The Bucket List Restaurant in Your State



Prairie Village 
This suburban Kansas City restaurant has been quietly turning heads with its contemporary American cuisine and upscale atmosphere, earning honors from Wine Spectator and The Diner's Club, among others. Diners can stick to à la carte fare or opt for a six-course tasting menu. Either way, reviewers say you can't miss the smoked duck empanadas, served with black beans, avocado, jicama, and barbecue sauce.

Reviewer rave: "The service was impeccable. The food, oh so delicious. The restaurant was quiet even though full of people, but it wasn't stuffy at all. It was so nice to have a conversation between the three of us where we didn't have to raise our voices to be heard. I had the green salad, Mahi Mahi, and a perfect lemon dessert. Oh, and did I tell you about the bread? Baked in house — it had soul. Altogether, a perfect meal!" — Roxy236 on TripAdvisor

See the full article here.

Story Named to The World's Best Wine Lists and Receives Two Star Award from World of Fine WIne

It is said that a dish tells a story, from the growing and sourcing of ingredients, the way they are prepared and paired, and, of course, the final eating experience itself. Whether eating a delicate scallop revives memories of childhood beach escapades, or to conclude a chapter by drinking a mature vintage, there is part of a story in each bite and sip. This is the idea behind the restaurant Story, where head chef and owner Carl Thorne-Thomsen spends time carefully selecting and pairing the freshest and most interesting ingredients to create a menu and dining experience with character and history.

The story continues to develop whilst browsing the wine list, taking the reader around the world, with particular lengthy chapters in California, France, and Italy. With over 500 labels now stocked, the breadth and depth of the wine program is commendable. What stands out, though, is its domestic selection, which celebrates the best of Napa Valley, Washington, and Oregon. View the feature here.


Story Named Best Restaurant in Kansas -

The Best Restaurant in Every US State -


Since opening in 2011 this restaurant in the Prairie Village Shopping Center has racked up the awards, including James Beard semi-finalist for Best Chef in the Midwest and Food & Wine magazine’s best new chef for 2014. Dining here it’s not hard to see why it’s proved so popular with a menu full of beautifully-presented eclectic dishes with French and Italian influences.  

View all winners here:

To Market, To Market Chef Carl Thorne-Thomsen of Story in the Prairie Village Shops shares his regular farmer's markets stops - Kansas City Spaces Magazine

By contributing writer Leigh Elmore

It’s May and chefs all over the Kansas City area are chomping at the bit for the newest and freshest produce showing up at the farmers markets dotted around town. Chef/owner Carl Thorne-Thomsen of Story in the Prairie Village Shops is leading the charge.

“This is the best time of year in my opinion. Everybody’s excited,” Thorne-Thomsen says of his peers in the local culinary community. “We’re finally through with winter.”

Chef Thorne-Thomsen takes a hands-on approach to supplying his kitchen with the freshest available selections.

Continue reading here:



TripAdvisor company picks locals for its 'Best Restaurant Worth Traveling For' list - Kansas City Business Journal


According to FlipKey, the restaurants "deserve to be a stop on your next vacation" because of their "impeccable service, adventurous menus, a prime location, a distinct atmosphere or some combination of all of those items."

Q39, which has been working on expansion plans, racked up the honor in Missouri.

In April 2014, Rob and Kelly Magee opened their first restaurant at 1000 W. 39th St. in Kansas City. Since then, they've been drawing critical praise, including scoring a spot on Zagat's list of the 15 "hottest BBQ joints" in the United States

On the other side of state line, Story in Prairie Village continues to build on its narrative with the new honor.

The Kansas winner was opened in May 2011 by Carl and Susan Thorne-Thomsen. The upscale neighborhood restaurant at 3931 W. 69th Terrace has developed a reputation for serving up contemporary American cuisine and winning awards.

Story, which has won Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence for the past few years, moved up to the next level of recognition with a "Best of Award of Excellence" in 2015. Previously, the restaurant was named to OpenTable's list of top 100 American fare restaurants.

Carl Thorne-Thomsen, the restaurant's chef, won Food & Wine Magazine's "People's Best New Chef" in 2014 and was a 2013 James Beard semifinalist nominee for Best Chef Midwest.


50 States Series: Restaurants Worth Traveling For (2015 Edition) - FlipKey by TripAdvisor

In early 2014 we launched our 50 States Series on the FlipKey blog. Throughout the months we’ve touched on a number of subjects – awarding businesses, museums, activities and more with a spot on our lists. We spent time highlighting their attributes, accomplishments, and why they deserve to be a stop on your next vacation.

