Review of The Brass Onion

The Brass Onion gives comfort food an upscale makeover.
The Brass Onion Kansas City Restaurant

I’ll admit: Before I even walked into The Brass Onion, I was excited to check it out. I jump at comfort food, especially Southern comfort food. I daydream about sauces, spices and seafood. So I was hopeful about the idea of an original, upscale, Southern restaurant at Prairiefire in Overland Park

The menu did not disappoint. It is full of low country favorites, such as gumbo, shrimp and grits, and fried chicken. You’ll also find a 14-ounce ribeye, slow-roasted prime rib and seared jumbo scallops.

A standout to me was the NOLA BBQ shrimp with sweet and spicy creole butter. Of everything I tasted at The Brass Onion, this was the one I just couldn’t stop eating and was sad to see finished. Normally, the dish is served with about a dozen shrimp sitting in the creole butter, accompanied by toasted bread. My dining companion asked that the creole butter be served on the side, which the restaurant accommodated. The shrimp was perfectly seasoned and really tasty on its own. With our request, the creole butter came out in a small bowl next to the shrimp. The contents of that bowl were so good that, if I had been dining solo, I might have shamelessly eaten it with a spoon. I wanted it in a bottle. (I settled for taking the rest of it home and using it on pasta, rice, steak… someone stop me before I try it in dessert).

Mawmaw’s Meatballs are an oddball on the menu, but I’m Italian, and meatballs are close to my heart, so I went for it. A combination of beef and pork topped with chunky tomato sauce and melted mozzarella cheese, the meatballs were served with a single piece of toasted bread. They looked like they should be flavorful, but they were bland, and the cheese didn’t add anything. The brightness and acidity of the basil and tomato sauce helped, but I was happier just dipping the bread in the sauce. In the end, you’ve got better options, such as the Brass Onion’s gumbo. Hearty and rich with just enough kick, it came with a square of honey cornbread that was super moist.

You’ll also want to try the deviled eggs. They’re a triple highlight on the menu, with three flavors: creole Dijon, roasted poblano and candied bacon. Eat ’em all.

I tend to order items in restaurants I wouldn’t make at home, and a 16-ounce pork chop qualifies. The double-cut Iowa pork chop was charred, glazed and served with roasted mushrooms and mashed potatoes with skins in the mash. A smoked gouda mornay covered half of the pork chop. The meat was cooked to a perfect medium, and when I cut it, juice trickled out onto the plate. This dish is a great standout.

If you have a sweet tooth, The Brass Onion has crowd-pleasers such as chocolate lava cake, white chocolate bread pudding and key lime pie. If super-sweet desserts are your thing, order the carrot cake.

I walked into The Brass Onion excited for the comfort food I love in a place I wouldn’t always expect to find it. I’ll be back to check out the patio in the spring — and with a gallon jug for that creole butter.