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“Great Food, Haughty Attitude”

Justus Drugstore A Restaurant
Ranked #2 of 27 Restaurants in Smithville
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $25 - $100
Cuisines: Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Romantic, Special occasions
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
Dayton, Wyoming
Level Contributor
154 reviews
132 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Great Food, Haughty Attitude”
Reviewed August 29, 2012

I have dined at Justus Drugstore twice now and both times the food has been pretty great. The first time, from the Amuse Bouche to the dessert, every single bite was crazy good. Stellar. The only down side was our server, who was knowledgeable but just plain rude...all night long. The food was so amazing we overlooked it (her) and couldn't wait to go back.
So....fast forward one year. The food was good, very good, but not quite as great as the first time. The service was still slow and the server(s) (still) have attitude and lack patience. Any questions or suggestions for recommendations about the drinks or the food are met with hurried responses and impatience. I get it...they are busy, but when I'm about to drop good money for dinner I don't want to be blown off. Don't even think about asking questions about the menu, or for substitutions, or to withhold an ingredient, etc. because it's not happening and the server will let you know in no uncertain terms.

The bottom line is Jonathan Justus is (or has) a great chef and the food is very good, but he needs to teach his staff a thing or two about customer service. The haughty attitude is a major turn off, especially when the value is on the high side (about $100 pp with apps, cocktail, salad, entree, wine, dessert, coffee).

Will I go back? Yes probably, for the food, but next time my tip will be a direct reflection of the snooty service.

**I want to give this restaurant an "Excellent" rating, for the food, but overall because of the servers, I can't.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Tamara L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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160 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Kansas City, Missouri
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Expensive for what you get”
Reviewed July 26, 2012

This is one of those places where you really have to decide what it is you really want to pay for in a restaurant. The location and atmosphere is not what I would call formal, it really is an old drug store converted into a restaurant. Its small and fairly crammed and frankly just not what you would expect for a fine dining place. What you are really paying for here is all the local organic produce/meat as well as some creative dishes/preparation. If thats your thing, then this is your place.
Me on the other hand, I'm more interested in the taste of the food itself and the overall value. Be prepared to spend $60+ a person. That is for a couple of drinks, an appetizer, and two entrees. We didnt even get salads or a dessert which would have added another $15-$20/person. The food and cocktails were very unique and good but it didn't blow me away considering what I paid. I didnt even bother with wine as they charge the same price for 1/2 a glass as most fine dining places charge for a full.
I'm no fine dining expert but I have eaten at places that cost about the same and have felt like I got a lot more for my money and better food. Also as the youngest couple there, I felt like my wife and I were not treated as well as some of the older people there. The chef never stopped at our table like he did others to discuss the food or whatever. Maybe they only care a lot if it "looks" like you'll spend a lot. Also, be prepared to wait a long while on everything your order. At least we were warned about that when we were seated.
All I can say is, if money doesnt matter to you then give it a shot, its different. But if you want your money's worth, there are a lot better options than this pretty much anywhere.

  • Visited July 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Andy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kansas City, Missouri
Level Contributor
13 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Eclectic and fresh; a dining event”
Reviewed July 22, 2012

Unexpected creativity and fresh use of local produce in a unique setting. We arrived 15 min early for our reservation so they suggested we wait at the bar for the rest of our party. To our delight they have mixologist and they make a majority of their liquors and bitters from local ingredients. The bartender had went for a hike that day and found wild plums which led to the "elixir de jour" and it was delicious. The meal started with an "amuse bouche" that woke up your palate. Appetizers were cerviche and shaved beef, excellent. I had the maytag blue cheese icrecream salad. Yes it was icrecream made with blue cheese in a salad and unbelievably tastey. Entree was lamb shoulder with a mushroom sauce paired with Cote de Rhone red. I was so full I just had port for dessert but my husband had the carrot cake; see pic. $75/person with drinks and 4 courses.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Band13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Smithville, Missouri
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Our favorite Kansas City Restaurant.”
Reviewed July 10, 2012

We used to live on Long Island, NY. They have great restaurants there. Justus Drugstore is our favorite restaurant in the Kansas City area. The food is superb! Jonathon Justus, the chef and owner, walks from table to table visiting. He uses products that are local and fresh. The preparation, taste and price are well worth it! It is no surprise that they have been rated the #1 restaurant in the KC area by the Kansas City Star for the past several years.

Helpful?
2 Thank J S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Cruz, California
Level Contributor
30 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“A gem in Smithville, worth the etra drive”
Reviewed July 6, 2012 via mobile

We arrived and were promptly shown to our table. I noticed they were seating people as close as possible to the kitchen and not spreading people out. Unfortunately, we were seated next to a loud group with their voices bouncing off the side wall, amplifying their voices. The night we were there, it was only half full, but as noisy as a full restaurant. I think they can spread patrons out more as they arrive.

We ordered drinks to start, but it took between 10 and 15 minutes to arrive with cocktails arriving initially without the wine. The white wine we ordered by the glass took 5-8 minutes longer and arrived half-chilled. I suspected the wine wasn't chilled when we ordered, and they may have delayed serving until it was acceptably cool. My second glass I ordered later of the same wine was properly chilled.

The menu showcased chicken, various steaks, pork chops, bass, and a vegetable risotto. They had several specials of the day that were more appropriate for the hot weather we were experiencing.

Our salads were all excellent with fresh leaves and ingredients. Our main courses were expertly prepared and presented. The taste was outstanding, rivaling some of the better restaurants we frequent in "foodie cities". The pork chops served to me were brined and grilled to perfection, the meat tender and tasty. This certainly ranks one of the best KC area restaurants.

The dessert of several scoops of coffee ice cream was heavenly! Good selection of after dinner drinks as well. When they ran out of one drink, the bartender made a visit to our table to apologize for running out of our choice, but offered an insightful alternative.


Pro's:
Excellent quality food, not rushed prepared. Attention to detail rivals some of the best restaurants I have visited.
Extensive international wine selection. Creative and delicious salads. Locally sourced products.


Con's:
Menu is a bit limited for fish and vegetarian options, but this is meat country and they do it well here. The vegetarian and lighter options are just as fine, but just more limited in options. Could be a bit more seasonal in the menu - perhaps some item featuring tomatoes which were in season. I'd need to come back a few more times to truly rate this properly.

Food: 4-5 stars. Worth a special trip up from KC metro area.
Wine: 4.5-5 stars. Might be best selection in greater KC area - extensive and quality international offerings. Not overpriced.
Service: 4 stars.
Atmosphere: 4 stars.

I'm giving this place 4/5 stars because I think they can easily improve a few items, like the seating and a little more on the service and menu. Also, I do not want people to overly expect the meal of a lifetime here after driving some distance - it will be excellent, remarkable for Kansas City, but encourage people to look beyond just a few shortcomings.

Helpful?
Thank Mr_Crackers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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