What: Rye in McKinney
Where: 111 W. Virginia St, McKinney, TX 75069
When you go to your favorite restaurant, do you order the same thing every time? You’ve probably thought about trying something new, but why take a chance?
At Rye in McKinney, you won’t have this dilemma, because “the menu is subject to change” and with that, your selections will have to, as well.
I know. Those aren’t usually welcome words to foodies who like their faves, but trust us — this eclectic, rotating menu caters to the indecisive in the best of ways, making it some of the best McKinney restaurants. It’s a food sampling adventure and once you’ve tried it, you may never order the same thing again.
Rye in McKinney is a seasonal, small plates restaurant that offers guests the opportunity to switch between flavor profiles and styles of dishes. Served in courses, each item is designed to be shared. Unlike most restaurants where you can pay $30 for one entrée, at Rye your party can enjoy a series of plates and therefore be exposed to different ingredients and different flavors in one sitting.
The creative concept belongs to owners Tanner Agar, Nic Cain, and Head Chef Taylor Rause. They chose downtown McKinney to open Rye because the town’s approachable vibe matches their approachable cuisine and introduction to the uncommon.
They share on their website, “We want to blend forgotten old school hospitality with new dishes and pairings that look toward the future. We wanted to build a restaurant that evolved with us, and with our guests. Rye is a little different, but we like it that way.”
Here, you’ll find things that might not have a place on a traditional menu, but therein lies the adventure of the sampling experience. Working with local purveyors helps Rye create value in their menu, and also ensures they’re serving their guests the best of what the season offers. As seasons change, so will the menu at Rye in McKinney.
The menu includes dinner, desserts, and beverages. The dining room is on the small side, but we like to think the intimate space is in keeping with their small plates concept. Besides, they’ve sorted that out. Reservations are highly encouraged, and they have a section of tables set aside for walk-ins.
Rye partners with local farmers to source the best products for the menu. There may be a few things you’ve never tried before (or never even heard of), but don’t let that stop you.
They recommend ordering 3-5 plates for a party of two, but people order as many as 6 dishes plus dessert. For parties of 8 or more, there’s a Chef’s Tasting Menu.
It’s evident that Chef Taylor Rause and his kitchen staff are having a great time getting creative. Rye’s combination of textures and spices will keep you on your toes. Many of the dishes are named with puns and nods to pop culture, but the elegant plating of your food is anything but cutesy. It’s eloquent and artistic.
If you’re almost ready to give Rye a try, a glimpse at their menu might seal the deal. Here are a handful of the items currently on Rye’s menu (remember…it’s subject to change):
- Three French Hens ($13): Brined and fried miatake, frizée, rice noodle basket, caramelized fennel, basil, ponzu hollandaise.
- Everybody Loves Relleno ($16): Anaheim pepper, vegan chorizo, butternut squash, pepitas, vegan queso, herb salad, piri piri.
- Release the Quack-en ($24): Citrus brined duck, charred leeks, strawberry boshi, pomegranate vinaigrette, pistachio.
- Fowl Play ($12): Okonomiyaki waffle, peruvian marinaded chicken thigh, yakitori char, aji verde, okonomiyaki sauce, green daikon, paprika, pork belly.
- One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish ($21): Blackened tx red fish, polenta cake, cajun sofrito, chipotle, pineapple-corn relish, scallion.
Those 21 and up should also explore Rye’s specialty cocktail menu. Clearly the team behind the bar is having as much fun as those in the kitchen with drinks named things like Baby, It’s Gold Outside, Welcome to the Jungle, and Blurred Limes.
The owners of Rye have enjoyed their McKinney concept so much, they decided to bring their unique talents to Dallas. On July 7, 2021, they opened their sister bar, Apothecary, on Greenville Avenue. The avant-garde, dimly-lit cocktail lounge uses techniques and tools like centrifuges, liquid nitrogen, sous vide, and pyrolysis – things that are sure to take you out of your cocktail comfort zone.
You’ll find cocktails that numb your tongue, have an octopus tentacle, or were made from pasta sauce. If you bring a friend who isn’t adventurous, they also carry wine, beer, and classic cocktails.
The small, intimate cocktail lounge is worth the drive south. While they offer a Rye-esque food menu featuring sophisticated small plates, the emphasis is definitely on the cocktails, which fall into three categories: Over-the-Counter, Prescription, and llicit Elixirs.
Another decision to make… McKinney, or Dallas? Maybe you should just try both.
111 W. Virginia St, McKinney, TX 75069