners of Season + Square and Plate Restaurant in Brookside had to do this month, when they jointly decided to close their spice and culinary cookery shop, Season + Spice, to make room for a much-needed expansion of their neighborhood modern Italian restaurant, Plate.
“It was the right thing to do for the restaurant and my family,” says Andrea. “Season + Square will not go away, I have plans to evolve the brand into more culinary events and curated pop-up shopping opportunities, besides that shop helped me get to know everyone in this neighborhood, and I am so grateful for those friendships.”
Plate, opened a little over a year ago in the space next to Season + Square, and due to its convenient location, chic décor, delicious Italian plates and excellent service it was a hot spot from the start. OpenTable keeps them booked most weekends, and with about 50 seats in the original dining room, Plate became one of the hardest tickets in town to get without reservations.
The couple remodeled the basement underneath their restaurant last year, opening-up Taste, a space for private parties and wine tastings, but they still needed a way to add more intimate tables for two, which is something their dining room really needed.
“Because we are a small restaurant, and we didn’t want to turn people away, we added several large 6-top tables in the front windows, but we quickly realized that we had people coming in on a “date night,” and because of our large tables and communal booths, we had very few two top tables to offer that kind of intimate dining experience,” says Christian.
So, they decided to expand Plate into the Season + Square space next door, moving the tables for 6 into that new space, to make room for more tables for two in the front windows of both spaces.
They are expecting the space next door will add another 25 seats to the restaurant, including a new Chef’s Table dining experience, for a total of 60-75 seats across both spaces.
They plan to keep the dramatic smoked glass chandelier that was the focal point for Season + Square and add a round dining table underneath it that will seat 4-6 people for a separate multi-coursed, prix fixe Chef’s Table dining experience. They will offer two options, a 3-course dinner for $70 per person and an additional $40 for wine pairings or a 5-course menu for $85 per person and $50 for the additional wine pairings.
“We are still playing around with this Chef’s Table menu, trying to decide if we just want to offer a single menu for the table or if we want to give our customers a chance to pick and choose what they want, but whatever we decide, this table will have a completely unique and different menu and experience than the rest of the dining room,” he told Feast.
Executive Chef Brian Mehl is working out the details of the Chef’s Table menu now, while construction is underway next door. Now with an upstairs and downstairs kitchen available to him and his team, he will be ready when the new space is ready.
“We are nimble enough that we can change the menu about every three months, and we still source from local farmers changing our menu with the season,” says Christian. “We recently added 4 new pastas, that are doing quite well for us, but we also strive to offer a diverse menu with something for everyone, including those with special diets or needs.”
Construction on the new space is expected to be finished on March 7, and it will feature a new doorway between the two spaces, a new lighted accent wall, new server station, the Chef’s table and more two-top tables when it does.
Plate remains open during the construction and will be hosting an official week-long Grand Opening/Anniversary Party in the restaurant April 5-7, offering nightly specials and wine tastings.
Plate is open Tuesday-Saturday 5 pm – 10 pm with happy hour from 4 pm – 6:30 pm nightly.
Plate, 6201 Oak St, Kansas City, Missouri, 816.333.5551, www.platekc.com