Mestizo is now open in Park Place

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Chef Aaron Sanchez is hoping KC embraces his latest restaurant.
  • Chef Aaron Sanchez is hoping KC embraces his latest restaurant.
If you build a foodie culture, the celebrity chefs will come. Mestizo (5270 W. 116th Place), the new concept from Food Network star Aaron Sanchez, opened Saturday at Park Place in Leawood. The restaurant, a collaboration between Sanchez and the Trifecta Management Group, is a modern take on traditional Mexican dishes.

The Kansas City Business Journal has a video of chef Sanchez talking about what diners can expect as the camera pans throughout the interior of the newly opened restaurant. The two-level space features a patio with an outdoor fire pit and sits alongside the outdoor ice rink. A tortilla-making station just inside the front door and a bar stocked with more than 40 different kinds of tequila are the focal points inside.

The starters include house-made chicharrones (pork rinds); a salad of jicama, cucumber and mango dressed in chile, lime and salt; and a pozole soup with braised pork and hominy. The menu is focused on botanas (small plates) like seafood paella fritters, plantanos rellenos (plantains with smoky black beans) and a tamale of the day. Mestizo also serves ceviche, tacos (skirt steak and braised tongue) and a few Sanchez family recipes like his mother Zarela's creamy rice.

Mestizo is open from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday. Reservations can be made by calling 913-752-9025.

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