Last night we ate at the Northland's newest restaurant The Cafe at Briarcliff Village. Dan and I had such high hopes for this place, maybe they were too high. First of all, it comes to us from the Stone Canyon Pizza people. Stone Canyon serves up some of the best pizza in KC and is worth a drive to Parkville. Secondly, the head chef used to be with the Stolen Grill. Stolen Grill was our favorite restaurant before the owner actually stole the money and ran. Hands down, it was one of the best places we have ever eaten at. So all that said, our expectations may have been a little too high.
The Cafe is at 4125 N. Mulberry in The Briarcliff Village. The restaurant serves breakfast , lunch, dinner and a brunch. The cafe is very nice and has a full service restaurant and little takeout cafe. The bar is small, but they offer a good selection of wines and beers. Our server, Bryan, was very knowledgeable and good.
We started out with the Baked Brie ($9). It is served in Brioche bread over fresh spinach, with a Cognac jelly and roasted garlic. It was very good, but the garlic was hard as a rock and not spreadable. Dan had the small Ceasar Modena salad ($6) and I had the small Greens Salad ($6). They were both very good and good sized salads. Dan ordered the Salmon Grill ($18) that comes with Chanterelle mushrooms and risotto. The salmon was very good, moist but fully cooked and the Chanterelles were good and meaty. The risotto was awful, undercooked, pasty and flavorless. Dan told this to our server and the manager came over to ask about it. He asked Dan if he just did not like risotto, Dan said he loved risotto but this was bad. He said he would tell the chef. The server did offer to bring a different side, but Dan declined. I had the Fire Roasted Pork Chop ($15) with Lady Apples, potato du jour and vegetables. I do not know what Lady apples are, but I just realized there were none on my plate! The chop was okay, I did not taste a fire- roasted flavor, but the sauce was good. The potatoes were good, a couple of croquettes I believe. The veggies were green beans and carrots.
I still think this place has potential and will try it again, but you expect an $80 meal to be much better than this. This could have been a bad night for them. They have been open for ten days, so the food should be coming out perfectly in my opinion. One other thing that bugged me on the menu was that the Salad Nicoise and the Cassoulet had the pronunciations in parenthesis.It may just be me, but I thought that was odd. I guess if all else fails, they can serve pizza.