The French Laundry alum Andrew Longres is scheduled to open his first restaurant this month. The new Acre in Parkville, Mo., is designed to reflect his childhood growing up nearby, riding horses, hunting, fishing, cooking over a campfire and eating fresh, local produce.
“I also learned about conservation, and about using 100% of what we harvested,” Longres said.
After culinary school and staging in Europe, Longres spent five years working in the kitchen at The French Laundry in Yountville, Calif., before returning to Kansas City, where he served as executive chef at The American restaurant as it transitioned to an event space, and at the now-shuttered, fine-dining restaurant Bluestem.
Acre’s footprint includes a 3,500-square-foot, 85-seat restaurant, and a 37-seat patio with pergola. Ingredients from local farms, streams, and hunts will take center stage. Customers won’t find salt-water seafood here. But the restaurant’s live-fire, Argentine brasero-style hearth will create house-aged steaks, pickled chicken, and more — and likely consume a cord of wood per week. Longres uses a combination of Missouri oak, walnut, and hickory wood.
Initial appetizers range in price from $6 for housemade Parker House rolls with sorghum-smoked chili butter, to $17 for American bison tartare with pickled cabbage, capers, spicy mustard, and caraway lavash. A $16 pasta dish features housemade ricotta cappelletti, braised rabbit, parmesan mousseline, parsley crumbs and nasturtiums.
In addition, opening entrees include an eight-ounce dry-aged black angus burger with aged cheddar, red onion marmalade, spicy aioli, housemade bun, and garlic fries for $18; or Idaho trout with charred broccoli, zucchini, puffed wild rice, toasted almond brown butter, and squash puree for $38.
Acre’s dry-aged meat program yields three menu choices. There’s a 12-ounce, 35-day Kansas City strip for $65, plus a 45-day dry-aged 16-ounce ribeye for $70, and a 21-day bone-in ribeye for two, priced at $120.
Guests can also customize their steaks with $3 sauces that include smoked horseradish crème fraîche, hay bearnaise or rustic chimichurri, while $10 sides range from parmesan garlic french fries to charred broccoli, garlic chili, lemon, and spicy breadcrumbs. Several salads and soups, plus three decadent desserts, cost $10-11.
“I want Acre to be upscale casual, putting my knowledge of fine dining into a casual setting,” Longres said. “I’ve worked in small and large restaurants, and I wanted to own something medium-sized.”
Open on Tuesday through Saturday evenings, Acre will offer, “exquisite execution in the kitchen,” Longres said. “Our biggest focus is Midwestern hospitality — warm, gracious, and always willing to accommodate anything that is possible, with an emphasis on remembering people and what they order.”
When Longres decided to open Acre, he chose Parkville because, “It’s where I live, and I love this neighborhood. It’s vibrant and fun, with a lot of competition from other restaurants. I want Acre to be a focal point in this community.”