My favorite restaurant is 30 minutes north of Kansas City, in tiny Smithville (appx 8,000 people). The food is exquisite, the bar makes all their own infusions, the chef is so nice. They have a more accessible “patio” menu which I think is probably how they draw in locals. I don’t think it would work as well if you transplanted it downtown, though. It has that small town vibe while still feeling upscale. Though it’s funny to think about because I know for a lot of people in the food scene, Kansas City is a small town. So, perspective.
I personally have no yen for the rural life. Sometimes my town of 100k is too small for me.