By Kevin Collison
Chef Brian Mehl wants Peacock, his latest culinary creation, to resonate with the spirit of the original Plate restaurant he opened in Brookside in 2015, destroyed two years later by a fire.
“I like the vibe here,” Mehl said of his new place at 301 Westport Rd. “I like little restaurants like the first Plate and the intimate feel.
“I want to bring back the area, even after the hard times of Covid.”
Peacock, which seats 48 people, is scheduled to open on Nov. 23 in the space formerly occupied by Ragazza. Ragazza relocated to larger space at 4301 Main in 2019.
It’s a cozy corner along a stretch of Westport Road that is expected to become a busier pedestrian corridor when the new streetcar extension opens a stop three blocks east at 39th and Main in 2025.
In fact, Mehl believes his new place will complement another new restaurant that’s opened up at 39th and Main, Tailleur.
“I think we can feed off each other,” he said.
Mehl’s restaurant resume is extensive.
He came to Kansas City in the late 1990s from Wichita after previous restaurant experience in Denver. He graduated in 2000 from the Johnson County Community College culinary program while working at the Classic Cup.
Mehl left the Classic Cup in 2015 to open Plate. After the fire, he opened the Pressed Penny Tavern at 1511 Westport Rd. and then in 2018 he helped open the new Plate at 701 E. 63rd St.
In early 2020, Mehl decided to strike out on his own with what became Peacock, but the pandemic got in the way. Plans to open the restaurant were delayed and during that time, he continued to refine his menu.
The plan to open Peacock took flight again in August.
“It will have a show your colors theme,” Mehl said. “The menu will feature a diverse mix of ethnic cultures–Lebanese/Mediterranean, North African, French, Italian–a lot of different things.
“I’m making it exquisite, but I won’t be back there in the kitchen using tweezers. There will be bigger portions so people will be happy with their meal.”
Entrees include Tom Kha Gai, a dish that includes pulled smoked duck and enoki mushrooms in a coconut broth served on shiso linguine; chicory coffee-rubbed, slow-braised lamb shank, and za’atar seasoned pork chops.
“It’s an aggressive menu, but I think it can be pulled off. Food that’s more creative than what you can do at your house.”
Mehl also hopes to eventually host monthly, special dinners accompanied by guest chefs.
A Happy Hour also is planned from 4- to 6 p.m. that will feature small plates such as calamari, salmon and duck.
The Peacock hours will be Tuesday through Thursday, 4- to 10 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays, 4- to 11 p.m.
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