ABOUT US

Located in The Inn at Meadowbrook, in the heart of Prairie Village’s 80-acre Meadowbrook Park.

The merging of the East Coast and Midwest are at the heart of what makes Verbena unique.

Whether you’re in the mood for intimate upscale dining or simply a drink and bite at the bar, Verbena offers an unforgettable experience. Join us for seasonally inspired cuisine, an extensive wine list, craft cocktails, and exceptional service.

We also invite you to stop by our sister restaurant, The Market at Meadowbrook, located right next door. Open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the Market also features a wide selection of grab-and-go meals, freshly baked pastries and bread, sweet treats, wine, beer, cocktails, and more.

OUR TEAM

ZACH CLASTER, General Manager

Born and raised in Kansas City, Zach developed his passion for food and hospitality by growing up in a large family and helping his mother and grandmother cook for family get-togethers, as well as working as a cook in high school and a bartender in college. 

Since graduating with a business management degree, Zach has gained more than 15 years experience in restaurant management, including working at Hereford House, Pierpont’s, Blind Box BBQ, and Bristol. 

When he is not busy at the restaurant, Zach enjoys spending time with his three boys,  sports, cooking and being active outside.

AARON WELLS-MORGAN, Executive Chef 

Aaron, a Columbia, Missouri native, graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts. After graduating, Aaron worked in New York City for chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten at his flagship restaurant, Jean-Georges, as well as touring through Picholine with Chef Terrance Brennan and Le Bernardin with chef Eric Ripert. 

Having always had an affinity for Kansas City, Aaron returned to the midwest as a corporate sous chef for the PB&J restaurant group. After a brief stint with Café Provence in Prairie Village, Kansas, Aaron moved to Yountville, California as chef de partie of Bouchon Bistro for chef Thomas Keller.  While there, Aaron also served as tournant at The French Laundry.   

In 2012, Aaron moved back to Columbia, Missouri to be closer to family and became the executive chef of Les Bourgeois Bistro and Winery. In 2014, Aaron took a position as corporate executive chef for Grand Street Dining, running two restaurant properties and opening two of the McLain’s Bakeries. In April 2021, Aaron became executive chef of Verbena and The Market at Meadowbrook.

JONATHAN CRABTREE, Sommelier

 Jon started working at the age of fourteen, as a dishwasher and a busboy for his family’s restaurant, Mrs. Peters in Kansas City, Kansas.

When his family decided to sell the place more than 20 years ago, the hospitality bug seems to have never left him. Beverage quickly became a big focus, and has led Jon to work in many popular restaurants in the Kansas City and Lawrence areas, creating cocktail and martini menus, and successful wine lists.

In his role of Sommelier at Verbena, Jon guides guests to thoughtful wine pairings, hosts wine and cocktail classes, as well as wine tastings and dinners, and strives to curate one of the best wine programs in Kansas City and the Midwest.

MIKE DeSTEFANO, Chef de Cuisine

Mike, a Kansas City native, graduated from Johnson and Wales University in 2008 with a culinary degree and the University of Missouri in 2010 with a Bachelors in Hospitality Management. Between schools, Mike worked in Washington, DC, for Chef Todd Gray at his restaurant Equinox. While attending MU, he worked for Chef Aaron at Le Bourgeois Winery. Upon graduating from Mizzou, he moved to Chicago and worked under Chef Andrew Brochu at Kith & Kin, Graham Elliot, and El Ideas.

In 2014, Mike joined The Alinea Group to build Roister with Chef Brochu and Chef Achatz. Mike worked at The Aviary until Roister opened in April 2016. He served as Roister’s Chef de Cuisine until 2019.

NIKKI VAVRA, Pastry Chef

Nikki Vavra, a Kansas City native, discovered her love for baking at an early age growing up in the kitchen with her mom. Her passion for pastry is driven by its combination of art and science.

In 2011, she completed the two-year Culinary Arts program at Broadmoor Technical Center, specializing in Baking and Pastry. After graduation, she often managed to secure positions opening new restaurants, including Coopers Hawk, Affäre, Stock Hill, and Plate Restaurant.

When she’s not in the kitchen, she enjoys reading, photography and spending time outdoors.

OUR PARTNERS

We are proud to partner with local farmers, butchers, and fine food purveyors to bring you food prepared with only the freshest, best ingredients.

Woodland City Farm

Salt Creek Meats

2 Birds Farm

City Bitty Barm

Treehouse Urban Farm

Overland Park Farmer’s Market

Brookside Farmer’s Market

Ibis Bakery

Interested in joining our team? 

We are always looking for talented, hard-working people to join our team at Verbena. Apply Now >