106 W. Main Street
Smithville , MO 64089
Justus Drugstore in Smithville, MO offers patrons an opportunity to have the meal of their life and is Kansas City’s best modern restaurant for fine dining.
I enjoy farm to table cuisine as a personal favorite way to eat fresh, locally produced plates in trendy casual spaces. Until I ate at Justus I never anticipated fine dinning could merge seamlessly with farm to table. I had considered farm to table and fine dining to be opposing concepts. Like many of you, I have had traditional fine dining many times including memorable American classics like bananas foster, oyster Rockefeller and rack of lamb. But the fine dining experience was often stuffy, foreign and formal. Justus Drug is a modern dining master class and will change the way you think of cooking and food.
The Justus location in Smithville is a peculiar address, but the restaurant is cozy, graceful and romantic and includes a trendy ambient environment. This is not a fancy restaurant, but it is an elite and intellectual scene. They offer the main dining room and an outside patio that features a less refined menu. The staff was warm, personable, vested and knowledgable. The menu offers many choices from a first, second and third course sub menu. Menu items also include wine suggestions and on this trip I included the wine pairing. They also have a great handmade cocktail menu and they served a pre-meal mousse bouche and an after dinner digestif.
First Course(right): The Farmer’s Platter included 36 different flavor profiles and is the ultimate sampler. Each item was elegant, odd and wonderful. Includes house made sausage, house smoked Berkshire bacon, bone marrow, wild persimmon seed rabbit, pickled and grilled vegetables, sliced cheek, fried pig skins, house herbed cheese spread and other wonderful yummy bits and bites. Paired with Sans Liege “Groundwork” Grenache Blanc. I have thought of this dish everyday since I dined and it was likely one if the best dishes I was ever served.
Second Course(below): Sesame Golden Beets salad was topped with cherry vinaigrette, curly endive, pickled daikon, sesame, lacquered hickory nuts, cilantro, dried golden beets ribbons. Paired with Nine Hats Pinot Gris. This was a perfectly balanced dish of strong fresh flavors.
The third course(below) was a Deconstructed Chicken Pot Pie that included a stuffed leg/thigh, pie crust, carrot/leek sauce, spring garlic top sauce, potato, carrot, morels with sorghum. Paired with Ponzi Pinot Noir. The vegetables on this dish were the freshest, most flavorful veggies I have ever enjoyed.
This was likely the meal of my life(to date) and I was overwhelmed with satisfaction. Justus has been in my short list for a while and I knew it was going to be gourmet, but I was blown away by the execution. Everything was 5 star and this meal was an experience and an education that broaden my food IQ with each bite.
Justus is expensive and a three course meal with glass of wine in the main dining room is easily $100. Which is exactly the correct price for what you will receive. I can’t wait to go back but admittedly this is a special occasion destination and not for everyone. If you’re not an adventurous, sophisticated dinner then steer clear and leave more reservation vacancy for me.