We’re starting back at our roots with this post – as we name another 50 restaurants from around the USA to this prestigious list. ‘A restaurant worth traveling for’ is an eatery with either impeccable service, adventurous menus, a prime location, a distinct atmosphere or some combination of all of those items. From a beachside food truck to a dining room draped in white linen and crystal, all types of restaurants were eligible to be on our list. We highly encourage you to find time on your next vacation (or even in your local area) to plan a pilgrimage to any of these award-winners. Without further ado, here are the 50 restaurants we’ve chosen for this year’s list:

See the list:






Story is one of the winners of The Culture Trip's Kansas's Local Favorite 2015 Award -

Although only recently established in 2011, Story has already been named one of the top 50 restaurants in the USA and Canada by The Diner’s Club. Its overwhelming popularity stems from its stunning location featuring a monochrome theme and beautiful contemporary design, and from its innovative menu designed by award-winning chef and owner Carl Thorne-Thomsen. Thorne-Thomsen came up with the name Story as a way to signify both the story behind how ingredients and dishes come together, and the personal story of each dining experience. In this way, despite its sleek, modern décor, Story brings dining back to its old-fashioned roots of truly experiencing and savouring each bite and moment.

Story, Prairie Village Shopping Center, 3931 W 69th Terrace, Prairie Village, KS, USA, +1 913-236-9955

By Anahit Behrooz

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Story Achieves Next Level Award from Wine Spectator - Feast Magazine

Chef Carl Thorne-Thomsen, and his wife, Susan, popped a few corks last month.

The pair celebrated the news that his restaurant, Story, had achieved a “Best of Award of Excellence” for its wine list from the Wine Spectator Restaurant Awards Program for 2015.

“It was always a goal we had for this place – we wanted to have a top-notch wine program, both by the glass and bottle,” Thorne-Thomsen says.

This is a new step up in the rankings for Story’s wine list, which had been previously recognized with the “Award of Excellence” for the past few years from Wine Spectator.

Wine Spectator praises Story’s list for the breadth and depth of the restaurant's California labels, and for its moderately priced list, with bottles ranging from $40 to $200 and above.

Wine Spectator accepts wine lists from restaurants from around the country each year. The magazine then reviews and makes a professional determination on which restaurants deserve to be ranked on its list, and at what level of the three-tiered system each restaurant should be placed.

The Wine Spectator Restaurant Awards Program has been honoring the world’s best wine programs since 1981. Grand Award winners generally offer 1,000 or more selections, with superior breadth and depth in many of the world’s classic wine-producing regions. These restaurants and bars have also passed a rigorous inspection that evaluates the overall quality of their wine program, cellars, service, ambiance and cuisine.

Story was also recently included in the World of Fine Wine's world's best wine lists, which speaks to the amount of time and importance the chef places on tending his wine list.

“Don’t ask me to show you my wine cellar, because we don’t have one at Story,” Thorne-Thomsen says. He explains that he is looking for someone who can build a large cellar that can be kept temperature-perfect for his growing wine list, but has yet to find the right person for the job.

Right now, he says his wine inventory is being kept in smaller wine fridges scattered around his restaurant, and in a temperature-perfect storage closet near the restrooms. It's a short-term solution while he hunts for a long-term fix.

The chef also marvels at how much his wine list has evolved since he opened Story four years ago in Prairie Village, Kansas.

“When we opened the restaurant, we had less than 100 labels on our list, and there were only two to three wine distributors in Kansas we were able to order through," Thorne-Thomsen says. "Now, we have access to six to eight wine distributors in Kansas, which makes it a lot easier to get the quality labels we want on our wine list."

Now, with over 500 labels and 1,200 actual bottles on hand at the restaurant, Thorne-Thomsen believes his list was more highly recognized this year because of his increased access to more bottles with more Kansas distributors on the scene and because of that, he has been able to add more depth and vintages of the same wine to his list.

He has also been adding some nicer wines to his by-the-glass program, charging between $16 and $22 a glass in some cases.

“With this high-end by-the-glass strategy, I am able allow my customers the chance to taste an incredible wine by the glass, without having to shell out the money to pay for an entire bottle,” he says. “My customers see the value in that, and they seem happy to pay for quality food and drink at my restaurant.”

This year, 3,618 restaurants from all 50 states and more than 75 other countries earned an award from Wine Spectator for their outstanding wine programs. Of these, 2,563 earned the Award of Excellence, which recognizes a wine list of about 90 or more quality wine selections that thematically matches a restaurant’s cuisine. Another 973 earned the Best of Award of Excellence for offering a wine list of typically 350 or more selections with significant vintage depth or superior breadth in one or more major wine regions.

The complete list of award winners is featured in the Aug. 31 issue of Wine Spectatormagazine.