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Gram & Dun offers a beautiful dining experience

The French Onion Buffalo Meatball appetizer from Gram & Dun not only looks great, but also has a lot going for it. The meat is highlighted by Gruyere cheese, brioche and an onion cognac jus.
Chelsea Mies

Gram & Dun, located at 600 Ward Pkwy., Kansas City, Mo. 64112, in the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City is a beautiful restaurant tucked into a beautiful neighborhood of shops, hotels and other restaurants. The best part about eating at Gram & Dun on summer evenings is that the big windows on the side of the building open up, allowing the nice summer-night air to flow into the restaurant.

The food and beverages might be just as gorgeous as the restaurant itself. Take, for instance, the Pork Porterhouse. The Pork Porterhouse comes with beets, which add bright purple to an otherwise cream colored dish. The beets also add a bit of sweetness to this otherwise savory dish. The pork and beets are placed on top of smokey, creamy grits.

The Blackened Shrimp and Grits is also beautifully plated. Four large, blackened shrimp sit atop a bed of cheesy grits, which have replaced potatoes as a starch in many dishes in a number of restaurants over the past few months. A bit of heat is added to the dish with a spicy jalapeno avocado gravy. All of this is topped off with micro-greens, which, although they look nice, add nothing to the dish.

Most impressive, however, is the French Onion Buffalo Meatball appetizer. Not only does the meatball come to the table looking fabulously intimidating, but it also tastes fabulous. The nearly fist-sized meatball comes with a layer of Gruyere cheese inside and it sits on top of a piece of brioche. The cognac jus pulls the whole dish together with a nice, but not overwhelming, onion flavor.

On a nice Wednesday evening in the middle of the summer, the wait just to be seated was nearly an hour. Waiting near the bar is a good way to pass the time, but watch out for the decorative herbs and zests in the drinks as they do not feel or taste pleasant and are plentiful in many of the drinks, including the The D Cup and The Smoking Dun, both signature drinks.

The restaurant offers a great food experience, but service can be spotty. Servers disappear for almost 30 minutes at a time and guests are left in the hands of whichever other server nears the table. Fortunately, the new manager was going above and beyond for the customers. She was stopping at tables almost constantly to make sure customers were happy.

Upcoming at Gram & Dun

The restaurant is also hosting the Tour de New Belgium Beer Dinner on Aug. 21. The five-course dinner starts at 7 p.m. and costs $65 a person. Reservations are required.

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