Gastropub-noun; A public house that specializes in serving high-quality food.
Although this may be the simple definition of the term gastropub, it has taken on a connotation of a trendy restaurant that surely features drinks served in mason jars and unironically bearded servers that resemble lumberjacks. Not true at the Northland’s newest dining spot, the Crown Point Tavern. Instead, this new eatery that features a curated craft beer list keeps it simple–good food, executed well with friendly service.
The Crown Point Tavern eased into the groove with a soft opening in September, picking up speed as owners Titus and Nate Bond got the hang of running their own place. There’s a family vibe here–games like shuffle board are available and the Bond boys’ mother greeted us on one evening. The space, which was formerly Marcy’s Lounge, has been completely gutted and refinished, leaving the dingy feeling of Marcy’s in the dust and debuting a bright interior decorated with vintage signs, vibrantly colored walls and reclaimed wood. Crown Point is aiming to be something different by any means necessary, a point proven by the note on the menu instructing diners that have issues or concerns to contact the ownership, going so far as to provide Titus Bond’s personal cell phone number. Now that’s dedication.
Crown Point doesn’t call itself a beer bar but beer is definitely a focus here. They feature a tap list full of Kansas and Missouri beers, and I don’t just mean Boulevard. KC Bier Company, Tallgrass Brewing Company and Torn Label Brewing all grace the tap list, with a much more extensive bottle list available as well. Cocktails are featured too, but my eyes only saw the hops and malt.
On my first visit with friends, we tried a few of the appetizers. The menu states that they prepare as much of the menu as possible in-house with fresh, local ingredients. That was clear in our meal. We started with some fairly standard bar fare–fried mushrooms and pickles (each $6.50). Did they reinvent the wheel? No, but they turned out a great version of both. The breading was light and not too oil-sodden, accompanied by a horseradish sauce and a cucumber dill sauce, respectively. Both sauces were made in house.
For entrees, my California chicken sandwich ($11) was perfectly cooked, tender and juicy. The large breast filet was topped with ripe avocado, tomato, lettuce, Swiss cheese and bacon and served with house cut fries. A friend’s pork tenderloin ($10.50) was similarly appetizing. It was not the plate sized affair that so many tenderloins are but it was perfectly seasoned and tender.
The menu features appetizers, small plates, sandwiches, burgers, street tacos, and dinners. On a second visit, my husband found what may be my favorite dish–the pork belly Cubano ($11.50). This sandwich is hard to find on most Kansas City menus and when you do, it seldom resembles a real Cubano. But this is the real deal–braised pork belly is topped with smoked ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, hot sauce, mayo and mustard all pressed on a panini bun. The flavors of the marinated and braised pork belly mingle perfectly with the briny pickles and smokey ham. With a side of fresh cut fries, it was worth coming in for.
My dinner that evening was a bit on the heavier side–I chose the fried chicken and biscuits dinner ($15). If you’re craving fried chicken and you don’t fancy a wait at Stroud’s, then this is a very respectable substitute. Each dinner features a pan fried leg, thigh, and breast along with gouda mashed potatoes, an extremely buttery biscuit and a side of red beans and rice. If carbs are what you crave, this is the thing to order. The breading on the chicken was perfectly crisp and not greasy due to the fact that each order is fired fresh when placed. It may take 30 minutes but it’s worth it.
There are many other dishes I still need to try–chicken tinga street tacos anyone? And with reasonable prices and friendly service, I’m sure to be back to work my way through the entire menu.