Located on Lake Lotowana, adjacent to the dam and boat launch, Marina Grog & Galley can be something of a hidden treasure for diners in most of the KC metro but it's well- known to lake dwellers as well as seasonal boaters and visitors who rave about if’s Hawaiian inspired cuisine. Likewise, Executive Chef Lance McFarland is also a hidden treasure. While only named to the top job within the last several months he has been helping to create Marina’s culinary magic for the last 11 years.
He started honing his cooking chops while working his way through college and earning a business degree when he discovered that the daily demands of a busy kitchen and the challenge of producing meals that would keep the guests coming back was a better fit for him than his planned career. He appreciates the business side but finds his energy in building relationships both in the kitchen, with his culinary team, and in the front of the house, learning what pleases the guests. Like many other chefs of unique, locally owned and operated restaurants Chef Lance revels in the challenge of “making the most out of today… since when it comes to guest satisfaction what you did yesterday doesn’t count.”
This young man, soft spoken and modest, clearly does not like to toot his own horn – so he is swift to acknowledge the tutelage and mentoring received from Marina’s previous culinary leaders: Amy Presson, Amanda Accurso, and Brandon Sharp. They were not only his teachers but the chefs who crafted the very popular signature items on the menu that features prime dry-aged steaks and a bounty of Hawaiian seafood flown in fresh twice a week. These staples are paired with local seasonal produce and supplemented with Chef’s specials. One special, the Luau Lobster, is one of Chef Lance’s favorite items, especially plating this crowd pleaser in its grilled pineapple boat. In the challenge of skillfully and artistically presenting a complicated dish even during dinner rush there can be Zen-like calm.
Marina Grog & Galley is open year round for dinner only but Summer is their busiest season when the lake is hopping with tourists as well as locals. Chef Lance takes advantage of slower seasons to indulge his outdoor interests as an avid hunter and fisherman. They also allows him to spend time with his family in Blue Springs,
Owner Jack Schwindler dropped by as we were wrapping up our chat and getting into what's new and exciting at Marina. He was clearly excited to have Chef Lance at the helm of his restaurant and eager to tell us about the new Crab Boil Special that will be offered every Monday night starting June 13th. He reminded us about the big 4th of July buffet [ a steal at $49.95 per person] and the need to make reservations in advance for this "popular" annual tradition. But even if you can't make it for one of these experiences. Marina has plenty to offer for any diner. "It's KC's only restaurant located right on the water, where guests arrive by boat or by car" and when you combine that with "the high quality menu - it just can't be beat" says Jack.
Whether you are sitting at one of the many outdoor tables overlooking the lake or at a great table inside in one of the comfy dining rooms or bar, the ambiance and atmosphere of Marina Grog and Galley is sure to grab you. That is one the things that Chef Lance also wants potential guest to know. "The lake atmosphere is so relaxing and we have a staff dedicated to making the guest experience totally enjoyable." Make your first or a return visit to Marina Grog & Galley soon to meet Chef Lance . It's definitely worth the trip!