A new restaurant is taking over the former First Mile Cantine space at 320 S. Market St. on the ground floor of Fidelity Bank’s RISE Car Park. Lotte is a restaurant that’s been long overdue for Chef Josh Rathbun, who has been the head chef at many local establishments and will now be stepping out on his own.
Lotte will be opening to the public on Tuesday, Oct. 24 and is now taking reservations online for seating throughout the week.
320 S. Market St., Wichita, KS 67202
Tuesday – Thursday: Opens at 5 p.m.
Friday – Saturday: Opens at 3 p.m.
Closed on Sunday and Monday
For complete transparency, the night we stopped by was a private soft opening frequented by media, local bloggers, and friends/family of the restaurant. This was an evening where the meals were comped for attendees, so that must be shared with all of you. I did pay for drinks and tip. And because of the free meals, I’m leaving opinions regarding the food out of this, as to avoid bias (sub-conscious or not) of any sort.
Instead, here’s a visual of what to expect in terms of my dinner:
Appetizers at Lotte
Course Two at Lotte
Main Entrées at Lotte
Desserts at Lotte
Cocktails at Lotte
Many of the dishes had the farm-to-table feel, and that was probably what Rathbun was going with given his previous stops at such places like Elderslie Farm and Public at the Brickyard.
When making reservations at Lotte, patrons were given the option of standard table seating or chef’s table. The Chef’s Table was a fun way to go as you sat up close to where the food was prepared. It’s like sitting right at the table where sushi is made at a Japanese restaurant. The dishes featured many entrées with a local touch.
To start, Lotte will only be open for dinner service, with reservations highly encouraged online. I have a feeling this place will be busy to start, but that’s why reservations are encouraged.
Service-wise, this was one of the better soft opening events I’ve attended in recent memory. Of course, at these types of events with media, bloggers, and family/friends around, service will always be a huge focal point, but I’ve seen some soft openings go terrible. There wasn’t a bad moment during the evening, which is a plus so they are better prepared for what’s to come.
The feedback I’ve seen on Lotte has been very positive, but as noted, it’s mostly from soft opening attendees where the meals were comped. So, these are all things to consider. But one thing I always stress is everyone should visit a restaurant themselves to form an opinion. And when Lotte opens on Tuesday, there’s no reason I can think of NOT to give them a try.
Trust me, I’ll be back soon to give a full review, try some dishes I wasn’t able to try, and give a better perspective from a paying customer. Stay tuned.
Here’s the menu:
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