Webster House’s second floor restaurant is not new. But its visibility has certainly increased since next-door neighbor, the Kauffman Performing Arts Center, opened in the fall of 2011. Originally open only for lunch and Happy Hour, the restaurant now also serves dinner Wednesday-Saturday, brunch on Sunday, and the occasional late night for performance-goers.
Chef Matt Arnold has the kitchen humming at all hours, and I’ve recently enjoyed some great brunches and lunches there. It’s such a beautiful restaurant, and really an ideal place to take out-of-towners. Each dining room is different: the red room is the most formal, if you’re in the kitchen you can watch your meal being made and, if you sit in the library, you can belly up to the bar. Webster House does a brisk private event business as well.
The brunch menu ranges from fried chicken and waffles or biscuits and gravy to smoked salmon hash and a granola parfait. I ordered migas; a mountain of scrambled eggs and black bean puree, layered between crisp corn tortillas and topped with homemade salsa and cilantro crema.
Chef Matt has spent time in the Southeast, so it’s not surprising to see some Southern specialities on the menu, including fried green tomatoes and shrimp and grits. The latter is served with Burgers Attic country ham, red eye vinaigrette, sautéed mushrooms, roasted red peppers and scallions, and, though rich, was easy to finish because of its manageable size.
If you love French toast, you’re hungry and you have a sweet tooth, you may find the Creme brulee French toast with Brioche, pears and spiced syrup to be calling your name. It was too sweet for me, but if that’s your thing you’ll be in heaven.
At lunch, there’s a fabulous almost- classic Reuben on the menu–thick slices of corned beef with just the right amount of cheese, slaw (not sauerkraut) and thousand island dressing– grilled to perfection. And the original Herbed Garden sandwich from the Crestwood Galleries has made a comeback.
If you’re lucky, Sarah will wait on you. Like all of the servers, she’s very capable and knowledgeable about the menu. But she’s also very cheerful and upbeat, and who wouldn’t want to be around someone like that?
A word to the wise–if you plan on dining at Webster House before or after a performance next door, reserve well in advance. On the nights the PAC is full, so is the restaurant.